How to Fix Blurry Printing

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated November 22, 2022

Modern printers are not prone to that many issues, though some consumers can run into a problem in which their printer begins printing out blurry lines, which isn’t great for many scenarios, like if you’re printing materials that need to appear crisp while using the best printer for cardstock. While finding the overall best printer on the market can be a solution, you should try out these tips first.


  • Some modern printers can develop conditions that cause them to print blurry text while reproducing documents.
  • To start troubleshooting this issue, update your printer driver software. This can be done by downloading it from the manufacturer’s website.
  • You can also clean the interior of the printer and run the printhead alignment tool.

What Are Blurry Lines?

As the name suggests, when a printer makes documents with blurry lines, these documents will be difficult to read.

Insider Tip

One of the first things you should do upon noticing blurry text is to look for any printer driver software updates.

Figuring Out Why Your Printer is Printing Blurry Text

Blurry text can be caused by a number of things, though most of these causes are not that serious. Sometimes, you may experience streaks and wonder why your printer makes streaks. Each printer is different, however, so the troubleshooting process will depend on the make and model of your device. And if your printer is wireless, we have a few articles for troubleshooting problems, like if your computer can’t find your wireless printer or why your wireless printer is not printing.

Update the Printer Driver

One of the first things you should do upon noticing blurry text is to look for any printer driver software updates. You can typically find this software on the manufacturer’s website, and the printer’s instruction manual may include a URL. Download and install the new printer driver software and take some time to print out some test pages. If the pages look fine, then you have solved the problem. If the blurry text remains, you will have to continue troubleshooting. If you are running into trouble installing the driver software, you can use a third-party application such as DriverFix to do it for you.

Run the Alignment Tool

Your printer could be printing blurry text due to a misaligned print head. You can give this a check by running the printer’s integrated alignment tool. This tool should be accessible via the printer’s system settings, either on the printer itself or via the printer’s driver software. The alignment tool will print out some test pages to see if the printhead is aligned correctly. The software will also fix a misaligned printhead, though you may be called upon to do this manually. A misaligned printhead is a common issue that causes blurry text.

Insider Tip

Your printer could be printing blurry text due to a misaligned print head.

Clean the Printer

The print nozzles, print head, and other internal components could be clogged or dirty, causing blurry text. In other words, you should clean the interior of the printer. Do this carefully and use a microfiber cloth, and the printer’s manufacturer recommends whatever appropriate cleaning agent. This may also be the reason why your printer is printing faded text. Additionally, most modern printers can automatically clean a number of their internal components via integrated software. These tools can typically be accessed via the printer’s system settings.


What can I do if cleaning doesn’t fix my printer’s blurry, dirty printing issue?

If you have been troubleshooting this issue for a while and your printer is still making blurry text, it could be indicative of a serious hardware issue. You may need to bring the printer in for repair or replace it.

I have a sheet of paper jammed. What do I do?

Getting paper jammed in a printer is an extremely common problem. We recommend carefully removing the paper, being thorough, and going slowly so as not to damage any internal components.

What causes a printer to misfeed?

This could be an issue of alignment. Try to run your printer’s automated alignment tool or look up a guide on manually checking and fixing any alignment issues.

Although, if nothing seems to be fixing the blurred printing, you may want to look further into the printer’s repair options. And, if it just doesn’t seem to resolve even after a repair, research how to dispose an old printer next.

STAT: Using a slightly smaller stack of clean, lightweight, 8 inches (20.3 cm) by 10 inches (25.4 cm) printer/copier paper will likely avoid the messy headache of jams. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image