If your HP printer has been acting up or performing slow, there’s a good chance that its printer memory is clogged up. In this article, we’re going to go over what purpose printer memory cards serve, how they can be cleared up without a reset, and how you can go for a last-resort reset if all else has failed.
What is Internal Printer Memory?
Think of the internal printer memory in your HP printer as the RAM in your computer. They’re really more or less the same thing. The printer memory cards, also known as single inline memory modules (SIMMs), store temporary data during the print job to make it faster and smoother. You can find out a lot more about this stuff here: What is printer memory?
PRINTERHEADLINES Tip: Sometimes, a printer will refuse to print and tell you that there isn’t enough memory! Hold your horses, though: there’s no need to add more RAM to solve the problem. We’ll soon explain why this can ofen be solved by a proper purge.
What information does my HP printer store?
Depending on the kind of printer you have and the size of its SIMM card, the internal memory can store all sorts of data. This includes things like color codes, page sizes, fonts, info from your computer and much more. All of these things can end up being cached and improperly purged between printing jobs, leading to messiness.
How do HP printers manage documents being sent to them?
Again, this largely depends on how expensive your printer is, but it’s usually the same process: the internal memory receives a document or image from your computer and then sends it off for printing.
Generally speaking, if you have 2 MB of internal memory but are printing an 80MB document, your printer should be able to handle it as the pages in the document are separate. If you consistently need to print high-res images and documents that exceed the capacity of the internal printer memory, it’s probably time for a SIMM upgrade.
Step #1 before resetting the printer: Delete your print queue
As mentioned, we want to avoid a reset whenever possible, so let’s try the clear memory on a HP printer option first. Open the Start menu, type in “Devices and Printers” in the search box and find your HP printer, then double-click it.
You’ll probably see several print jobs queued, and these are the things clogging up your memory. If you’re having issues, it’s best to just delete each of them.
Step #2 before resetting the printer: Deleting the fax log
Maybe the queue-clearing didn’t do the trick, or maybe you just want to clean the memory out completely. In that case, the fax log needs to go. To clear fax log on HP printer, you’ll be using the printer’s interface instead of the computer’s.
Navigate to the Menu on the printer and then find your way to the “Tools” section by using the arrow keys. The direction of the arrow keys depends on the model, but you’ll generally move down to sift through options. Once you’ve found the Clear Fax Log option, hit the OK button. By now, the internal printer memory should be completely clear and your HP printer ready to continue. If it’s not, though, it’s time for a reset.
How to reset your HP printer
Resetting equals a HP Printer clear memory, but it can cause loss of data. Still, in some cases, it’s unavoidable. If the above steps didn’t do the trick, the internal memory is probably so scrambled that a simple restart won’t be enough.
Instead, we’ll be using the ultimate HP printer reset memory method. Turn off the printer completely and unplug it from the wall socket. Wait a couple of minutes until the printer’s SIMM slowly loses data. One minute is good, ten are even better. When you’re done, plug the printer back in, turn it on, and voila, the memory is finally ready!
Bonus: How to fix the Printer Job Memory Full Error
Like we mentioned before, this is a very common entry on our HP printer error code list, and it occurs when the printer’s internal memory is full. Following the above steps can oftentimes solve it. However, emptying out the memory isn’t always enough.
Sometimes, the printer’s memory is simply not large enough to handle printing whatever document you’re giving it to. If your memory is empty and you’re still getting this error, there are two ways you can fix it:
- Lower the quality of the document that you’re printing: Depending on what the document is, this can involve reducing the resolution, lowering the DPI, adjusting the fonts, lessening the palette of colors being printed or changing the printer driver memory settings. All of this is done on your computer before the print job starts, and we’ll be covering this in our HP printer troubleshooting section.
- Add more memory to the printer: While it sounds simple enough, you’ll definitely want to check our HP printer manuals section, as not all HP printers accept third-party SIMM additions. In case you’re fed up with your old printer and decided to buy a new one with a walloping amount of memory, our HP printer setup will also serve you well.
While all PrinterHeadlines contributors are printer specialists with many years of experience in the tech industry, we will sometimes refer to other articles and websites. This gives our users a chance to both verify the information they’re getting and gives them a chance to explore additional venues of knowledge.
To cite this article, please use:
Bazmarov, Anya in “How to quickly clear the internal memory of your HP Printer,” on PrinterHeadlines.com, Published 2/07/2019, Last Accessed 14/08/2019, https://printerheadlines.com/how-to-clear-memory-on-hp-printer/
References and additional resources (3):
- HP: Support & Drivers section
- PrinterHeadlines: HP PDF manuals section
- Tom’s Hardware Forum Section: Why do printers have RAM?
Photo Credits to:
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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