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'Cartridge Problem', 'Incompatible Cartridge', or 'Cartridge Missing or Damaged' Message Appears on the Computer

  • PrintPrint

Issue

After installing a cartridge or during normal use, the product does not print. The status lights blink and an error message might display on the computer:
  • Cartridge problem
  • Cartridge missing or damaged
  • Incompatible cartridge
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality of non-HP cartridges
These errors, including Incompatible cartridge can occur with the correct HP cartridges under certain circumstances. The cartridge might need to be reinstalled, the electrical contacts could be dirty, the cartridges might need to be aligned, or there could be a failure of the cartridge or printer.
The graphics used here might vary slightly from your product model, but the steps remain the same.

Solution

Try the following steps in the order presented. When one of the steps resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
NOTE:If two new cartridges were installed, perform the steps on both cartridges.
Make sure that the newly installed cartridges are compatible with your product.
Click this link, HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Click this link, HP SureSupply .
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Step one: Remove, inspect, and reinstall the cartridges

If a cartridge does not have full electrical contact with the printer, a cartridge error message may appear. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge might help.
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges.
  1. Make sure that the printer is turned on.
  2. Open the printer cover, and wait until the print carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Press down lightly on the end of the cartridge to release it.
    Figure 1: Removing the tricolor cartridge
  4. Slide the cartridge out and inspect it.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 2: Copper-colored electrical contacts and nozzles
    1 - Copper-colored electrical contacts
    2 - Nozzles
  5. Check the copper-colored electrical contacts for debris.
  6. Make sure that all the clear protective tape has been removed from the nozzles.
    Figure 3: Removing the clear protective tape from the nozzles
    Illustration of a cartridge with the protective tape still attached.
    1 - Protective tape
    CAUTION:Do not attempt to remove the copper electrical strip.
  7. Make sure that the cartridge is compatible with the printer. The cartridge number can be found on the cartridge label. To find a list of cartridges that are compatible with the printer, go to HP SureSupply .
    Figure 4: HP cartridge with cartridge number on top
    View of the cartridge number placement on a HP cartridge
    1 - Cartridge number
    If the cartridge is not compatible with the printer, skip to the step to replace the cartridge .
    If the cartridge is compatible with the printer, continue with the steps in this document.
  8. Reinstall each cartridge into the printer, and slide it into the empty slot at a slight upward angle. Then gently push forward on the upper part of the cartridge until it snaps into place.
    • Cartridges marked with a triangle go into the left print carriage slot.
    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon go into the right print carriage slot.
    Figure 5: Pushing the cartridge into place
    Image of cartridge being installed
  • If these steps resolved the issue , there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , see the next step.

Step two: Clean the cartridge contacts

If the cartridge contacts are dirty, a cartridge error message may appear. Cleaning the contacts might help.
Collect the following items before cleaning the contacts:
  • Clean, distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water can contain contaminants that are damaging to the cartridge.
  • Clean cotton swabs, or any soft, lint-free material that does not stick to the cartridges (coffee filters work well).
  • Sheets of paper or a paper towel to place the cartridges on during cleaning.
Follow these steps to clean the cartridge contacts:
  1. Open the printer cover and wait until the print carriage stops moving.
  2. Remove the cartridges and place them on a piece of paper with the nozzle plates facing up.
    NOTE:Clean the copper-colored electrical contacts quickly so that the cartridges are not outside of the printer for more than 30 minutes. If a cartridge is outside of the printer for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  3. Turn off the printer, and then unplug the power cord.
  4. Use a slightly damp swab, or other lint-free material to clean the copper-colored electrical contacts.
    CAUTION:Do not clean the ink nozzles. Doing so may damage the cartridge.
    Figure 6: Cartridge
    View of the cartridge with area to be  cleaned.
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  5. Clean the contacts in the print carriage, located inside the printer.
    Figure 7: Print carriage contacts
  6. Dry the cleaned area using one of two methods:
    • Allow the cartridge to sit for 10 minutes.
      Or
    • Use a clean cotton swab to dry the area.
  7. Reinstall the cartridges into the printer.
  8. Plug in the power cord and turn on the printer.
  9. Close the printer cover.
  10. Try to print a page. If the page prints correctly and no error messages appear, you are done.
    If the issue continues, proceed to the next step.

Step three: Repeat the cleaning and reinstalling steps

If the issue persists, repeat the steps to Remove, inspect, and reinstall the cartridges and Clean the cartridge contacts .
  • If these steps resolved the issue , there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists , see the next step.

Step four: Replace the cartridge

If cleaning and reseating the cartridge does not fix the problem, replace the cartridge with a new, compatible HP cartridge.
Important: To check if your ink supplies can be replaced under warranty, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country, and look for ‘ink supplies warranty’.
If you do not have a replacement cartridge, you can still print in ink backup mode. Simply remove the problem cartridge, and print with the remaining cartridge.
  • If you remove the tri-color cartridge, printouts will be in grayscale.
  • If you remove the black or photo cartridge, the product prints slowly and the colors in the printouts might differ.
  1. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging and, being careful to touch only the black plastic, gently remove the clear protective tape using the pull tab.
    Figure 8: Removing the clear protective tape from the nozzles
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or ink nozzles. Also, do not retape the cartridges. Doing so can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
  2. Hold the cartridge with the HP logo facing up, and insert the new cartridge into the empty cartridge slot.
    • Install tricolor cartridges into the left slot.
    • Install black, photo, or gray photo cartridges into the right slot.
    Figure 9: Inserting the cartridge
    Image of cartridge being installed
    Figure 10: cartridges installed
    Image of installed cartridge
  3. Push each cartridge firmly into the slot until it snaps into place.
  4. Close the printer cover.
  5. Try to print a page. If the page prints correctly and no error messages appear, you are done.
    If the issue continues, proceed to the next step.

Step five: Service the printer

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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