The Data LED on Printer is Flashing but the Printer is not Printing.

Article ID: 32428317




You are experiencing an issue similar to the following:

  • You send label request to the printer but it is not responding
  • Print job leaves the  print queue but nothing is printed.
  • Data LED on printer is flashing but the printer is not printing
  • No label are fed out of printer when print job is sent from host.

Applies To

Zebra Printers that use ZPL or EPL printer language

Cause or Overview

You cannot send a plain text file to the printer and expect a label response. The Zebra Printer requires all label requests be in the proper programming label format or the printer will not respond or print. There are several languages a Zebra Printer may require, ZPL or EPL. If the printer does not receive the correct language (sending incorrect commands or using the wrong driver selection) then the printer will not respond.

Zebra printer's use their own native print language to generate a label.   The 2 main languages supported by Zebra's Desktop and Tabletop printers are ZPL and EPL.  Check your printer's specification to determine which language your printer supports.  ZPL and EPL can be sent to the printers as ASCII text but must be in the correct command format.

ZPL Example:

^XA ^FO20,20^A0N,40,40^FDTest Text ^FS ..... and so on

This information takes some understanding of the details associated with the printer and its settings related to the programming language. Basically the following details making sure the printer and source format data are properly matched. 

Problem Resolution

Problem Resolution
ZPL Printer is not responding when I send my label request 
  • Are you sending the printer the correct programming language required for you printer? Use the hex dump feature and examine the data being received. See your Users Guide or the links below for the procedure.
  • If using ZPL make sure the format prefix (i.e. caret ^) is correct. By default this is Hex 5E but can be altered in some environments.  Read More>>
  • For ZPL Printers view the Configuration Label and check that the format prefix matches the data being sent from your application.  Read More>>
  • Check that the  Zebra Protocol setting (view it on the Configuration Label) is set to set to NONE. Read More>> This is only used for Ack-Nak type data interchange.




EPL Printer is not responding when I send my label request 
  •  For EPL make sure each line is terminated by a Carriage Return/Line Feed CR/LF 
  • The EPL format is very specific in the structure so verify all components of the data are properly placed. See the EPL Manual for details Read More>>
  • Are you sending the printer the correct programming language required for you printer? Use the hex dump feature and examine the data being received. See your Users Guide for the procedure




Helpful information

 See the ZPL manual for details. Read More>>

See the EPL manual for detail. Read More>>

 Diagnostic Mode - A communication diagnostic test can be performed to troubleshoot data problems. It does require that your labels are big enough to allow for readable printouts since there may a lot of data printed. This will print straight ASCII hex characters. This communication test will give the ability to see what data the printer is receiving. 

Based on the printer there are different methods used to enable the Communication Diagnostic Mode.

Enable Diagnostic mode on a Xi Series& PAX4 Read More>>

Enable Diagnostic mode on a  105SL Read More>>

Enable Diagnostic mode on a  Z Series Read More>>

Enable Diagnostic mode on a S4M Read More>>

Enable Diagnostic mode on a Desktop printer Read More>>

+ Product Codes

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