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Why Do My Labels Not Print Correctly? Find Out Here!

  • 5 min read
Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

I started as a portal to educate and guide people who are either looking to buy a label printer or want to start a business selling them. Here I cover the differences in label printer technologies, the advantages and disadvantages in each and also share my (unbiased) recommendations on which type is best for your business.

Why Do My Labels Not Print Correctly?

Printing labels can be a great way to organize and personalize various items, but when the labels don’t print correctly, it can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. Labels that are not adequately aligned, smudged, or have missing text can be a significant headache. This blog post will discuss why labels may not print correctly and how to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

Common Problems With Label Printing

1. Misaligned Labels

When the label is not aligned correctly, it can cause the text or images to be off-center or in the wrong location.

2. Smudged Or Smeared Ink

Smudging or smearing the ink can occur when the label paper is not designed for printing or when the print head is dirty.

3. Missing Or Unclear Text

This can happen when the resolution or print quality settings are too low, or the font size is too small.

4. Incorrect Label Size

When the label size is not set correctly, it can cause the Sheet of label to be too large or too small for the item to which it is being applied.

Causes Of Label Printing Problems

1. Incorrect Printer Settings

One of the most common causes of label printing problems is incorrect printer settings. This can include using the wrong paper size, resolution, or print quality settings. For example, using the wrong paper size can cause the label to be too large or too small for the item to which it is being applied to. Similarly, using the wrong resolution or print quality settings can cause the text or images unclear or missing.

2. Outdated Or Corrupted Printer Drivers

Another common cause of label printing problems is outdated or corrupted printer drivers. When the drivers for your printer are not up-to-date or have been corrupted, it can cause misalignment issues with the way the printer communicates with your computer and result in poor print quality or misaligned labels.

3. Low-Quality Label Paper

Using low-quality American label-size paper can also lead to printing problems. Label paper that is not designed for printing or is of poor quality can result in smudging, smearing, or bleeding of the ink.

4. Dirty Print Head

A dirty print head can also cause label printing problems. Over time, debris and ink can accumulate on the print head, which can cause alignment issues with the way the ink is applied to the label paper. This can result in smudging or smearing of the ink.

Troubleshooting And Fixing Label Printing Problems

Step #1 Check Printer Settings

The first step in troubleshooting and fixing label printing problems is to check the printer settings. Ensure that the actual paper size, resolution, and print quality settings are correct and that the printer is set to the correct label paper. If necessary, adjust the settings according to the printer manual.

Step #2 Update Or Reinstall Printer Drivers

If the problem is caused by outdated or corrupted printer drivers, updating or reinstalling them can be a quick and easy fix. You can download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website or use the built-in update feature in your operating system. Make sure to restart your computer after updating or reinstalling the drivers.

Step #3 Use High-Quality Label Paper

To ensure that your labels print correctly, it is essential to use high-quality label paper specifically designed for printing. This will help to prevent smudging, smearing, or bleeding of the ink. Check the printer manual for recommended paper types and brands.

Step #4 Clean The Print Head

If a dirty print head is causing the problem, cleaning it can be a simple and effective solution. Most printers have a built-in cleaning function that can be accessed through the printer’s software or control panel. You can also use a cleaning solution, or a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean the print head gently. It’s essential to be careful not to damage the print head while cleaning it.

Step #5 Check For Software Compatibility Issues

Another cause of blank label printing problems can be software compatibility issues. Ensure that the software you use to design and print your labels is compatible with your printer and operating system. If you are using an older software version, try updating it to the latest version.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQS

Why Won’t My Avery Template Align?

Some printers may not handle the built-in address label margins properly, resulting in the address being out of alignment on typical Avery labels. Export the address label report to PDF format, then read and print the PDF to fix the problem.

How May The Margins Be Altered On A Label Printer?

Navigate to the “Control panel” -> “Devices and Printers” -> “Label Printer” -> “Printer Preferences” -> “Page Setup” The custom margins on “Position Adjustment” can be adjusted as needed. To get the best result, you might have to experiment a bit.


Label printing problems can be a significant headache, but with the proper troubleshooting and fixes, they can be quickly resolved. Whether the problem is caused by incorrect printer settings, outdated or corrupted printer drivers, low-quality label paper, a dirty print head, or software compatibility issues, there are solutions to fix the problem. Following the steps outlined in this guide ensures that your labels will print correctly every time. Remember to check your printer manual for specific troubleshooting steps and recommended settings.

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