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How do I Store My Printer When Not in Use for 6 Months or Longer?

Whether it's your office printer or personal printer for seldom use, you'll come across a time when you won't need to use it for a long time. 

And if you already did, you're probably wondering to yourself, how do I store my printer when not in use for 6 months or longer?  This age-old question haunts almost all of the people who own or work with a printer. 

Luckily, there are ways and techniques through which you can easily store your printer for a long time without the fear of it getting damaged. 

However, there are also steps you can avoid that throw your printer at risk. Thus, to find out and learn the techniques, read on.

What Happens If We Don't Use Printer For Long Time?

As normal as it sounds, printers aren't very good survivors when your printer is idle for 6 months or longer. Keeping your printer unused for months will end up making it have some grave issues like- 

What Happens If We Don't Use Printer For Long Time

Dust Accumulation 

Not touching the printer at all for 6 months or longer means no maintenance or care. As a result, loads of dust gather into the nozzles, the print head, inkpot, and even the scanner. 

Too much-gathered dust can highly affect the performance of your printer as it clogs off in the most unwanted parts. 

Dried out Nozzles 

The most common damage of leaving your printer stored for an extended period of time is getting dried out nozzles. After being left unused for a long time, the nozzles of the print head get dried and unusable. 

Dried out Nozzles

Without the nozzles, your printer won't be able to set ink on the paper you put in. 

Clogged Print Heads 

Another common issue you might face is clogged-up print heads. Months and months' worth of dirt, dust, and particles gets onto the printer heads and finally clog it when not used for long time

Usually, when you leave your inkjet printer sit unused for quite some time, it's always essential to clean the printer heads. But leaving it unused ends up collecting dust and clogs the print heads. 

Damaged Print Quality 

Nozzles dry out when not using the printer for 6 months or longer. And if nozzles dry out, your printer won't print in the quality it used to before. 

Damaged Print Quality

How Do I Store My Printer When Not In Use For 6 Months Or Longer?

Just so your printer might face the consequences for not being in use for a long time doesn't mean it can't be stored at all. In reality, you can store your printer for long term storage by following the mentioned steps- 

How Do I Store My Printer When Not In Use

Step 1: Read Manufacturer's Guidelines

First and foremost, read the manufacturer's guidelines that come with your printer. Depending on the brand and type of the printer, it might have some unprecedented steps. 

If so, simply read the instructions and follow them.

Step 2: Unplug all the Cables and Turn them Off 

Disconnecting the power cable is a must when storing a printer. Hence, unplug all the cables from each corner, so that the data cable and power cable are not connected to the printer anymore. 

Unplug all the Cables and Turn them Off

Make sure your printer is turned off properly after removing all the cables. 

Step 3: Remove Any Left in Paper 

Remove every last ounce of paper left in your printer if you want to store printer for a long time. Check twice in the outer tray and input tray sections of your printer if there's any paper left in or not. If you find one, remove them accordingly. 

Leaving paper in can highly affect your printer as it can clog your printer head drastically. 

Step 4: Clean the Printer Panels and Doors

Before storing your printer, make sure you perform a final cleansing to avoid clogged nozzles. 

Clean the Printer Panels and Doors

Make sure to clean all the nooks and corners of the printer panels and doors. Blow-dry air on extra dust off the nozzles to keep the print heads unclogged. 

Step 5: Cover with Masking Tape 

Take a slab of masking tape and cover all the open ends of the printer with it. 

Make sure to cover all the input and output trays, the scan lid, nozzles, and the printer heads to make it compact and stay put together. 

Step 6: Seal it in a Plastic Wrapper 

When you're done following the above instructions, simply seal the masked printer by covering it with a plastic wrapper. 

Wrapping it in a plastic bag will keep the printer dust-free and moist textured. 

Step 7: Position the Ink Cartridge Upright 

To store the ink cartridges properly, you have to keep them in an upright position. Doing so will prevent the ink from flowing out or drying off. 

Position the Ink Cartridge Upright

Leaving it upside down or flat on the surface can cause ink leakage and make a huge mess. As a result, it'll be a huge waste of product and money. 

Step 8: Enclose it in a Box 

For spotting it easily, enclose your printer into a box. Put an indicator by writing on the box with a marker. 

This will keep your printer safe and give you an indicator of when you'll take it out for use. 

Step 9: Store it in a Cool, Dry Place

Finally, store your printer when its not in use, store in a cool and dry place with sunlight so it can get longest life possible. Make sure the place is dark and sunlight-free, as it can drastically damage your printer. 

Do Printers Go Bad if Not Used?

Whether it's the best home printer for occasional use or the best one for work, it won't last long if you don't use it at all. A printer can go on a lifespan of 24 months to 36 months without use. 

Do Printers Go Bad if Not Used

However, over time your printer's ink cartridges will start to dry out and cause clogging. Other than that, if you follow the appropriate techniques of storing ink cartridges, or even use them once in a while, your printer won't sustain much damage. 

Should I Remove Ink Cartridges When Not in Use?

It's best if you remove your ink cartridges and seal it away in a cool and dry place when your ink tank printer not used for long time

Should I Remove Ink Cartridges When Not in Use

Protecting the ink cartridge from the environment, humid air, and heat can help it last longer. It also helps you to store a hp inkjet printer without affecting its adjustment parts. Even though you can store your printer while keeping the ink cartridge in, it's better not to for longer storage.  


It's a common dilemma to stumble upon a situation where you won't need a printer for a good amount of time. At such times, it's normal to wonder, how do I store my printer when not in use for 6 months or longer? 

That's why we've deduced all the possible techniques, tips, and tricks so that you won't find this a dilemma anymore. Instead, now you can store your printer all by yourself without an inch of damage. 

Inksaver Editor

We're a group of people who love printers and scanners. We want to share our knowledge with you, so you can spend less time researching and more time printing and scanning!

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