Why is the printer’s red light on or flashing?


If the red light on the printer starts to glow, this may be due to various problems in the operation of the device. To understand and find out the exact cause, you will need to examine it. The button is lit both from the banal lack of paper, and from more serious problems that require disassembly. Therefore, when looking for breakdowns on your own, you will need to pay attention to various details.

Assigning the Lights on the Printer

A printer is a device designed to print information from electronic media on paper. Light indicators of different colors — green («ready») and red («warning») — are always present on this equipment. They are intended to report health status.

red light bulb

Indicators respond to changes in the state of technology in different ways: they glow periodically or constantly, and sometimes they are generally in the off state.

If the red button is blinking on Epson, HP, Samsung, Xerox laser printers, then the reasons for this may be the following:

  • lack of paper;

No paper

  • the device “jawed” the sheets;

Printer jammed sheets

  • the cartridge is installed incorrectly or is missing altogether;

Missing cartridge

  • there was packaging material on the parts of the device;
  • the cover is not fully pressed, blocking access to the cartridge;
  • incorrect operation of paper control sensors, closing of the case cover;
  • there is no connection or connection with a personal computer or laptop, other device from which data is printed;
  • software failure;
  • little or no toner.

No toner

From the above list, the most common problems are jammed or missing paper, cartridge problems.

Search algorithm and troubleshooting

Possible reasons for the flashing warning indicator are very diverse. But you can still look for problems in a certain sequence of actions. The algorithm for searching and solving problems is as follows.

  1. First you need to check availability of sheets and cartridgeand in their absence, insert sheets or insert a new cartridge until it clicks.
    Paper in the printer tray
  2. If sheets were present, then you should check feed mechanism and if there is jammed paper, remove it by first pulling out the cartridge.
  3. When everything is in order with the paper, it is better to check right away connecting printer to PCif it is missing, connect the devices with a usb cable.
    Connecting the printer to a PC
  4. If this does not help, and the cartridge is installed, then you should check that it is inserted correctly, and also lid closure tightness. To do this, remove the cartridge from the printer and reinsert until it clicks.
  5. When handling paper and cartridges, pay attention to residual packaging material: if present, remove it.
  6. After the above steps, in most cases, the blinking disappears, but if it remains, then perhaps the problem lies in paper and lid closing sensors, software failure. To solve it, you will need to reboot the device, and in extreme cases, replace its elements.

There may be such a state of printing technology when two indicators are lit or flashing at the same time — red and green. This is how it works in these cases.

Green and red light on printer

  1. When «Warning» and «Ready» turn on and off regularly, this indicates the initialization of the device, or the cancellation of the print queue.
  2. If the red flashes and the green is constantly on, while the printer is not working, then this indicates that the paper sheets are jammed, the feed mechanism is jammed. The solution to the problem is to remove the jammed paper.

When, after carrying out all the proposed actions, the printer still does not print, and its indicators signal, then you can try to print a report. This is done in the following way: press the large button on the printer and hold it for a few seconds. The printout that appears may indicate a lack of toner or the need to “flash” the device. Then paint should be added, or the counter reset using a special program.

If the problem could not be fixed on your own, then it is better to contact the service center for the help of specialists or call the master at home.

Below we will consider why the red light is on using the example of popular brand printers, and how to fix it.

EPSON light on

On an EPSON printer, an LED with a “drop” symbol indicates the operation of the cartridges. It has two states that will tell you about different problems.

  • LED blinking — one of the cartridges will run out soon;
  • Solid on — either the ink tank is empty or there is a software/hardware problem.

What to do in both situations is described below.

red drop on epson

Epson’s teardrop-shaped LED glows red

LED blinking «drop»

If the “drop” starts flashing, then one of the cartridges is low. If possible, then it should be refilled, if such a function is not provided, then the cartridge should be changed. If this does not help, then the device probably did not understand that the ink was filled. In this case, it should be rebooted — for this it is enough momentary shutdown of the device.

If after that the indicator still continues to flash, then it is worth doing the following.

  1. On the PC, you need to start the service that is responsible for the operation of the printer. If printing is carried out from Microsoft World, then right in the program you can press the combination “ctrl + P” and in the window that appears opposite the name of the printer you need to click on “properties”.
  2. Now you need to find the «Service» tab.
  3. The next step is to find the «EPSON Status Monitor 3» button.
  4. After pressing the button, the printer will automatically check the ink level, and if there are enough, it will indicate that you can continue working, and the LED will stop blinking.
EPSON Status Monitor

Checking the Ink Status in EPSON Status Monitor

If the automatic check did not help, but the user is sure that all the cartridges are refilled, then you will have to manually reset the counter, which displays the level of ink tanks. To do this, you will need to do the following.

