Printer Printing Only Half a Page

My son called me from work, where he was having trouble printing out a checklist of daily tasks. The checklist was 4 pages long, but when he tried to print it, only a half page would print. He kept trying and trying, and every time he tried, the printer printed out the same half page.

I figured it was a software problem, so I told him to check the print settings in the program he was using to try to print the list. He said he did that. I asked whether the print looked faded. Nope. I told him good luck.

He reluctantly called tech support – reluctant, he said, because the technicians always make him feel like an idiot. They asked whether he had checked the toner cartridge. Sure enough, that was it – the printer was low on toner. He changed the toner cartridge, entered the command to print the document, and it printed all four pages!

Although the problem was solved, my son remained perplexed. “Why,” he asked, “would I ever suspect the toner was low when the printer had no problem printing half pages? For all the half pages it printed, it could have printed ten full copies of the document!”

Ahhh, it was finally dawning on him how utterly illogical computers can be.

My printer has its own quirky behaviors. Just the other day I tried to print a document in black and white – no fancy color brochure or anything like that. The printer refused. The error message told me that my printer was out of yellow ink and I had to change the yellow ink cartridge before I could print anything.

If you’ve observed your printer or computer behaving oddly, I’d like to hear about it. Please post your observations here.

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak

Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

45 comments… add one
  • avatar Melissa Nickerson Dec 10, 2009, 3:19 am

    Here’s something weird my computer is doing currently… can’t figure it out. Also only printing half pages…
    Printing Xmas letter on patterned paper. My printer is only printing half the page! New ink cartridges. Kodak ESP-Aio Printer… it’s only printing half the page (vertically) on the patterned side of the paper, but if I flip the paper over then it prints the full page (no errors) on the back/plain white side of the paper. It is the craziest thing ever! When it prints half the page on the front, it only prints the left half… on the right half, it prints out weird gray boxes every so often. Any ideas what could be wrong??!

  • avatar Joe Kraynak Dec 10, 2009, 7:21 am

    Hi, Melissa–

    Go to Kodak’s Website, click Help Center, enter the information about your specific Kodak printer, and search for information on upgrading the firmware. Upgrade the firmware, and try printing again on paper that has a decorative border.

    From Kodak:

    If you still cannot print on paper with a decorative border:

    1. Load a plain paper just above the paper which has decorative border in the paper Tray. (Both should be in the bottom tray)
    2. While printing select the Number of copies as 2. (In this case Printer will detect the paper edge only for the plain paper which was on the top and will print 2 copies )
    3. Now the printer will print the Image/Text on both the papers. (plain paper and the paper which has Decorative Border)

    If you still cannot print on paper with a decorative border:

    1. Make a print of your document on plain paper.
    2. Place the print face down at the right front corner of the scanner glass.
    3. Load paper that has the decorative border into the paper tray print side down.
    4. Make copies of the print on the paper with the decorative border.
  • avatar Rita Jan 21, 2010, 9:57 pm

    I have a ph photosmart 7760 and recently it started printing only half a page no matter what i tried to print only half the information comes out on the page. Does anyone know if its a software problem or a hardware problem and how to fix it? Also i use windows 7

  • avatar Jean Apr 22, 2010, 12:58 pm

    My Laser Jet 2500L HP is printing on the right side of the paper only. It does not have toner. I have replaced the drum just today and all the color ink cartridges in the last month. There is no error message. Is this a printer malfunction. Can the printer be fixed. I’m thinking this color laser printer is over 12 years old. Any suggestions.

  • avatar Hill Jun 5, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I have a Canon Selphy CP 510 printer which hasn\’t been used in some time. It only prints on half of the photo sheet of paper. I put in a new ink cartridge, and the same thing, on just half of the paper.
    thank you.

  • avatar Nancy DeSalvo Sep 29, 2011, 6:30 pm

    Only prints the left side. Tried about everything.

