Most office-quality printers manufactured since 2003 have memory chips installed in them. Printer memory is used to speed up the printing process by getting print jobs off from a network print server and into the printer where the print job can be processed and prepared for printing. The issue is that these memory chips retain print jobs that might contain confidential information. Before recycling, selling or relocating a printer, it is safest to remove the memory chips from the printer so that there is no risk of confidential information leaving your office.
Disconnect the printer from the network and from its power source. This eliminates the risk of potential electric shock and prevents other office users from sending print jobs to the printer.
Remove panels from the printer. Using the User's Manual as a guide, locate and remove the panel or panels that cover the printer's hard drive and memory chips. These panels usually are located on the back or underside of the printer and can be removed by using a screwdriver.
Locate and remove the memory chips. The memory chips are inserted into a SIM slot and are held in place by small clips on the side of the SIM slot. You should be able to easily remove the memory chips by hand, but you might need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers when working on small-boxed printers.
Destroy the memory chips or reuse in an identical printer models. To be completely sure that your data does not leave your office, it is best to destroy the memory chips by breaking them into pieces. If you have an identical printer, you might be able to install the memory chips into another printer to expand its memory.
Patrick Phelps began writing professionally in 1996 and has completed writing projects for many businesses, including the University of Southern California, Richard Emmott Marketing in the U.K. and Rydax Systems. Phelps holds a Bachelors of Arts in English and business management from LeMoyne College and is continuing his education in business management at State University of New York, Saratoga Springs.