How to Clear and Erase Printer Memory

Why do You want to Clear Printer Memory?

If you are selling your printer or giving it to another person you should remember that your data is still in it. To prevent data breaching you should erase your printer memory. Many people do not think of printers as a potential security weak point within their business.

After all, a printer just spits out pieces of paper, right? All of the information is held on the laptops, computers, and smartphones of the users within the business.

This information is important for you and any data thief can take it out and can use it in the wrong way.

When people think about data breaches, they often think of the stereotypical movie scene where the hacker is smashing on the keyboard, typing furiously, all to gain access to the computer of their victim.

In reality, data theft is not like what is shown in a movie. However, printer security is not that simple but it is necessary to maintain the security.

So, in this article, we will help you to erase the memory of your printer and other key aspects related to the security of your data on your printer.

Do Printers Have Hard Drives?

You also may don’t have an idea about the hard drives of the printer. Let’s see do they have hard drives or not? Many people see a printer as a pass-through device that simply translates data held on the computer it is connected with.

The printer just puts out things or data in a hard copy that you want from your computer. So, do printers have hard drives?

The answer to that last question is: maybe, whether or not. A printer that has a hard drive depends totally on the type of printer that you have.

For instance, a larger multi-function printer will likely have a hard drive onboard while a smaller, personal printer may not. It totally depends on the printer that you have.

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Even if your printer does not have a hard drive, it will have a small cache of memory from previous print jobs that may not automatically clear out after the work is complete.

Understanding how to properly manage and dispose of devices with this kind of information is important to maintaining the privacy and security of your data, to prevent data breaching.

So, let’s see how will you erase your printer memory and maintain your security.

How to Erase Printer Memory Before Recycling?

Recycling your old printer is definitely a great idea when you are moving on to the new device. It ensures that the parts of the printer will be disposed of correctly.

However, before you take your printer to the electronics recycling, are you sure that all of the data of yours has been removed? This one step can make a huge difference in protecting your data and the data of your company, data of your customers.

Learning how to erase printer memory will ultimately depend on what type of printer you have. If you still have your manual on hand, you may want to consult an IT professional for detailed instructions.

IT professionals can help you much better in erasing the memory of your printer.

Generally, the best way for clearing printer memory before recycling is to use the provided menu on the printer itself. Within the menu, there should be settings options for clearing data.

On an MFP with a hard drive, this may be written as a “restore to factory settings” option. On basic personal printers, the option will be also shown as “delete print queue.”

If you work in a government agency as well as businesses in the health care or finance fields, for example, deal with highly sensitive customer data that cannot be revealed to anyone except authorized users, or another industry that handles sensitive data of the country and its citizens or personal data than these methods of erasing data may not be adequate.

In that case, you may have to consider professional data removal or even destruction of the storage device to ensure no data remains after the device has left your care, to prevent the data breaching.

Also, another step is there to clear the print queue on Windows 7 or Windows 8 is to open the Devices and Printers control panel and right-click the printer that needs clearing. Click “See What’s Printing.” Open the “Printer” menu, pick “Cancel All Documents” and choose “Yes.” The list will clear within a few seconds or a minute.

If one or more print jobs remain on the list, reboot your computer to clear out the memory. Every computer has its own list for a networked printer, so you might need to perform this operation on multiple computers if canceling the jobs on one PC doesn’t solve the problem.

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Some printers have a function that saves setup information to long-term memory that lasts even if you unplug the machine. This includes information such as network settings and paper settings.

Clearing this memory is also called a cold reset that reverts your printer’s settings to the manufacturer’s defaults. This can solve stubborn printer problems, but it is not necessary for dealing with stuck print jobs.

The process to clear permanent memory totally depends on the brand and model you have. For example, on many HP Laser-jet printers, you need to hold the “Go” button while rebooting the machine.

So now you know how to erase the memory of your printer. But do you ensure the security of your data and device while buying it? If not, then you must know about this. Let’s see how can you secure your printing.

What is Secure Printing?

Secure printing is an option within the print menu on your personal computer. When you select secure printing from the drop-down menu on your computer, you will be asked to set a PIN, which you will enter at your printer in order to begin the printing work.

This means that the document will be held in storage and only printed out once you are standing at the printer and have entered your unique PIN.

Obviously, not all printers have this type of feature. If you are working with sensitive data and you feel secure printing is a required feature, then you should ask to go for a secure printer modal.

We hope this article is helpful to you.