  • avatar Nancy DeSalvo Sep 29, 2011, 6:30 pm

    Only prints the left side. Tried about everything.

  • avatar Nancy DeSalvo Sep 29, 2011, 6:33 pm

    Only prints half a page.

  • avatar didi Oct 16, 2011, 11:18 am

    I bought an officejet hp 4500 a month ago and had printed rughly 15 pages. for 2 sheets it will print the first and half of the second, and then a little less than a half and now print only the header of the 2nd page. INFURIOUS, yes..ANNOYING yes…
    people advised me printer is headache….how something so cheap and small can be so disturbing when do not work? if anybody has a clue, plz help..i know the feeling of calling customer support..they really thinks that we ar not able to talk on the phone and think at the same

  • avatar Anonymous Oct 28, 2011, 5:43 pm

    why does my printer o nly print half of the page? thank you so much

  • avatar Himey Oct 31, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I am trying to print a photo with my HP Photosmart and only half of it is being printed and it is smearing ink on the back of the photo paper. I have had problems with all printers except for Epson. I bought the HP last year. I bought the Epson artisan 725 in the summer. I also own a Samsung (laser). I will never buy another printer other than Epson.

  • avatar Ambercookiebee Nov 2, 2011, 6:27 pm

    Recently my printer has been printing everything on the upper right corner of the paper. Everything is there, all the information, but it’s all squeezed into the top right corner of the paper!!! I have no idea how to fix it!!!

  • avatar justsillyme Nov 7, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Just today I tried to copy some pay stubs and only a post card size area printed.
    I have an HP 4500 Wireless. It just runs the first page thru and comes out blank then I get an error message stating Incorrect paper size Load different media or change copy paper setting. I take out the paper, put it back in and press ok to continue, then it just prints a post card size area. Cant find any help on the resolution center.
    Its been printing fine doing packing slips and address labels. No settings have been changed.
    Any suggestions???

  • avatar Ken Bourne Nov 14, 2011, 4:26 pm

    I have a Brother HL-2240 printer that will only print part of a page, then about 5 blank pages, then another part of the page (one line). I have cured this by putting the settings to default. But now this does not work! It seems to have started when I put in a new toner. Frustration has set in- is there any cure as I am about to recycle this piece of junk.

  • avatar aginamills Jan 13, 2012, 5:50 am

    my printer has been printing everything half way. i dont know how to fix it.

  • avatar tatasingh Jan 24, 2012, 12:27 am

    My Free Printer Lexmark X2480 Printing only part of a page. I don’t know why but lot of people has that same issue. I wonder whats the problems. Is everyone refilling their inks or the printers are gone crappy. It is not the software problem. It has to do with printer hardware or cartridges. Some one suggested take out the cartridge shake it hard and clear the dust and blow air in it. It didn’t do the trick for me but for some one I hope here. Good Luck

  • avatar jean fitzgerald Feb 21, 2012, 9:26 am

    i can only print half the page i want to print. i have a canonmp160and can not figure it out.any ideas would be so helpful.thanks so much.jean

  • avatar Katja Apr 14, 2012, 6:50 am

    We encountered the following issue with our Kodak Hero 5.1:
    1) Set up on Vista with Open Office Suite.
    2) We have to print pictures for work regularly, so plugged multiple pictures into a .odt/.doc and tried printing. Only one picture (the bottom one) printed in both file extensions.
    3) Updated drivers and FW but they were all up to date.
    4) Tried all printer and layout settings, no change.
    5) Solution one: Added the multiple pictures to ONE picture file via paint and only inserted the one picture file into .odt/.doc; printed all successfuly, Kodak recognised the one picture file.
    6) Solution two: Kept the individual pictures in .odt and converted it to PDF. Printed from PDF which worked bautifully as this is like printing a single picture file.

    Our conclusion: this product was most likely not extensivley tested under different OS/SW package solutions and the printer cannot cope with all. This cannot be fixed but a workaround as above might be useful.

