Troubleshooting Your Thermal Printer Problems

Is your thermal printer not printing correctly? But you're not sure what happened? Let’s find out.

Thermal printers are a popular choice for businesses around the globe to create premium quality and durable labels. The reasons for its popularity are simple, its versatile, good quality, and also involves a lower cost outlay.

But here’s the catch: your thermal printer can run into problems and technical faults just like any other gadget. What’s more, a malfunctioning printer or incorrect printer settings can result in paper jams and poor print quality. 

Plus you already know that you can't always run to your printer manufacturer with problems - you need to know of a more convenient way to troubleshoot your thermal or label printer for efficient business operations. 

So here’s a guide to help you troubleshoot your thermal printer problems, so you don’t have to waste too much money on maintenance! 

But before you can begin with the recommendations, you should read the user manual shared by your printer manufacturer, just to be aware of any special instructions for your printer model. 

Common Thermal Paper Problems With Solutions 

If you are often left wondering, ‘Why is my thermal paper not printing properly?’ here are the answers. 

Sometimes the printer driver or even the thermal print head can run into issues and display error messages, despite having the correct printer settings. 

So in addition to diagnosing the issues, your printer could have run into, our quick and snappy guide will also give you a fair idea of thermal printer troubleshooting. 


1. Residue and Dirt Build-up 

Like other machines, thermal printers often experience a build-up of dirt, residue, and other contaminants if not cleaned properly. And if these are not wiped out in time, they can clog your printer or the printer head, causing your printer to wear out.

You can easily spot this as the culprit behind your malfunctioning printer if you see any missing or white lines appearing on the label. But beware; dirt build-up can also lead to more severe damage and wear and tear.

How To Fix It: 

This one is simple and a complete no-brainer - clean your printer regularly! As a general rule, whenever you change your rolls, make sure you thoroughly clean your printer.  

You should also follow your instruction manual on cleaning your printer properly without causing any damage. Being harsh during the cleaning process can also lead to issues. 

  1. Using Faulty Heat Settings

Heat settings that are too high or low can cause poor-quality image prints. You’ll be able to identify if your settings are too high or if the image printed is smudged. And when the settings are too low, a faded image will appear. 

You’ll need to set your heat in an optimum range to print a good quality image and remove potential roadblocks in scanning and reading barcodes. 

How To Fix It: 

Again, to print good-quality images, you’ll need to get in touch with a team of experts to figure out the ideal heat settings for your thermal printer. 

3. Working With a Worn Out Printhead

Your thermal printer and the printhead have a limited life. The appearance of thin burn lines from top to bottom on the label, incomplete printing, and poor quality all point toward a printhead that’s worn out. 

How To Fix It:

You’ll need to get a suitable quality replacement for your printhead.