Printing directly from ShipStation to your printer involves multiple variables relating to communication between both hardware and software. So, if you have created a label, but can’t print it, there are a few simple things you should check...
- Is your printer communicating with your computer?
- Is ShipStation Connect running on your printer workstation?
This article will guide you through the process of answering each question.
Is your printer communicating with your computer?
The easiest way to test this is to try printing something outside of ShipStation. You can either download a PDF of your document (a label, for example) and print through a PDF reader, like Acrobat or Preview. Or you can print a test label directly from the printer driver. A successful print using these methods can help eliminate hardware as the source of the printing problem.
Printing a test label
Windows users: go to your Devices and Printers Control Panel, then right click on your printer and choose Printer Properties. Click the Print Test Page button in the General tab, as shown in this example image.
Note: different printers on Windows may have this option in a slightly different place within Printer Properties.
Mac users: Access the CUPS interface as instructed in this article and select the printer. Under the Maintenance drop-down select Print Test Page, as shown in the following example image.
If you are unable to print a test label or a PDF outside of ShipStation, you may need to contact your printer manufacturer to troubleshoot a hardware, driver, or printer configuration issue.
If you have confirmed your printer can print successfully outside of ShipStation, move on to the next step.
Is ShipStation Connect running on your printer workstation?
ShipStation Connect is the standalone app that allows ShipStation’s web app to send documents to your printer. Check to make sure Connect is running on your printer workstation.
Windows Users: ShipStation Connect needs to be visible in the System Tray on the printer workstation (typically located in the lower right). You may need to click an arrow in the tray to see all of your System Tray icons. Either way, you should be able to locate the green ShipStation Connect icon shown below:
Mac Users: ShipStation Connect needs to be visible in the Menu Bar on the printer workstation (typically in the top right). You should see the black ShipStation Connect gear that will give you the option to manage your Settings or Exit, as shown below:
Connect is not running:
If the above icon is not where it is supposed to be, on either platform, then you may just need to launch ShipStation Connect.
Windows users: Search for ShipStation Connect in your Windows Browser, or open from your Programs folder. If prompted to log in, use your admin ShipStation username and password.
Mac users: Use Spotlight to search for ShipStation Connect, or launch from your Applications folder.If prompted to log in, use your admin ShipStation username and password.
Connect is running:
It’s possible something has blocked communication between the web app and Connect (physically disconnecting the printer while Connect is running, or certain security programs could cause this).
Just deactivate Connect then reactivate Connect to get them talking again!
1. Open the Connect settings (for Windows, just click the Connect icon in the system tray... For Mac, click Settings from the drop-down).
2. Click Deactivate Workstation.
3. Check your username and password are correct and click Register This Computer.
For more details on troubleshooting ShipStation Connect specifically, check out this article.
If you've checked the above and are still unable to print, please open an email ticket or chat with our support team so we can look into this with you further (and scroll down for an alternate print method to get you printing in the meantime).
The best way for us to help you troubleshoot a printing issue is by doing a screen share. We use the TeamViewer app for screen sharing. You can download the client version from HERE so you'll be ready to screen share as soon as you reach support.
If you are unable to troubleshoot with us right away, or you need to print before we respond to your request, you can view or download PDF versions of your documents to print them outside of ShipStation. Remember, while the physical print job for a shipping label might have failed, a PDF version of that label was still generated in ShipStation and is available to print from the Shipments tab.
As long as you're able to download these PDFs, and open them up in your computer's PDF viewer or browser, you should be able to print your documents that way!
To print labels (or other documents) from a PDF, follow the steps below:
- Go to your Shipments tab, and select the shipment you need.
- Click on Print in the action bar, and choose Labels. Note: if you have a default printer configured, you’ll need to click and hold the Labels option for about 1 second to override the default selection and bring up the Print pop-up window.
- Select the Preview in Browser option to view and print a PDF from your browser, or choose Download a PDF option to download the document and print from a PDF reader.
- For either option, in your PDF viewer's Print dialog box, make sure you have the correct printer and paper size selected, and then click Print. Your documents should then print to your printer!
You can easily adapt the steps above to get a PDF version of any ShipStation document. If your printer cannot properly print PDF files, that's a sign that you're having a printer issue that is unrelated to ShipStation. We're happy to help with those kinds of problems as well since anything preventing you from printing a ShipStation label is a problem we want to help you solve!