  • avatar Katja Apr 14, 2012, 7:02 am


    Just an idea. When using decorative paper, if the border is just a print, would it not be easier and more economical in terms of money spent on paper and time spent with above workaround to recreate the border in an electronic file format and copy your text in there?

    You could:

    A) Scan an empty decorative paper once and copy this picture into your word file as a full page picture then overlay with a textbox of the same background colour (no line colour) and edit your letter in there. Print, and bob’s your uncle! The template can be saved for future use. For best formatting results you could also convert the file to PDF before printing and print from PDF to avoid the printer messing with your formats.

    B) If you are quite creative, why not make your own borders in paint or word or another more sophisticated SW package? You can make hundreds of templates and re-use as required without spending too much on expensive paper.

    Best regards from the scrooge inside me :-).

  • avatar Katja Apr 14, 2012, 7:06 am

    Regarding the ink cartridge issue when printing in black and white: some printers have a separate button to allow you to switch to black ink output only. Use it to print more economically in general (if you don’t care to print in colour, like web content) or if you want to avoid the problem described in the lead post.

  • avatar wilma May 21, 2012, 7:03 pm

    I can only print 1/2 page on my HP D1430, contacted HP website and they kept me on the phone an hour, I could barely understand their English!!! They tried to chg. me 129.99, I said, NO, I am a 79 yr. old great grandma on a fixed income, so DON’T EVEN TRY TO CHG. ME FOR THE PROBLEM YOU DIDN’T FIX!!!!

  • avatar Dave May 23, 2012, 6:22 pm

    my printer (new cannon) is printing 1/2 page, Ithought my old printer was shot so I bought this one, the old printer was also printing half page! Turns out..its the stinking new gmail program..if I go back to look at print preview under the old gmail format..its a full page….what the H are these people doing?

  • avatar Carol Bahlmann Feb 6, 2013, 4:15 pm

    I read a lot of the problems, what is the answer?

  • avatar Carol Bahlmann Feb 6, 2013, 4:17 pm

    I read a lot of complaints about the half page printing, what is the answer?

  • avatar lew Apr 1, 2013, 10:05 am

    I see many questions about the same thing my HP6700 is doing printing only top half of page. But NO help for a fix!

  • avatar pam May 29, 2013, 9:10 pm

    My Kodak 6 AIO either spools forever, or won’t print a complete page. This morning I attempted to print an education certificate: the header and document border printed, but the central content did not. Repeatedly.

  • avatar Lm Aug 20, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Here it is 2013 and the Kodak has severed me well for almost a year and now it is printing only half photographs, upper portion at that. Since 2009, there has not be a solution.

  • avatar Charla Clark Mar 19, 2014, 8:51 am

    When I view my page breaks in my pages instead of showing me page breaks for a full 8.5″ by 11 sheet of paper, it is showing a page break right down the center of my letter size setting. When I print page one of my document it is only printing the section where the page break is showing. I guess my problem is how do I get my excel set back to full letter size 8.5″ by 11

  • avatar seth Jul 17, 2014, 12:31 am

    So I had the same problem of all of y’all, this is what you do, you go to the print options, then you look at the page range. If it is on .all, then turn it to pages it should only be one page if it says more than one, change it to one! And I am not talking about the number of copies, just saying its in the page range! Oh yeah and I’m 12, don’t worry my dad is like a software disighner so don’t feel bad if you are taking my advise 🙂 haha! Byeeee

  • avatar johnny b Sep 22, 2014, 7:07 pm

    I have the same problem. I have a new all-in-one desktop and an old printer. Well before I bought the desktop, I was using my desktop that I bought in ’06. When I used the old desktop, I had no problems printing when using this printer. But now that I’ve connected this new desktop to the printer, the printer only prints half a page. Not even half the page. More like 1 or 2 sentences. I made the printer the default printer and it’s still printing half the page. I believe I did what Seth suggested but no luck. I need to double check to be sure I put “print only one page” as Seth suggested. I’m thinking my printer is doing this because I have a new computer connected to it. Any suggestions?

