Common Toner Problems

Common Toner Problems

Toner cartridges are essential to the laser printing process, but, like the best of us, they occasionally screw up. But common toner cartridge problems are often easy to fix once you know what you’re looking for. The Toner Buzz toner cartridge troubleshooting guide is here to help! Here’s how to handle the most common toner problems.

Printer Cover/ Door Will Not Close

Solution: You probably have your toner cartridges installed incorrectly. Remove them and re-install them, making sure everything clicks into place as it should. This is a pretty simple toner error fix.

Installing/ removing toner cartridges in laser printers is a slightly more daunting process than installing/ removing ink cartridges in inkjet printers. Check out Laser Printers vs. Inkjet Printers for more differences between these two types of printers.

When a toner cartridge isn't installed correctly, it can cause the cover/door of your printer to not close completely, which stops the printer from working. As far as toner cartridge problems go, this one is pretty straightforward. If your toner cartridge is empty, replace it (preferably with an OEM cartridge). If the door of your laser printer still won’t close, you’ve either not installed the cartridge properly (in which case, what is wrong with you?), or you’ve got the wrong cartridge in there (in which case, what is wrong with you?) Go to Toner Buzz, type your printer model into the search bar, and make your printer toner problems go away!

Trouble getting the door or cover on your laser printer closed?

Trouble getting the door or cover on your laser printer closed?

Try reinstalling your toner cartridges!

Try reinstalling your toner cartridges!

Toner Runs Out Too Fast

Argh! The dreaded “low toner” warning! Toner error problems are a drag! Is it telling the truth? Can you trust it when troubleshooting toner cartridge problems? Is your laser printer truly low on toner or is the “low toner” warning premature? Ugh! Toner problems! Laser printer!

To figure out which it is, remove your toner cartridge and gently shake it to see if it is actually low on toner. If it isn't low, shake the toner cartridge in case the toner has become stuck to the walls. This will distribute the toner more evenly and may possibly remove the low toner warning. If you’re looking for how to fix the toner error on your Brother printer, shake, shake, shaking the toner cartridge may be the solution.

If your toner cartridge is low on toner and you are disappointed in how quickly it has become low, consider investing in high-yield or extra high-yield toner cartridges which contain more toner and last longer with higher page yields. As a reference, the HP 37A has a page yield of 11,000, the HP 37X has a page yield of 25,000, and the HP 37Y has a page yield 41,000. You’ll find similar results if you have toner problems with a Brother printer. What is the Difference between Standard and High-Yield Toner Cartridges? provides more details on the advantages of high/ extra high-yield toner cartridges.

Shake, shake, shake your toner cartridge to get a little more life out of it.

Shake, shake, shake your toner cartridge to get a little more life out of it.

Printout Blemishes

Toner cartridge troubleshooting blemishes on printouts, such as blurring, streaks, or fading, can be caused either by a malfunctioning printer or a malfunctioning toner cartridge. It should be noted that genuine OEM toner cartridges very rarely malfunction, whereas compatible and remanufactured toner cartridges carry significant risk of malfunctioning. Buy genuine, brand name toner and you won’t have to worry about how to fix a toner cartridge, because you won’t have any problems with your toner cartridge! Toner Cartridges- Genuine OEM vs. Compatible vs. Remanufactured explains it all in greater detail.

Here are some possible solutions to print quality problems: 

Blurring, Smears, and Streaks - These issues can be caused by a defective toner cartridge or a toner cartridge not installed correctly.

Here’s how to fix toner streaks.

  • First, print several blank pages and see if this fixes the print quality.
  • Next, try cleaning the internal components of the printer like the laser scanner/mirrors.
  • If this does not fix the issue, re-install the toner cartridge.
  • If unsuccessful, your toner cartridge may be defective and you should replace it to see if it fixes the toner streaks.
  • These issues can also be caused by a defective drum unit. If reinstalling/replacing the toner cartridge is unsuccessful, replace the drum unit next.

Fading - When a toner cartridge is low on toner, fading will often occur. When this is the case, simply replace the toner cartridge and your printouts should no longer have printer toner problems. If your printer is not low on toner and your printouts are still fading, it could be caused by a transfer roller issue or a laser mirror that needs to be cleaned.

Blank Spots - Blank spots can be caused by a defective toner cartridge or other issues with the printer, potentially a damaged transfer roller. First, if possible, inspect the inside of the printer to see if there are any visible obstructions. If there aren't, replace the toner cartridge and see if that removes the blank spots. If it doesn't, replace the transfer roller and see if that removes them.

Color on Black and White Printouts

If you see traces of color on your black and white printouts, then your color toner cartridges are likely leaking. When your color toner cartridges are leaking or empty, replace them with genuine OEM originals. You’ll get better print quality and higher, more accurate page yields from a brand name replacement.

A toner spill fix is quick and easy. Clean your printer and remove all leaked color toner. Then replace the leaking color toner cartridge(s).

Half-Page Printouts

First, make sure you’ve got your paper aligned correctly inside your paper tray. If your paper guides are not adjust properly your printing can be seriously compromised.

Half-page printouts are a common toner-related issue, a generic toner problem not a specific Brother toner problem. But it may also be a drum unit issue. Unplug and restart both your printer and computer, and print out a page to see if the issue has been fixed. If not, an error message should show which will explain the problem, identifying whether it is a toner or drum unit issue. If your printer is still printing half-page printouts and there is no error message, try replacing your toner cartridge. If you replace your toner cartridge and it isn't fixed, try replacing your drum unit next.

We hope our toner troubleshooting guide helps solve the common toner problems in your laser printer!

Somebody's got a toner leak! Get in there and clean that toner spill up!
A dirty or old drum unit can result in these lines appearing on printouts. 
Arrgh! We hate it when our toner runs out, resulting in half-printed pages!
Brother's Solutions Center can help diagnose many printing problems. 
A look inside the laser printing process reveals where dirt and debris may settle. Keep those rollers and feeders clean!
HP's Print Management Screen also helps diagnose and solve many common toner problems.

Toner Buzz BBB accredited business profile
Amazon Pay PayPal Logo
Net 30 Terms