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Fixing Print Quality Problems for the HP Photosmart Plus B209a, B209b, and B209c All-in-One Printer Series

  • PrintPrint
This document applies to the HP Photosmart Plus B209a, B209b, and B209c All-in-One Printer Series.
The quality of a printed document or photo is not as expected. The procedures in this document should help with streaked or faded printouts, color or black ink not printing, documents with blurred or fuzzy text, ink streaks or smears, and other print quality problems.
Click the plus sign () next to your operating system for more information.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
NOTE:Some of the following solutions require the full HP software. If you did not install the full software during the installation process, click here to go to the software and drivers page , and then download and install the full feature software.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up with the printer's automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
NOTE:Cleaning the printhead uses more ink than the automatic printer servicing.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the product with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, like photo paper and other special media. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the product.
    Figure 1: Do not use wrinkled paper
    Image: Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      Figure 2: Plain paper with ColorLok technology is recommended for text printing
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
    • Some media may not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This will determine if the problem is related to the paper.
NOTE:Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in printout
Figure 3: Horizontal streaks in printout
Illustration of horizontal streaks
Figure 4: Vertical streaks in printout
Illustration of vertical streaks
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print-quality issues besides vertical streaks.Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue. Vertical streaks in copies can often be fixed by cleaning the scanner glass.
After trying the preceding guidelines, try printing again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for the print job.

Step one: Check the print quality settings

  1. Open the Print dialog box in the software program you are trying to print from.
    • Windows XP: Click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
    • Windows Vista: Click the Windows icon (), move the cursor to Print, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. Select your product, and then click Properties. The printer Properties dialog box opens.
  3. Choose the correct tab to find the settings
    • Windows XP: Click the Printing Shortcuts tab, and then click the type of job you are trying to print.
    • Windows Vista: Click the Paper/Quality tab.
  4. Review the following options, and then make any necessary changes.
    • Paper sizes: Make sure that the selected option matches your paper size.
    • Paper type: If one of the options matches your paper type exactly, select that option.
    • Print quality: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality. To print more quickly, decrease the print quality.
  5. Click OK, and then click OK again to start the print job.

Step two: Check the Print in Grayscale setting

  1. Open the Print dialog box
    • Windows XP: Click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
    • Windows Vista: Click the Windows icon (), move the cursor to Print, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. Select your product, and then click Properties. The printer Properties dialog box opens.
  3. Choose the correct tab to find the setting
    • Windows XP: Click the Features tab.
    • Windows Vista: Click the Color tab.
  4. Under Color Options, make sure that Print in grayscale is not selected.
  5. Click OK, and then click OK again to start the print job.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Check ink levels and replace low or empty cartridges

Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace low or empty cartridges according to the results.
NOTE:Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low-ink levels, consider having a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
      Click Start, click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    HP Solution Center opens in a new window.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. In the Print Settings area, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens.
  4. Click the Estimated Ink Levels tab. The estimated ink levels display in a graphic on the computer.
    Figure 5: Estimated ink level graphic in the Toolbox
    Illustration of estimated ink levels
    The colored bars represent the estimated ink levels in the corresponding cartridge. Full color bars represent high ink levels, while color bars that approach the bottom of the bar represent low ink.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a print quality diagnostic report and troubleshoot defects

Follow these steps to print, and then evaluate a print quality diagnostic report.

Step one: Print a print quality diagnostic report

Use one of the following methods to print a diagnostic report on the print quality.
  1. Make sure there is plain white, letter-size paper loaded in the input tray.
  2. On the control panel Home Screen, touch the right arrow to view more options.
  3. Touch Setup.
  4. Touch Tools.
  5. Touch Printer Quality Report. The print quality diagnostic report prints.
  1. Make sure there is plain white, letter-size paper loaded in the input tray.
  2. Open HP Solution Center:
      Click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center
    HP Solution Center opens in a new window.
  3. Click Settings ().
  4. In the Print Settings area, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens.
  5. Click the Device Services tab.
  6. Click Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then click Print Page. The print quality diagnostic report prints.
Figure 6: Example print quality diagnostic report
Image of a sample print quality diagnostic report

