Copy Machine Problems and How to Fix!

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If you’ve ever worked in an office it is almost certain you have come face to face with the dreaded photocopier problem. While a trusted copier such as a xerox machine or a Konica Minolta Bizhub certainly do a good job in keeping up with high demands, a copy machine is constantly being stressed, especially in offices with high print demand.

Photocopier problems are not something you can avoid, but something you should be prepared for and possess the know how to resolve the problems. 

Paper Jams

Paper jams are by the far the most common photocopier problem, but thankfully, a fairly easy problem to tackle. 

The exact cause of a paper jam can vary, but can be caused by the wrong paper size being used, the paper not being loaded properly and other causes. When these issues are present, the copier attempts to pull the paper through, resulting in a paper jam. 

To fix the issue, the jammed paper must be manually removed and paper of the proper size and in proper alignment needs to be loaded into the paper tray. 

Another issue that can cause paper jams is paper dust. This builds up over time and can cause the paper feeder to clog. To avoid this issue, paper dust inside the machine should be periodically wiped clean.

Cartridge and Toner Issues

There’s nothing more frustrating when you are right in the middle of printing off a big project and you run out of toner, or even worse, the toner is full but it’s not functioning properly. 

If the issue is that you have just run out of toner, you will receive a “low toner” warning, this issue is a breeze to fix, you will just need to replace the empty toner cartridge. 

If the toner cartridge is malfunctioning, it is more than likely caused by one of a couple of things. It could be a manufacturer error, if this is the case you can request a cartridge replacement from the manufacturer. The second common reason is incompatibility issues, if you try and use a toner which is incompatible with the machine you are trying to use it with, you may experience print issues. 

Lines on Paper

When you make a copy and the finished copy contains visible lines, streaks or other abnormalities, there is an issue with the copy machine. There are a few things that could be causing this, so the photocopier will need to be troubleshooted. 

Copy Machine Problems

A few of the causes for this problem can be:

  • Drum blade malfunction
  • Developer or drum unit malfunction
  • Substances such as dust or hair on the mirrors and scanner glass
  • Fuser Issues

If the scanner glass or mirrors are dirty, they can be cleaned following proper procedures as will be illustrated in your copy machines user manual. The other issues can be tackled by replacing the problem part. 

Copies Either Too Dark or Too Light

Over or under saturation of images is very obvious to the human eye, issues with excessive lightness or darkness in prints can ruin an otherwise good photocopy. Usually the issue is due to an imbalance in the density controls of the photocopier. When your copier is experiencing issues with lightness and darkness, this should be the first thing you check. Resetting the density levels is easy and often fixes the problem. 

If the issue is not in the density controls, your drum may be reaching it’s expiration, or it’s possible the toner has gone bad. If you have installed aftermarket toner, this could be the issue as aftermarket tones are often not in line with manufacturer codes. Replacements can be installed. 

Spots on The Page

Another very annoying copy issue is dots on the page. If the dots are in the same spot every time, it’s more than likely there is a smudge or some foreign object on the glass or copy mirror. 

If the spots are in a more random order, the issue could be due to a defective drum, in this case the drum should be replaced. 

Purchasing a Quality Photocopier

In addition to the solutions just mentioned, it’s worth noting that the choice of copy machine you make when you purchase a photocopier can mean the difference between having a copy machine with very few issues and having a copy machine full of problems. 

A few things to consider when purchasing a photocopier are:

  • The age of the photocopier (if it’s not new)
  • Whether or not it’s refurbished
  • Is it a reputable photocopier brand?


Daniel Calvin is on a mission to help businesses increase productivity and do so in a way that benefits everyone in the organization. He is the content manager Number1 Office Machines

Copy machine article and permission to publish here provided by Daniel Calvin at Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on December 13, 2019.

One thought on “Copy Machine Problems and How to Fix!”

  1. Thanks for guiding us in the common printing problems. All the problems you have mentioned are undoubtedly common problems and one may not need to seek assistance of an expert because the printer user can easily do it.

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