  • avatar Brittany Oct 22, 2014, 6:13 pm

    I have a brother MFC-J47ODW and I have this issue and it’s gradually getting worse. It attempts to print a page and most of the time it prints partial pages and it keeps attempting to print the entire pages often just spitting out blank pages. It’s also very VERY slow to actually receive the data that it’s meant to be printing. The partial pages print out perfectly and the test pages also print fine (granted the entire page actually gets printed).
    This is my 3rd printer in the last six months. I’m ready to trash this one too now. Any suggestions on how to buy a printer that will last at least one year?! I hate to pay more than $100 for it to only last a few months.

  • avatar reading is important ppt Nov 15, 2014, 12:03 pm

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who
    was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought
    me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the
    meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this subject here on your

  • avatar David Noller Oct 14, 2015, 10:50 am

    It’s amazing how many people here are stumped on something so simple.

    Go to the printer settings and change the orientation to single page, hit ok and then print…

  • avatar Anonymous Oct 15, 2015, 3:21 pm

    I have a Brother M F C -J470DW printer which is making me crazy as it will only part print some pages, , sometimes up to half . Have had it checked but everything is ok. It is still doing it after I have uninstalled it and reinstalled it . It is wasting so much paper and ink and it is only 5 months old!!!.

  • avatar Shawn Oct 27, 2015, 11:54 am

    The answer to this is a bad print head.
    – If you have tried reinstalling the printer drivers.
    – Resetting the printer back to factory defaults.
    – Tried another toner or ink cartridge and tried re-aligning the printer head.
    – Ran the self service cleaning options.
    – Only half of the page is being printed.

    The printer head / fuser is bad and needs replaced. Please check your warranty and get it replaced.

    – Shawn | | Certified IT Technician.

  • avatar Anita Feb 7, 2016, 2:07 pm

    My hp 7400 series prints only one or 2 lines. If I start a new document to print it keeps printing the same old one, 1 or 2 lines. In the print quere it shows no document, even tried to print e mails. Help.

  • avatar Shadi Mar 23, 2016, 3:49 pm

    I have Epson L800 which used to print have a page vertically.
    Solution: Devices and Printers / Your printer’s Printing Preferences / Page Layout == Then uncheck the ‘Reduce Page Size’ checkbox.
    I believe this goes for most Epson printers. Same concept should apply to other printers.
    Hope this will hep someone.

  • avatar Angie Jones Sep 4, 2016, 6:38 pm

    My epson printer is printing my pages half black and half white. I’ve changed both the black and photo black ink, but it’s still doing it. I’ve run every maintenance task on the printer and it won’t stop. Time to get a new printer?

  • avatar aaron Sep 8, 2016, 6:21 am

    My samsung ml-1660 in windows 10 – When I print anything, the first page is followed by a second blank page that jams halfway. It seems the printer is expecting different sized paper. Any idea what the problem is?


  • avatar Mike Russell Nov 14, 2016, 4:23 am

    I have a canon mg 6300 series 3. have just scanned a photo to my apple iMac for restoring.I loaded the finished article back to the printer and it printed out an A4 sized copy . halfway down the photo there was a thin line of missing picture. i thought it was an ink problem and printed a second copy .only half of the image was completed .It had stopped printing at exactly where the previous image was affected.The printer now prints any A4 picture the same ,stopping at the same distance from the top. It will print 6 by 4 inch photos though.

  • avatar Gail Dec 20, 2016, 4:18 pm

    My printer an hpdeskjet 2542 will print one page then the second one only half

  • avatar Apple imac Helpline Number Jan 16, 2017, 6:29 am

    My printer is able to print though giving some error code on upper corner of printer. I have tried reinserting and aligning the cartridges without much success in resolving the error codes issues.

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