Step two: Check the print quality diagnostic report for defects

In general, if the product and its cartridges work correctly, all the color bars are present, unstreaked, and uniform in color across the width of the page. The black text on the page does not show ink streaks.
Use the following table for examples of defects that can exist on the print quality diagnostic report. The following examples are not inclusive, but tend to represent the most common issues.
Examples of defects on the print quality diagnostic report
DefectExample
Large font text is ragged on one end (possible cartridge or printhead problem)illustration of ragged large text
Irregularly streaked or faded color bars (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of streaked or faded color bars
Ragged color bars (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of ragged color bars
The color bars are streaked with another color (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of streaked color bars
The color blocks have regular white streaks (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of white streaks in the color bars
Completely missing (black) color (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of missing color (black)
Page is blank or nearly blank (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of nearly blank page
Jagged alignment patterns (possible alignment problem)Illustration of jagged alignment patterns
  • If you see no defects on the print quality diagnostic report, the print mechanism and ink supplies work correctly. If printouts are still unsatisfactory, try these general print-quality guidelines, and then do not continue the troubleshooting steps in the remainder of this document:
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that have been enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the problem is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the product, or another software program to rotate the image 180°. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
    • Avoid leaving unprotected cartridges out of the product for an extended period of time.
    • Always use the power button to turn the product off. This protects the cartridges from exposure to air.
    Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout (graphic)If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Resolving Strange, Garbled or Illogical Text, Incomplete Printouts, or Missing Text or Graphics (c01954177).
  • If you see one or more of these defects on the print quality diagnostic report, continue to the next steps.

Step three: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly

If the vent on the top of the cartridge is clogged or obstructed, the cartridge might not work properly. Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and seated correctly.
  1. If the printer is not already on, press the Power button to turn it on.
  2. Open the top cover.
    Figure 7: Open the top cover
    Image: Open the top cover
    The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
  3. Press the tab on the front of one of the cartridges to release it, and then remove it from its slot.
    Figure 8: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridgeImage: Remove the cartridge
    CAUTION:Do not lift the latch to the side of the carriage to remove the cartridge. Doing so might result in incorrectly seated cartridges.
  4. Examine the vent area above the HP logo on the top of the cartridge.
    Figure 9: Vent area on the cartridge
    Image of the vent area of the cartridge
  5. If the cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Figure 10: Orange pull tab
    Image: Orange pull tab.
  6. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
    Figure 11: Clean the clogged vent with a pin
    Image: Clean the clogged vent with a pin.
    1 - Clogged vent
    2 - With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3 - Unclogged vent
  7. Reinsert the cartridge. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the empty slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
  8. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the cartridges.
  9. Make sure that each cartridge is firmly in place in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  10. Close the cartridge access door.
  11. Try the print job again.

Step four: Clean the printhead

Follow these steps to run a utility to clean the printhead.
  1. Open HP Solution Center:
      Click Start, click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    HP Solution Center opens in a new window.
  2. Click Settings ().
  3. In the Print Settings area, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens.
  4. On the Device Services tab, click Clean the Printheads ().
  5. Click Clean to begin the process.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal. A test page prints when the cleaning process finishes.
  • Sometimes more than one cleaning is required. Repeat this step if improvements are seen in print quality.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting. The following precautions might help avoid the issue in the future.
    • Avoid leaving unprotected cartridges out of the printer for an extended period of time.
    • Always use the power button to turn the printer off. This protects the cartridges from exposure to air.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step five: Align the printer

Follow these steps to open the printer toolbox and align the printheads if there were defects on the print quality diagnostic report.
  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. Open HP Solution Center:
      Click Start, click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    HP Solution Center opens in a separate window.
  3. Click Settings ().
  4. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  5. Click the Device Services tab.
  6. Click Align the Printheads.
    The product aligns the printheads. When the alignment is complete, the product prints an alignment page.
    Figure 12: Example alignment page
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during and after alignment are normal.
  7. Recycle or discard the alignment page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Replace the problem cartridge

If none of the preceding steps resolved the issue, replace the cartridge that corresponds to the defect on the print quality diagnostic report. For example, if one of the magenta color bars are defective, replace the magenta cartridge.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
Use the following steps to replace the problem cartridge.

