Tips on Transporting & Storing Your Printer

used ink cartridges being replaced

There are several situations where you may need to transport or store your printer. Maybe you are a student who is headed off to college, or perhaps your office is relocating to a new job. Or maybe your family is moving to a new city and you want to bring your current printer with you to set up in your new home. You could even be remodeling your office and need to safely store your printer somewhere until the work is completed. No matter what your situation may be, knowing how to safely transport and store your printer is important. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure that your device will fire right up when you unpack and reinstall it.

Remove the Inkjet Cartridges

When preparing your printer for transport, removing the ink cartridges is an important first step. If you leave them in your device, they may get jostled around during the trip and spill. Take the cartridges out of your printer and, if possible, place them in their original boxes. Then, put the boxes in a plastic bag. Put the bag inside a larger box and keep track of where the box is so it doesn’t get crushed or damaged in transit. Please note that some manufacturers recommend leaving the inkjet cartridges inside the printer. If you are unsure of what to do, reach out to the manufacturer of your device for expert advice.

Disconnect Cables and Detach Removable Parts

Disconnect any cables that go with your printer and place them in a bag. If your printer has removable trays or other pieces, detach them and place them in a bag too. This helps ensure that these components will not be damaged. Be sure to label the bags with your cables and other printer parts so you can find them quickly.

printer in cardboard box

Box Up Your Printer

To prevent damage to your device, it should be boxed up during your move. Tape any non-removable doors or trays shut. If possible, place your printer in the box it came in originally. If you no longer have that box, one that is similar in size will work, You may want to add some bubble wrap or air pillows to ensure that the device won’t move around inside the box during your trip. Label the box. If you are using a moving service, let them know that the box contains a fragile electronic device.

Storing a Printer

If you need to store your printer for any reason, there are certain steps that must be taken. When improperly stored, the print heads can become clogged, rendering the device unusable. With proper care, though, you can store your printer for an extended period of time without any problems. Turn your printer off, but do not remove the ink cartridges. Next, disconnect the power cable and the USB cord. Wrap the cables up and secure with rubber bands or twist ties. Remove the paper from the tray, then secure removable trays, doors, and panels with masking tape.

Place the printer inside a large plastic bag, such as a trash bag. Put the printer and cables inside a large cardboard box. Surround them with air pillows, crumbled newspaper, packing peanuts, etc. to keep everything from moving around. Seal the box shut and label. Store your printer in a cool, dry area. Avoid storing in an attic. Attics can become extremely hot during the summer months and cause irreparable damage to printers. Many basements should be avoided, too, due to moisture issues. To avoid problems, remove your printer from storage within six months to one year. If stored any longer, the print heads are likely to clog.

printer in office


Whether you are moving across town, to another part of the country, or down the hall, it’s important to know the correct steps for preparing your device. You also need to know exactly what to do when you plan on putting your printer into storage. By following the tips outlined above, you can safely prepare your printer to travel just about anywhere or to be stored for an extended period of time.

Most of today’s printers are well built and can stand up to a decent amount of wear and tear. Taking steps to protect it, though, helps ensure that you won’t encounter any unpleasant surprises when you reach your destination or unpack your device after having it in storage for several months.