My HP laser printer printing gibberish: Try these solutions

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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  • If your printer is printing random symbols that is a common driver-related issue.
  • The problem can be addressed by running the troubleshooter from Windows 10.
  • Another way of dealing with the printing of weird symbols is to update your drivers.
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the printer as shown below may also fix this annoying problem.
my hp laser printer printing gibberish
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If the data sent to the printer is corrupted or interrupted, you may notice the printer printing gibberish instead of the source document. So, you might be asking yourself: Why is my printer printing random symbols?

This printing of random symbols is a common driver related issue and can happen with any printer as reported by several printer users in the Microsoft Community Answers.

Actually, I’m going to install HP laserjet 5L in my laptop. and of course I used the windows update which is in the Add a Printer tab, and install the laserjet 5L driver. the problem is when I’m trying to print a document it appears like symbols and random letters.

Follow the steps in this article fix the HP printer is printing gibberish problem.

What can I do if my printer is printing random symbols?

1. Run Printer Troubleshooter

  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Click on Update and Security.
  3. Click on Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Under Group and running click on the Printer.
  5. Now click on Run the Troubleshooter.
    Printer troubleshooter my hp laser printer printing gibberish
  6. Now Windows will run the troubleshooter and scan for any issues affecting the printer.
  7. Apply any recommended fixes and reboot the system. Try to print again and check for any improvements.

This is an easy solution that can be applied to fix this problem for most users. However, it doesn’t work for all the users so if you’re among them, go for the next solution.

2. Update the printer driver

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type devmgmg.msc and press OK to open Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager, expand the Printer section.
  4. Right-click on your printer and select Update Driver.
    my hp laser printer printing gibberish
  5. Select Search automatically for updated driver.
    my hp laser printer printing gibberish
  6. Windows will look at any pending updates for the driver and install it. This may require an internet connection to download new drivers.
  7. If the updates are installed, reboot the computer and check for any improvements.

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This looks like a straightforward solution to update the drivers but it doesn’t work every time. Windows 10 will load a generic driver that might not be the best working driver for your printer.

You can also go to the manufacturer’s website and get the right driver for your printer but that takes time and if you’re not installing the exact one, you will be back to square 1.

The solution is to use a third-party software that takes care of fixing and updating your drivers automatically. The solution recommended below is quick, safe, and effortless.

Most of the time, the generic drivers for your PC’s hardware and peripherals are not properly updated by the system.There are key differences between a generic driver and a manufacturer’s driver.Searching for the right driver version for each of your hardware components can become tedious. That’s why an automated assistant can help you find and update your system with the correct drivers every time, and we strongly recommend DriverFix. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download and install DriverFix.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for the detection of all your faulty drivers.
  4. DriverFix will now show you all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.


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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

3. Clear the Printer Queue

  1. Clearing the printer queue can help you to clear any unwanted printing tasks that may be creating issues with the printer data.
  2. Press Windows key + R to open Run.
  3. Type control and press OK to open Control Panel.
  4. Go to Hardware and Sound and select Printers and Devices.
    my hp laser printer printing gibberish
  5. Now double-click on your printer.
  6. Cancel all the print jobs assigned to the printer.
  7. You should also be able to cancel the print jobs from the taskbar.
  8. Now try to print again and check for any improvements.

4. Uninstall and reinstall your printer

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type control and press OK to open Control Panel.
  3. Go to Hardware and Sound and click on Devices and Printers.
  4. Now right-click on the printer that you want to remove and select Remove Device.
    my hp laser printer printing gibberish
  5. Click Yes to confirm the action.
  6. Once the Printer is removed, you need to reinstall the printer.

That’s it! By applying these simple solutions, the HP laser printer printing gibberish should be fixed. If not, you should contact your manufacturer for technical support.

Did you manage to fix the problem with our solutions? Do you have any other solutions for this issue? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • This is a common driver-related issue. Here’s a list with the best driver update software to fix this issue.

  • It might be a problem with the printer cartridges. Here’s a great guide on how to fix blurry printing.

  • If your printer is printing gibberish symbols, try running the Windows 10 dedicated troubleshooter. If that doesn’t work, we have a great article on what to do if your printer is printing gibberish.

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