People use HP printers in homes, offices, and schools. The printer brand has become a household name today. Although the printers give a high performance most times, you cannot prevent technical glitches in the device. HP printer not printing black or dark enough is a prevalent problem.

If you are also dealing with it, it’s essential to find some effective fixes. Surprisingly, there are many ways to resolve this printer issue. You can be confident that one of them will work for you. This article will give you all the detailed instructions for fixing this problem.

Why Is My HP Printer Not Printing Black?

It is very rare that HP printer users come across issues in their printing devices. But you need to become cautious when your printer does not print black. Some probable reasons for this problem are as follows:

  • A printhead problem
  • You’ve installed the wrong cartridges.
  • A problem with printer drivers.
  • An issue with paper settings.
  • You are not using genuine HP cartridges.
  • The cartridges have low ink.
  • The printhead is not aligned.

Measures to Take When HP Printer Won’t Print Black

Now that you are familiar with the causes, you can proceed to troubleshoot. Here are the best methods for you to try.

Conduct a basic troubleshooting

It may be possible that all you need to fix this problem is a basic troubleshooting process. Follow these steps to get your printer printing black again.

  • Switch off the printer and unplug it from the power source. Disconnect every USB cable.
  • After some time, you can connect your printer and plug it in again. Thus, your printer will get turned on
  • Now, print a test page. You can find the option of ‘Print Test Page‘ on the display screen.
  • Inspect the levels of ink to check the ink volume present in the cartridges. In case you use an aftermarket cartridge that does not display ink levels, find a way by which you can see the ink levels.

Inspect your ink cartridge

All those wondering why my HP printer is not printing black should first check their ink cartridge. Go through the following points to check it.

  • If there is any cartridge that’s empty or has low ink levels, replace them.
  • Ensure that you have snapped the cartridges into place. They should also be properly installed in a suitable slot.
  • Did you recently install a new cartridge? If so, you need to check that you have taken away the tape over the vent.
  • See whether the vents are clogged or not. If they are, clean up the clog on them using a pin.
  • You can also try to use another ink cartridge to find whether your printer is able to identify cartridges. In case the printer worked well with an old cartridge, try to install that again. Now, check if your printer is producing the needed output.
  • If you find your printer can print well with the old cartridge, the problem lies with the new ink cartridge. It may be faulty, and you should replace it.

Clean the printhead

If your printing device has clogged nozzles, it will not print black ink. So, cleaning it is a perfect resolution for this problem. Remember that you might need to clean the printhead a couple of times to restore the quality of the print. To clean it, choose the option of ‘Deep Cleaning‘ or ‘Clean Printhead.’ You can locate it under the ‘Printer Maintenance‘ menu. You can also find the option on the ‘Control Panel‘ of your printer. After choosing that option, you might get a print of the page showing the pattern output for different colors. So, it is necessary to ensure that you have loaded some paper into your device before you clean the printhead. For more details, check the printer’s manual.

Launch the printer troubleshooter

Using the printer troubleshooter can also allow you to fix this HP Printer problem. It is one of the easiest resolutions that you can try. So, whenever you find your HP Printer not printing black ink, use the troubleshooter by following these steps.

  • On the search bar, input ‘printer.’
  • Then select ‘Printers & Scanners.’
  • Choose ‘Troubleshoot your printer.’ Follow it by clicking ‘Run the troubleshooter.’
  • Select your HP printer model present in the troubleshooter window. After that, hit the ‘Next‘ button to resolve the printing with the troubleshooter.

Use HP Print and Scan Doctor

HP Print and Scan Doctor is an effective tool to help you fix this problem. To resolve this issue with this tool, follow the steps below.

  • Download the Setup wizard of HP Print and Scan Doctor software.
  • To install the software, tap ‘HPPS.dr.exe.’
  • Choose the ‘Start‘ option to select your printer. Then, hit the ‘Next‘ button.
  • Choose the option that says ‘Fix Printing.’
  • The software will display wrench icons. It shows that something is fixed. When you see them, exit the troubleshooter and try printing again.
  • Users can also see the X icon. If you see it, continue with the troubleshooting. Adhere to the instructions it gives to resolve the problem.

Switch your paper settings to Glossy

If you can’t pinpoint where the problem lies, it may be that the printer driver is faulty. You can modify the paper settings to fix the issue. Change the settings of the printer driver to select ‘Glossy photo paper.’ It can make the printer start printing the documents. But this method is only applicable to printers with two black cartridges.

One of these cartridges is pigment-based, and the other is dye-based. The kind of black ink your printing device utilizes depends on the paper type you have selected. Pigment black ink is suitable for matte paper. Dye-based ink is appropriate for glossy paper.

Align the printhead

You will always find that your HP printer won’t print black if it hasn’t been calibrated. Thus, when you calibrate your device, it will fix this problem. Your printer will have an ‘Align Printhead‘ option on the menu of ‘Printer Maintenance.’ Choose that option to calibrate the device and print an alignment page.

Final Words

All the methods listed above will come in handy when you find your HP printer not printing black. They are not difficult to understand and apply. But there’s no need to worry if the problem remains. Reach out to an expert HP printer customer service to get this issue resolved quickly.


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