Occasionally the Zebra label printers can come out of calibration. This can cause the printer to print excess blank labels or labels that are out of alignment. While some label printing issues require updates to templates or changes within the application, the troubleshooting process for label issues begins with resetting the printer's calibration. This brief article will walk through the process of printer calibration and a couple other useful options. This information is also covered in THIS third party video.

To enter different option modes on the printer, with the power on and the cover closed, hold down the feed button for a few seconds. The printer will progress through a sequence of green flashes on the indicator light next to the feed button. The flashes are sequential (1; 1,2; 1,2,3; etc.). While there are several different modes, the two most commonly used will be the first two, and occasionally the last mode as backup to the other modes.

The most commonly used mode, and the primary purpose of this article, is the auto media calibration mode. This is the second of the sequential modes and can be accessed by holding down the feed button until the light flashes once, followed by once and twice. In this mode, the printer automatically detects the length and type of of the media in the printer. If the printer somehow ends up with the wrong expected media size it can result in misaligned printing or printing blank labels in addition to the label(s) desired and this option should resolve that. Auto calibration will feed 1-4 labels through the printer while calibrating.

The configuration status mode, as the name implies, prints out the current status of the printer. This is the first mode and can be accessed by holding the feed button until the light flashes once. The printout provides some details about the printer that can be useful for additional troubleshooting if the auto calibration doesn't resolve the issue. This also is an easy way to do a test print without having to use a computer to send something to the printer. If an auto calibration fails to resolve the print problem, Xtract support may ask for information from the status printout.

Finally, there is an option for manual media calibration. This option can be reached by holding the feed button until the light flashes through to the 7th sequence (1; 1,2; 1,2,3; 1...7). In this mode, the printer runs additional tests to determine media type, length, and other options to set optimal performance. This option is primarily used when the auto calibration fails to resolve printing issues or if the printer is printing off of the labels. Auto calibrate can occasionally have issues calibrating with pre-printed media so the manual calibration can be useful in these situations.

If you have gone through the print calibration process and the label printer is still not behaving as expected, please contact Xtract support via email or Freshdesk ticket for additional support.