FAQs on Printing

What happens if I get a new College ID card?

Please wait for an hour before using your new College ID card to access the touch card printers.

I get a 'Scanner cannot initialise' error when I try to photocopy.

Please ensure that the flatbed cover is down and there is nothing on the glass when you tap your College ID card.

I get a 'Credit too low' error message when I swipe my College ID card, but I have credit on my account.

If you have recently logged into a different printer but not logged out, your credit may still be reserved by that printer. You may only login to one printer at a time. Reserved credits are released after an hour automatically.

Why do I need to have credit to use the scan to email function when it is a free service?

You are unable to sign in unless there is credit on your account and this applies even for free services such as scan to email.

If you are a member of staff, you should consider asking your department to permit Capped tracking, which means that your department is billed in arrears for staff usage. If you exceed a monthly quota set by your department, you are automatically moved to Pay as you go, thereby capping any bills to be sent to your department.

Why am I debited less than the amount indicated on the printer when I started the print run?

This happens when you print a document with both colour and black and white pages. If you want the colour pages to be printed in colour then you must select colour.

The printer does not know how many pages are black and white and how many are colour when you select this option, so it quotes you as if all of the pages were colour. However, the printer works out the exact number of colour and black and white pages while the job is being completed.

Therefore, when the job completes you are charged for the exact number of colour and black and white pages actually printed and charged at the appropriate rates.

Why have I been charged double the number of sheets?

Double-sided (duplex) printing is twice the cost for each sheet of paper. You can see the charge if you select the ‘information’ option on the printer display.

My College ID card doesn't seem to be registered.

If your card is not recognised at a money loader or printer then login at any printer and enter your username and password when prompted. This will associate your card with your username.

I selected colour but my document has been printed in black and white.

If you are sure that you selected a colour printer and that the document or link you are attempting to print is a colour file, send a copy of the original file or link to the ICT Service Desk.

I'm a Mac user. The keychain isn't prompting me for an updated password and I can't print. How do I fix this?

If you can't print because your Mac keychain isn't prompting you for an updated password, you can try the following options:

  1. Click the circle arrow next to the red x on the printer screen when printing fails. This may bring up a prompt for your updated password.


1. Click on the magnifying glass in the top right hand corner of the screen and search for keychain access.
2. Open Keychain Access and use the search function in the top right corner of Keychain Access to search for safecom.
3. Delete all of the entries listed.
4. Search for printservice in Keychain Access and delete all entries found.
5. Attempt to print again. It should prompt you for a username and password.

If both of the options above fail, follow these steps:

1. Click on the magnifying glass in the top right hand corner of the screen next to your Mac username.
2. Search for terminal and double click on the Top Hit search result: Terminal.
3. Copy and paste this command into the terminal: 

lpadmin -p ICTprintservice -o auth-info-required=username,password

4. Keep the words username and password as they are. Do not substitute for your College/other credentials. The command assumes that the printer name is ICTprintservice, so if you gave the printer a different name when you installed it, substitute it.
5. Wait for it to complete and then try printing again. If it is resolved, you will be prompted for your College username and password.
6. Save your password in your keychain so that you do not have to re-enter it each time.


I'm a student. Do I get charged VAT on printing?


Current students of Imperial College do not pay VAT on personal accounts. Other account types, such as those who have recently graduated and applicants, will be charged VAT.

Student Societies

Student society accounts do not pay VAT on internal transfers within College. For this reason it is preferable that money be added to student society accounts by internal transfer from Student Union funds. VAT is applied to money paid into the account from external sources (such as money paid in by yourself). Many student society accounts will be allocated funds by the student union which will be in place before Freshers' Week. You should also be able to reclaim any out-of-pocket printing expenses from the society as an expenses claim providing the costs have been agreed in advance. This will, however, have to include the VAT as you will claim for the amount you have paid yourself.

What is the difference between a LaserJet and InkJet (PageWide) printer?

The InkJet (PageWide) printer is recommended for everyday print use and is cheaper than the laser printer. The LaserJet printer produces a higher quality print and is recommended when you are after a more professional finish.

All printers will be able to print in both mono (black and white) and colour.

I can't see my documents in my print queue?

If you cannot see your documents in your print queue after you have logged into a College touch card printer, then please make sure that you sent them to the correct print queue name.

  • MPS–Colour on ictprintservice-smb.imperial.ac.uk
  • MPS–Mono on ictprintservice-smb.imperial.ac.uk

If you are still unable to see your documents please contact the ICT Service Desk or print using an alternative method, such as email or from the ICT print service website.