Step one: Replace the problem cartridge

The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
NOTE:The outside of the product shown in this video might not look the same as your product, but the steps are the same.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the top cover. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage stops moving before proceeding.
    Figure 13: Open the top cover
    Illustration: Open the top cover
  3. Press in the tab on the front of the cartridge, and then pull it up and out to remove it from its slot.
    Remove the cartridge from its slotIllustration: Remove the cartridge from its slot
    CAUTION:Do not lift the latch to the side of the carriage to remove the cartridge. Doing so might result in incorrectly seated cartridges.
  4. On the replacement cartridge, pull the orange pull tab straight back to remove the plastic wrap.
    Figure 15: Remove the plastic wrap
    Illustration: Remove the plastic wrap
  5. Twist the orange cap counterclockwise to snap it off the cartridge.
    Figure 16: Remove the orange cap from the cartridge
    Illustration: Remove the orange cap from the cartridge
  6. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the correct slot. The color-coded icons on the cartridge and in the printhead indicate the correct slot.
    Figure 17: Insert the cartridge
    Illustration: Insert the cartridge
  7. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    Figure 18: Press the cartridge into place
    Illustration: Press the cartridge into place
  8. Repeat these steps for each cartridge that needs to be replaced.
  9. Close the top cover. The carriage moves to the right side.

Step two: Align the printer

If the alignment process does not start automatically, use the steps below to manually align the printer.
Use the following steps to align the printheads in the printer.
  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. Open HP Solution Center:
      Click Start, click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
      Click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, point to HP, and then click HP Solution Center.
    HP Solution Center opens in a separate window.
  3. Click Settings ().
  4. Under Print Settings, click Printer Toolbox. The printer Toolbox opens in a new window.
  5. Click the Device Services tab.
  6. Click Align the Printheads.
    The product aligns the printheads. When the alignment is complete, the product prints an alignment page.
    Figure 19: Example alignment page
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during and after alignment are normal.
  7. Recycle or discard the alignment page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, contact HP to replace the printhead.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the All-in-One

If the steps above have not solved the problem, see the steps at the end of this document to service the All-in-One.
NOTE:Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the ink cartridges, printhead, or printer is replaced under warranty, the support agent will request the print sample. If the printer is returned to HP, the print sample must be returned with the printer. Place the sample in the output tray when you package your printer for shipping.
Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue. When one of the solutions resolves the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
NOTE:Some of the following solutions require the full HP software. If you did not install the full software during installation, click here to go to the software and drivers page , and then download and install the full feature software.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up with the printer's automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
NOTE:Cleaning the printhead uses more ink than the automatic printer servicing.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, like photo paper and other special media. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the product.
    Figure 20: Do not use wrinkled paper
    Image: Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      Figure 21: Plain paper with ColorLok technology is recommended for text printing
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
    • Some media may not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This will determine if the problem is related to the paper.
NOTE:Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in printout
Figure 22: Horizontal streaks in printout
Illustration of horizontal streaks
Figure 23: Vertical streaks in printout
Illustration of vertical streaks
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print-quality issues besides vertical streaks.Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue. Vertical streaks in copies can often be fixed by cleaning the scanner glass.
After trying the preceding guidelines, try printing again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Follow these steps to check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for the print job.

