Steps to Prevent and Identify Duplicate or Missing Labels when Trying to Fix or Resolve Common Printing Problems – Thermal Printer Instruction Article


This Instruction Article explains best practices on how to prevent and/or identify duplicate and missing labels while fixing a printer problem for most brands of thermal printers (e.g. Zebra, Intermec, DataMax, Sato, Honeywell, etc.). The common problems this article is written to address includes:

  • Paper or Label Jam
  • Printer Runs Out of Labels (Change of Label Roll Required)
  • Printer Runs Out of Ribbon (Change of Ribbon Roll Required)
  • Printer Stopped to Allow Correction of Alignment Issue


IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT TURN OFF THE PRINTER – this is important. If you turn off the printer, you may loose the print job or the system will reprint the entire job again.

  1. Verify Printer is Off-Line – Most printers will automatically go off-line if a problem is detected. If the printer is not already in the off-line state, take it off-line. Reference print manuals if needed (see links below for access to manuals and videos for some popular thermal printer band models).
  2. Open the Printer
  3. Remedy the Problem – Clear the paper jam, replace the ribbon or add new label stock.
  4. Close the printer
  5. Positon Next Label – Press Feed or Form Feed button to advance label(s) and check to make sure that the label stops at the correct position.
  6. Put Printer Back “On-Line”
  7. Check for Missing or Duplicate Labels – When the printing resumes, compare the labels just before the problem happened with the first few labels to see if there are missing or duplicate labels.  It is easier to check for missing or duplicates If you label has counter or serial number. If all the labels are the same, you may have to count them.


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