Why does my laser printer have shadows?

Updated February 21, 2017

A laser printer refers to a common type of computer printer that generates graphics and text on a print medium, such as paper, via laser technology. Laser printers can develop technical problems, which can produce a shadow effect on a printed document.


A laser printer shadow refers to an image or text "double" produced on the print medium after laser printing. A shadow can give the appearance of the text or image as being dragged or smeared down the page, and often produces a grey outline beneath individual characters or graphics.


A laser printer produces a shadow effect based on factors, such as a worn fusing assembly. An accumulation of toner on the fuser also can result in excess toner around the characters and graphics, generating shadows. Toner, dust or other sediments settling on the scanner assembly lens also can cause a shadow.


Disassemble the laser printer to locate and resolve the shadow issue. Any worn components should be replaced, and dirty elements wiped clean. If these actions do not restore printer function, then the laser printer may require replacement.

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