Step one: Check the print quality settings

  1. Open a document, click File, and then click Print.
  2. Select the Paper Type/Quality or Media & Quality menu.
  3. Review the following options, and then make any necessary changes:
    • Paper type: If one of the options matches your paper type exactly, select that option.
    • Quality: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality. To print more quickly, decrease the print quality.
NOTE: To save these settings for future print jobs, choose Save in the Presets menu, and then name the new preset. If multiple printers are installed, open System Preferences, and then click Print & Fax or Print & Scan (depending on your Mac OS X version). Set the Default Printer to Last Printer Used.

Step two: Check the Print in Grayscale setting

  1. Open a document, click File, and then Print.
  2. Select the Paper Type/Quality menu.
  3. Click the Color Options pop-up or tab if it displays. If you want color printouts, make sure that Grayscale is not selected. If the option does not display, it is not available for the printer.
NOTE: To save these settings for future print jobs, choose Save in the Presets menu, and then name the new preset. If multiple printers are installed, open System Preferences, and then click Print & Fax or Print & Scan (depending on your Mac OS X version). Set the Default Printer to Last Printer Used.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Check ink levels and replace low or empty cartridges

Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace low or empty cartridges according to the results.
  1. Make sure your printer is turned on and connected.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Print & Fax.
  4. Select the printer in the list on the left side of the dialog.
  5. Click Options and Supplies.
  6. Click the Utility tab at the top of the window, and then click Open Printer Utility.
  7. The HP Utility opens. Click Supplies Status to display estimated ink levels (features and options may vary depending on your printer model).
NOTE:Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low-ink levels, consider having a replacement cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a print quality diagnostic report and troubleshoot defects

Follow these steps to print, and then evaluate a print quality diagnostic report.

Step one: Print a print quality diagnostic report

  1. Load Letter or A4, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the control panel Home Screen, touch the right arrow to view more options.
  3. Touch Setup.
  4. Touch Tools.
  5. Touch Printer Quality Report. The print quality diagnostic report prints.
    Figure 24: Example print quality diagnostic report
    Example print quality diagnostic report illustration

Step two: Check the print quality diagnostic report for defects

In general, if the printer and its cartridges work correctly, all the color bars are present, unstreaked, and uniform in color across the width of the page. The black text on the page does not show ink streaks.
Use the following table for examples of defects that can exist on the print quality diagnostic report. The following examples are not inclusive, but tend to represent the most common issues.
Examples of defects on the print quality diagnostic report
DefectExample
Large font text is ragged on one end (possible cartridge or printhead problem)illustration of ragged large text
Irregularly streaked or faded color bars (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of streaked or faded color bars
Ragged color bars (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of ragged color bars
The color bars are streaked with another color (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of streaked color bars
The color blocks have regular white streaks (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of white streaks in the color bars
Completely missing (black) color (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of missing color (black)
Page is blank or nearly blank (possible cartridge or printhead problem)Illustration of nearly blank page
Jagged alignment patterns (possible alignment problem)Illustration of jagged alignment patterns

Step three: Make sure the cartridges are correctly vented

  1. If the printer is not already on, press the Power button to turn it on.
  2. Open the top cover.
    Figure 25: Open the top cover
    Image: Open the top cover
    The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
  3. Press the tab on the front of one of the cartridges to release it, and then remove it from its slot.
    Figure 26: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridgeImage: Remove the cartridge
    CAUTION:Do not lift the latch to the side of the carriage to remove the cartridge. Doing so might result in incorrectly seated cartridges.
  4. Examine the vent area above the HP logo on the top of the cartridge.
    Figure 27: Vent area on the cartridge
    Image of the vent area of the cartridge
  5. If the cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Figure 28: Orange pull tab
    Image: Orange pull tab.
  6. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
    Figure 29: Clean the clogged vent with a pin
    Image: Clean the clogged vent with a pin.
    1 - Clogged vent
    2 - With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3 - Unclogged vent
  7. Reinsert the cartridge. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the empty slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that each cartridge is installed in the correct slot. Match the shape of the icon and the color of the cartridge with the slot that has the same shaped icon and color.
  8. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the cartridges.
  9. Make sure that each cartridge is firmly in place in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  10. Close the cartridge access door.
  11. Try the print job again.

