Here’s the fix when your laser printer is printing shadows

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
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Fixing laser printer printing shadows
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Laser printers are known to have the best quality prints though, as with every other gadget, there are times when the printer might malfunction. And one common issue to be faced with laser printers is that of double prints, or in other words, the printer is printing shadows.

Then again, there are ways to tackle the issue effectively and easily.

Fix laser printer if it’s printing shadows

1. Check imaging drum

A faulty drum is often the prime reason your printer is printing shadows


  1. A drum that is not discharging properly after each print job is a prime culprit for printing shadow prints.
  2. This usually happens if the drum is nearing the end of its life cycle or is defective.
  3. In that case, replacing the drum is the easiest option to get rid of the issue.
  4. If the drum happens to be a part of the toner cartridge, you have no option but to replace the toner as a whole.
  5. An easy way to know if the drum is the culprit is by looking at the prints. If the actual print and the shadow prints are quite close (about 2 – 3 cms), or the same as the drum’s circumference then the drum is at fault and needs to be replaced.

2. Check Fuser unit

Replacing a faulty fuser is often the best solution if your laser printer is printing shadows

  1. A faulty Fuser unit can also lead to the printer printing shadows.
  2. This usually happens if the Fuser is not able to heat the toner powder well enough for the prints to be sharp and precise.
  3. Again, the best way to know if the fuser is malfunctioning is by looking at the prints.
  4. If the actual print and the shadows are a bit further apart, about 4 – 5 cm, then the fuser has gone wrong and its best to replace the same.

3. Use the right paper

Try using the right quality of paper if your laser printer is printing shadows

  1. Make sure you are using paper of the right quality, one that is recommended to be used with the particular printer you are using.
  2. Papers that are too glossy or thick are known to cause shadow prints.

4. Clean the Fuser roller of dust and other debris

Clean the printer fuser roller if your laser printer is printing shadows

  1. Clean the printer as dust accumulation on the inside can also cause shadow prints.
  2. You can use a lint free cloth to clean the fuser roller and adjoining areas to ensure there is no dust or other debris anywhere on the inside.

5. Humidity

Operate your printer in a humidity free zone as too much of it can cause your laser printer to print shadows

  1. All laser printers are designed to operate within a specific heat and humidity range, usually below 80 percent.
  2. Make sure the place where you are operating the printer is within the safe range.
  3. If the place is too hot and humid, this may cause the toner powder to clump.
  4. This, in turn, will tend to cause the printer to print shadows.

6. Toner powder

Toner powder not getting charged properly could be the reason your laser printer is printing shadows

  1. The easiest way to find out if the toner power is causing the shadow prints is by visual inspection of the drum.
  2. If the drum is seen to be covered by the toner, then the toner power is at fault.
  3. This is due to the toner power not getting charged properly.
  4. In that case, you might have to remove the old toner powder or replace the toner cartridge

This is all you need to do if your laser printer is printing shadow prints.

Meanwhile, here are some additional resources you can refer to:

Still having issues? Fix them with this tool:


If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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