Occasionally HP printers can run into an issue known as a PCL XL error. Apparently, the PCL XL error makes it impossible to print certain documents. It can occur intermittently or with every request to print. Fixing it is key to getting the printer to work correctly again.
Different Types of PCL XL Errors
This type of error indicates an interruption in the print stream: for some reason, the printer sees the stream as corrupt. PCL XL refers to a “language” that the computer uses to communicate with the printer. HP forums describe it as being “highly structured,” which is the reason that any little disturbance will be picked up by the printer and keep it from doing its job.
If the user only experiences these errors in an intermittent or seemingly random fashion, it is most likely that the error lies somewhere between the computer and the printer. Anything from a bad cable, to a bad network, to a bad port could lead to a PCL XL error. Possibly the printer itself is at fault.
If the error is more regular or produced every time a document is printed, the cause is most likely a driver issue. Drivers are the programs that let the computer communicate with the printer. These may be difficult to fix.
Several Ways to Fix PCL XL Error
Various activities can create problems with drivers. Changes to networks or the drivers themselves can trigger these errors. Unfortunately, staying on top of Microsoft update may also induce a driver error if one of the updates changes the driver. Try locating the printer’s disk and reinstalling the drivers or going to the manufacturer’s website to download them.
Sometimes, computers have been set up using universal drivers to communicate with the printer, and these seem to have more problems. Locate and download the exact drivers for the printer being used.
Another option that works well for some machines is to disable some extra printing features:
1. In the program you are working with, click File, then Print, then Properties, and finally Advanced.
2. Disable the “Advanced Printing Features” option.
3. Disable the “Print Optimizations.”
This does not necessarily fix the error per se, but allows printing to continue without seeing the error message.
Driver Errors Can Be Registry Errors
Drivers talk to printers by way of the registry, since that is how the computer catalogues these various background files. If a registry entry has been corrupted that deals with the printer-computer connection, the the user may see an error. Research using a registry cleaner to fix a PCL XL error and get the printer running again.