Step four: Clean the printhead

Follow these steps to run a utility to clean the printhead.
  1. Make sure your printer is on and connected, and unused, plain paper is loaded.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Print & Fax.
  4. Select the printer in the list on the left side of the dialog.
  5. Click Options and Supplies.
  6. Click the Utility tab at the top of the window, and then click Open Printer Utility.
  7. The HP Utility opens. Click Clean Printheads (features and options may vary depending on your printer model). A test sheet prints when the process is done.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal.
  8. Examine the test sheet for print quality. Consider repeating the cleaning if there is improvement. Sometimes several cleanings are required.
  9. Recycle or discard the test sheet.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, see the next step.

Step five: Align the printer

Follow these steps to align the printheads if there were defects on the print quality diagnostic report.
  1. Make sure the printer is on and connected, and unused, plain paper is loaded.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Print & Fax.
  4. Select the printer in the list on the left side of the dialog.
  5. Click Options and Supplies.
  6. Click the Utility tab at the top of the window, and then click Open Printer Utility.
  7. The HP Utility opens. Click Align (features and options may vary depending on the printer model). The printer prints an alignment page.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during and after alignment are normal.
  8. Recycle or discard the alignment sheet.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Replace the problem cartridge

If none of the preceding steps resolved the issue, replace the cartridge that corresponds to the defect on the print quality diagnostic report. For example, if one of the magenta color bars are defective, replace the magenta cartridge.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
Use the following steps to replace the problem cartridge.

Step one: Replace the problem cartridge

The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
NOTE:The outside of the product shown in this video might not look the same as your product, but the steps are the same.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Open the top cover. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage stops moving before proceeding.
    Figure 30: Open the top cover
    Illustration: Open the top cover
  3. Press in the tab on the front of the cartridge, and then pull it up and out to remove it from its slot.
    Remove the cartridge from its slotIllustration: Remove the cartridge from its slot
    CAUTION:Do not lift the latch to the side of the carriage to remove the cartridge. Doing so might result in incorrectly seated cartridges.
  4. On the replacement cartridge, pull the orange pull tab straight back to remove the plastic wrap.
    Figure 32: Remove the plastic wrap
    Illustration: Remove the plastic wrap
  5. Twist the orange cap counterclockwise to snap it off the cartridge.
    Figure 33: Remove the orange cap from the cartridge
    Illustration: Remove the orange cap from the cartridge
  6. With the cartridge contacts facing the printhead, slide the cartridge into the correct slot. The color-coded icons on the cartridge and in the printhead indicate the correct slot.
    Figure 34: Insert the cartridge
    Illustration: Insert the cartridge
  7. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks firmly into place.
    Figure 35: Press the cartridge into place
    Illustration: Press the cartridge into place
  8. Repeat these steps for each cartridge that needs to be replaced.
  9. Close the top cover. The carriage moves to the right side.

Step two: Align the printer

If the alignment process does not start automatically, align the printer.
Use the following steps to align the printheads in the printer.
  1. Make sure the printer is on and connected, and unused, plain paper is loaded.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Print & Fax.
  4. Select the printer in the list on the left side of the dialog.
  5. Click Options and Supplies.
  6. Click the Utility tab at the top of the window, and then click Open Printer Utility.
  7. The HP Utility opens. Click Align (features and options may vary depending on your printer model). The printer prints an alignment page.
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during and after alignment are normal.
  8. Recycle or discard the alignment sheet.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Replace the printhead

If the steps above have not solved the problem, contact HP to replace the printhead.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the All-in-One

If the steps above have not solved the problem, see the steps at the end of this document to service the All-in-One.
NOTE:Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the ink cartridges, printhead, or printer is replaced under warranty, the support agent will request the print sample. If the printer is returned to HP, the print sample must be returned with the printer. Place the sample in the output tray when you package your printer for shipping.
Follow these steps only if the preceding troubleshooting sections instructed you to do so.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
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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