Is Your Retro Label Maker Not Printing? I Have a Fix For That.

I bought a label maker and it worked great until it didn’t work at all.  Have a Dymo label maker that’s acting all screwy and doesn’t print? I have a fix for that.

Antique wood apothecary drawer being pulled out shows a label on the side of the drawer outlining the contents of it.

Juggling a fulfilling life as a semi-professional Instagram scroller and potato chip advocate doesn’t leave a lot of time for searching for things in my house.  One lost salad bag could lead to disaster; a missed farmhouse kitchen shot or a photo of chocolate cake with violas sprinkled on top. 

In an attempt to get my stuff better organized a few weeks ago I bought an old timey label maker. And I love it. Take a look at how I did all of the drawers on my antique hardware cabinet. Or possibly apothecary cabinet. I haven’t quite figured that out yet. 

Dymo Organizer Xpress label maker being held over a marble counter, with the word "STUFF" printed out neatly from the device.

Nope, it’s not technical, doesn’t require batteries OR a software update.  But it is mechanical, which means mechanical type things can go wrong with it. I discovered this fact after blowing through an entire roll of tape in about the same amount of time it takes me to blow through a party sized bag of Ruffles and dip.

Small black label with the word STUFF printed on it from a properly working Dymo label maker.

The Dymo labeller worked perfectly for its first go round, but after I changed the tape in it, for some reason instead of typing out letters it typed out this …

Dymo label maker with mangled label sticking out of it. The result of not having the arrows lined up properly.

Just a couple of chewed up looking bumps. I immediately started cursing myself with largely made up swear words (snarklefart, habbityass) for buying the cheaper version of the tape, not the official Dymo tape.  THAT was obviously the problem. It was the cheap tape.  

Only, I found the box of tape and realized I had been wildly extravagant and did buy the official Dymo tape.

So what was the problem?  Why was my new label maker not printing anything other than Klingon braille?

Woman's fingers with black nail polish and gold ring, holding a black Dymo label that hasn't printed properly.

If you take a look at your label maker, just underneath the “Scissor” icon, there are two arrows.

Looking down onto the top of a Dymo Organizer Xpress label maker.

These two arrows, need to line up with the two arrows on the lower ring. 

The arrows on the side rings of a Dymo label maker not lining up properly.

As you can see, when my labeller was printing all habbityass, the arrows were not lined up.

Turning the lower ring so the arrows lined up fixed everything.

The arrows on both rings of the Dymo label maker lining up perfectly, to create proper labels.

Such a simple fix. Yet so elusive.

How to Fix a Dymo Label Maker

How to Fix a Dymo Label Maker

Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Difficulty: Easy

Have a Dymo label maker that quit printing? The fix is fast and easy.


  • Dymo Label Maker


  • No tools necessary.


  1. Take a look at your label maker. Right under the scissor icon on the top ring you'll see two arrows pointing down.
  2. On the ring below look for those same arrows, that are pointing up. Align the two rings so the arrows are directly in line with each other.
  3. Done.


If the arrows on the side of the Dymo label maker rings aren't lined up it causes all kinds of problems including not printing, jamming and slipping.

Recommended Products

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Go forth labellers and print to your heart’s content now.

Dymo Xpress label maker, with newly printed "You're Welcome" label sticking out of it.

I took a quick look on Amazon to see the reviews of this label maker and sure enough it gets very low reviews, and all of them are because of this very issue. Had they only spent a few minutes figuring it out they’d have a house full of labels with time left over to to watch 30 second videos of impossibly cute goats bounce off of a shed.

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Is Your Retro Label Maker Not Printing?  I Have a Fix For That.


  1. Michele says:

    I feel so silly now! I wasted soo much time and tape not knowing why it wasn’t working. Thanks for the pictures and simple solution :)

  2. Julie says:

    This was great, thank you so much! My label maker is fixed! :)

  3. Ada says:

    THANK YOU. I thought mine was broken for the longest time. Also, for some reason mine doesn’t have the arrows (maybe they faded) but it was still easy to line up. I sharpied in my own arrows haha.

  4. Victoria says:

    Genius! Thank you so much, you’ve saved us much time.

  5. missy says:

    the exaaaact same thing happened to me! luckily, my dad helped me figure it out, but i was in mortal anguish before we figured out what was wrong. lol.

  6. Michael Elliott says:

    Thank you.
    Simple, but as you say…elusive.
    I can now get back to my favourite hobby…labelling.

  7. June says:

    Omg just. Thank you for posting this. It’s such an inexpensive gadget but I was upset it suddenly stopped working after over a year. This fixed it right up!

  8. Jen says:

    How brilliant! You saved my label maker… ahem I mean me. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  9. Grace says:

    Thank you!!! My dymo started printing the same Klingon braille and I was able to fix it with your instructions! Back to compulsively labeling everything in my apartment.

  10. Angela K. says:

    You do understand that you are required, by all things that make no sense, to label your label maker. If it isn’t labeled, is IT really a label maker? And yes, both my old Dymos and new digital one (don’t remember the brand) are both labeled. :-DAnge

  11. Sarah McDonnell says:

    Honestly, how many other readers have no Dymos but are here to learn handy and useful words like “habityass”? Raise hands.

  12. Renee Ryz says:

    Dang – wish I would have kept mine. It was real old school – avacado green and everything. I labeled anything that didn’t move. Got rid of it because I couldn’t find tape for it anymore. That was before this thing they call the internet…

  13. Shelly says:

    When people ask what my favorite Christmas present was as a child I tell them it was a label maker. The old-fashioned turn and squeeze kind that made your hand sore after about 4 labels. I was a tad on the OCD side and didn’t like anyone touching my stuff. My Mom told my sister that if my name was on something, then she wasn’t to touch it. I started with the doorknob to my bedroom and went from there. I think almost everything had a label on it by the end of Christmas break.

  14. Raymond Secrist says:

    I have a dymo lableler no tape were to buy ?????????

  15. Sabina says:

    I love my Dymo labeler but admittedly I have a digital version. I like it much better…except when I have to change the batteries…

  16. Sarah says:

    As someone who is fluent in Klingon braille, you should be ashamed of yourself. ;-)
    And, a blog on all your lovely jewelry would be awesome. I am definitely a fan.

  17. Laura Overturf says:

    Habbityass and Klingon Braille😂
    You crack me up❤️

  18. JB says:

    What are salad bags????

  19. billy sharpstick says:

    The bluetooth 4.0 version doesn’t have that problem.

  20. Cathy Reeves says:

    Had one of these eons ago, like 1964 yrs ago. Then I bought one in this millennia to organize craft crap. My biggest issue is with the tape; the sticky isn’t very. Labels unstuck in the middle and eventually fell off.
    Here’s hoping they’ve improved the glue.

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