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Printed Colors Are Not the Colors Expected

  • PrintPrint
This document applies to the following products:
  • HP Photosmart C5140, C5150, C5170, C5173, C5175, and C5177 All-in-Ones
  • HP Photosmart C5180, C5183, C5185, C5188, C5190, and C5194 All-in-Ones

Issue

The printer is working, but the colors in the printed output are not the expected colors. The output may look as if only one color has printed, or as if a color has not printed, or as if the wrong colors have been printed.

Solution

Complete the following steps to resolve this issue.

Step one: Check ink levels

If the print defect is minor, it might be caused by reserve mode operation. When the printer runs out of some colors, it can continue printing using remaining inks, but print quality may be affected. If cyan, magenta, or yellow is out, the printer can print only in grayscale.
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP ink. If ink cartridges have been refilled, try replacing them with genuine HP ink cartridges.
Replace any empty print cartridges.
To access the ink level gauge, follow these steps.
  1. Press Setup.
  2. Press to select Tools, then press OK.
  3. Select Display Ink Gauge and press OK. The ink levels are displayed.
    Figure 1: Ink levels
    • Each icon corresponds to the cartridge that is the color of the icon. The icons are also in the same order, from left to right, as the cartridges in the printer.
    • If an icon is empty, the corresponding cartridge may need to be replaced soon.
    • The ink levels in non-HP, refilled, and remanufactured cartridges cannot be read by the printer. Instead of an icon, a question mark is displayed for these cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP ink. Printer service or repairs required as a result of printer failure or damage attributable to the use of non-HP ink will not be covered under warranty.

Step two: Calibrate the color

If the cartridges have not been refilled and none are empty, try calibrating the color.
  1. Open the printer Toolbox:
    1. Open HP Solution Center (click Start, then All Programs, then HP, then HP Solution Center).
    2. If you have more than one printer installed, make sure to select the correct printer tab in HP Solution Center.
    3. Click Settings.
    4. Click Print Settings.
    5. Click Printer Toolbox.
  2. On the Device Services tab, click Calibrate Color, then follow the onscreen instructions. The procedure takes about two minutes and requires two sheets of paper.

Step three: Clean the printhead

If the steps above did not help, clean the printhead.
  1. Open the All-in-One Toolbox:
    1. Open HP Solution Center (click Start, click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center).
    2. If you have more than one All-in-One installed, make sure to select the correct All-in-One tab in HP Solution Center.
    3. Click Settings.
    4. Click Print Settings.
    5. Click Printer Toolbox.
  2. On the Device Services tab, click Clean the Print Cartridges, and then follow the onscreen instructions. Three levels of cleaning are available.

Step four: Contact HP

These steps apply to all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.
If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.
Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .
  • If your product is in warranty, contact HP.
  • If your product is out of warranty, fees might apply for contacting HP.

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