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Vertical or Horizontal lines when printing [Fix]

Vertical or Horizontal lines when printing [Fix]


If you have vertical or horizontal lines when printing, you need to figure out what causes those. Printers will put out what goes in and what tools and supplies they are working with. If you have problems, look for problems with the input, settings, or physical parts of your printer.

Vertical or Horizontal lines when printing

Vertical or Horizontal lines when printing

Vertical or horizontal lines when printing can be bands that run horizontally or vertically. Depending on how they look and what they are made of will help you diagnose the true cause. This article will help you identify the cause of your vertical or horizontal lines and how to fix them. Let us take a look at them.

  1. Document problems
  2. Dirty printer
  3. Clogged printhead
  4. Damaged drum
  5. Dirty or damaged fuser
  6. Low ink level
  7. Unevenly distributed toner

1] Document problems

If you notice that your document has horizontal or vertical lines, you may have them in your document. You may not notice them because they may be very light in color and close to your document’s background color. However, whenever you print, they become obvious on paper. This is more of a problem when you copy from a source and paste it into your document.


If you copy items from one source to another, look closely to see if there are any lines in the source document.

Paste - Keep text only

When you paste, use the Keep text only option, to keep the text and remove formatting from the source document.

2] Dirty Printer

Laser printers take paper and roll them through, applying toner onto the paper. If there is leftover toner or dirt present in the printer, this dirt or leftover toner could come out as lines or streaks on the paper. This leftover toner can be caused by a leaky toner cartridge or toner leftover from pre-printed paper.


To prevent leaking toner cartridges, be sure to use original toner cartridges for your printer. If you need to print on pre-printed paper, check if your printer has settings for pre-printed paper. If your printer uses higher or lower temperatures than the pre-printed paper can manage, the toner/ink may come off inside the printer. Cleaning the printer may require professional servicing.

3] Clogged printhead

Dried ink can clog printheads causing them to be unable to spray the ink onto the paper. Printheads can become clogged if the ink is left unused for a while. Clogged printheads can cause the ink to be released onto the paper in lines.


To unclog printheads, you may need to run one or more head cleaning. This is done using the printer’s internal cleaning function. The head cleaning process uses up ink, especially in cases where multiple cleanings are needed to unclog the printhead. You may also try to manually clean the printheads by following the instructions provided by the printer’s manufacturer.

Read: Printer not printing anything on paper

4] Damaged drum

Laser printers place their content on paper using a rotating drum. The toner is then, heated so that it fuses onto the paper. If you notice lines on the paper, this could indicate that the drum is scratched. The scratched drum would cause lines on the paper when printed.


Some laser printers have the drums integrated with the toner while some have the drum and the toner separate. If you can view the drum, carefully check for scratches. If your toner and drum are one unit, you can replace the toner and see if the lines disappear on the next print.

5] Dirty or damaged fuser

Laser printers put the toner permanently onto the paper by using a heated roller called a fuser. Over time, the fuser’s roller can become damaged or have toner caking onto its surface. This will cause lines to show up on paper when you print.


Some manufacturers have a document that shows you how to compare lines and patterns that will tell you if the fuser’s roller is the problem. Check if your printer’s manufacturer publishes this document and has it available for regular users. Some manufacturers will make this document only available for repair technicians.

6] Low ink level

If your ink is beginning to get low, you may notice lines in your printed document. This is caused by inconsistent flow as the document is printed; this may show up as you print consistent or longer documents. When you stop or pause printing, the ink will settle and the print may be ok. The lines will appear again as you print more.


If you had your printer setting set to draft, you could change it to a higher setting. This will make the printer print slower but use up a bit more ink so the document prints better. This will help until the ink gets critically low and you must change the cartridge. If changing the print settings from the draft is not making the print better, the ink cartridge may be empty, clogged, or damaged

7] Unevenly distributed toner

Your laser printer’s toner cartridge may have the powdered toner unevenly distributed inside it. This can cause the printer to print with lines and the toner is not evenly distributed.


Remove the toner cartridge from the printer, then move to a well-ventilated area, and shake the toner cartridge a bit to redistribute the toner powder. When you store the toner or the printer with the toner inside, store than flat instead of on the side.

Read: Printer printing slanted or crooked

How do I clear white vertical lines or streaks appearing on printed documents?

Printers cannot print white, so to get white, the printer leaves that area free of ink or toner. If your document comes out with white lines or streaks in areas where there should be no white, this means that the printer cannot get ink or toner in that area. If you are using a laser printer, it could mean that the roller in the drum may have old toner baked onto it, and it needs cleaning; if you are using an inkjet printer, this could mean that the ink is low, the printhead is clogged, or the printhead is dirty. Try making the printer do a self-clean to see if the print will go back to normal. You should also check the ink levels of the ink cartridges.

Why does my printer have vertical lines when scanning?

You scan documents on your printer using the flatbed or the feeder. If you notice lines in the document when it gets to the computer, this indicates dirt or other residue on the scanning area. You can use a clean, lint-free cloth to clean the area that you place the paper for scanning.

Vertical or Horizontal lines when printing


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