  1. Install the Resetters utility on your PC, developed by a group of enthusiasts specifically for EPSON equipment. Since the program is unofficial, in case of incorrect work after using it, the company is not responsible, but, judging by the numerous reviews, there are no problems.
  2. After starting the utility, all connected printers will appear in its main window. You need to choose the one with which there is a problem.
  3. After selecting the printer, click on the «reset ink» button and confirm the action in the dialog box.
  4. The indicators will be reset, now you should reboot the device and make sure that the LED has stopped flashing.

Constant burning of the LED

If the LED is constantly on, then there can be two failure options:

  • the cartridge is installed incorrectly or is defective;
  • Cartridges are non-original or not suitable for this model.

If a ink cartridges are installed incorrectly then it is enough to remove them and reinstall them — with the correct installation, a click will be heard. It is also worth making sure that foreign objects do not get into the carriage, which may interfere with the correct position of the cartridge.

Epson cartridges

Cartridges should be inserted until they click

If this does not help, and the problem is faulty ink tanks, then they should be changed. Sometimes the reason for the blinking of the LED is that the nozzles are clogged. In such a situation, the cartridge is removed and placed with the nozzles down into a container filled with water, and preferably with a special cleaning agent. After a few hours, the cartridge should be wiped off and replaced.

Lightning LED blinking

This indicator is only EPSON mobile printers that is, those that can run on battery power, and not just directly from the network. The LED is not always present on the control panel and may be displayed on the printer screen. Accordingly, its indication is a signal that charging is taking place. It can respond not only to the connection to the outlet, but also to the USB connector of the PC.

Epson mobile printer

Epson mobile printer

If the indicator blinks by itself, then the reason is either a software failure (the printer is frozen), or the battery has become unusable. In the first case it is enough reboot device, try to discharge the battery or remove and replace it. In the second, you will have to go to the service center.

Samsung Printer Solution

If the Samsung printer does not print, and the lamp on the case is red, then first of all it is worth refilling the cartridge and resetting the counter. To do this, you need to run the following commands:

  • without removing the cartridge and without opening the cover on the device, the buttons are pressed in turn: “+”, “+”, “STOP”, “-”, “-”, “STOP”, “STOP”;
  • if everything is done correctly, then the inscription “UC” will appear on the screen;
  • by pressing the plus or minus buttons, select the inscription «FC»;
  • press «start», wait for the appearance of «07» and press «start» again;
  • We are waiting for the end of the reset, which is accompanied by turning off the device.

After switching on, the LED should turn off.

reset samsung printer

If the recommendation above did not help, then the following is possible:

  • paper is jammed;
  • the cartridge is installed incorrectly;
  • running out of toner;
  • physical breakdown.

What to do with the Brother printer

The reason for the blinking red LED on the Brother printer is similar to Samsung — the device forces you to buy a new cartridge, but an expensive purchase can be avoided if reset the counter and refill the cartridge.

Reset requires the following:

  • turn on the printer;
  • take out the cartridge and separate the photoconductor;
  • remove sheets from the paper tray;
  • close the printer cover while holding the lever on the photoconductor;
  • after turning on the engine, the lever must be released for a few seconds and pressed again;
  • the lever should be left pressed until the end of the engine;
  • after that, the cartridge and the photoconductor are connected to each other and installed in place.
brother counter reset

Counter reset lever

To reset drum counteryou need to do the following:

  • on the printer display, open the «menu»;
  • among the available actions, select «reset photoconductor»;
  • 5 seconds press the «OK» button;
  • press «up»;
  • then re-enter the «menu»;
  • select «device information»;
  • «user settings»;
  • «OK» and «START».

The red LED will then stop flashing.

If the green and red LEDs flash alternately or together, then this is a signal about one of the device statuses. To understand what this means, just refer to the instructions, which explain all the possible combinations.


Most of the considered reasons why the red light is on on the printer can be eliminated with your own hands without resorting to outside services. Paper should be inserted carefully, without exceeding the number of sheets allowed for the model being used. The best course of action would be to familiarize yourself with operating instructions at the time of purchase, not when a problem occurs. Compliance with the rules of use is a guarantee of long and trouble-free operation of equipment.


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