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An 'Alignment failed' Error Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel

  • PrintPrint

Issue

An 'Alignment failed ' error message displays on the printer control panel.

Solution one: Reset the printer

  1. Press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  2. With the product turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button ( ) to turn it on.

Solution two: Check the paper type, and then try to align the printer again

Follow these steps to make sure that the paper type is appropriate to print an alignment page, and then try to align the printer again.

Step one: Load the correct type of paper

  1. Remove all the paper from the tray.
  2. Make sure that you are using letter or A4 unused plain, white paper, and then load the input tray.
    NOTE:Using color, photo, or used paper might cause the printer alignment to fail.

Step two: Align the printer

  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the print areas. The page should have black and blue print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and resetting and realigning the printer resolved the 'Alignment failed' error message , you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and resetting and realigning the printer did not resolve the 'Alignment failed' error message , then continue to the solution to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is missing colors or is faded or streaked , continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Check the cartridges

Low ink can contribute to poor print quality. Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace any low or empty cartridges.

Step one: Check estimated ink levels

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. Press the Setup button ( ) on the product control panel. The Setup Menu opens.
  2. Press the down arrow ( ) to select Tools , and then press OK . The Tools menu opens.
  3. Press the down arrow ( ) to select Display Estimated Ink Levels , and then press OK .
    The ink level indicator displays on the control panel.
    Figure 1: Ink level indicator on the control panel
    Ink level indicator on the control panel
  4. Press OK to return to the Tools menu.
  5. If necessary, press the Home button ( ) to return to the main screen.
  • If none of the cartridges are low on ink , you do not need to replace them yet. Continue to the next solution.
  • If any of the cartridges are low on ink , continue to the next step to replace them.

Step two: Replace any low or empty cartridges

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.
  1. Lift to open the cartridge access door until the door locks into place in the upright position. The carriage moves to the cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
    Figure 2: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  2. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge inward to release it, and then pull on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 3: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot.
    CAUTION:Do not lift the gray latch next to the carriage to remove the cartridges. Lifting the latch might result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down in order to correctly install the cartridges.
  3. Pull the orange pull tab straight back to remove the new cartridge from its package.
    CAUTION:Make sure that you remove the orange pull tab completely and that the label is slightly torn before you remove the orange cap in the next step, or ink might leak from the cartridge.
    Figure 4: Pull the orange tab straight back
    Image: Pull the orange tab straight back.
  4. Twist the protective orange cap counter-clockwise to snap it off the cartridge.
    Figure 5: Twist the orange cap to snap it off the cartridge
    Image: Twist the orange cap to snap it off the cartridge.
    NOTE:The orange cap might seem difficult to remove. If so, firmly twist the cap.
  5. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts face the printer.
  6. Match the colored dot and icon on the cartridge with the dot and icon of the same color on the carriage.
  7. Slide the new cartridge into its slot, and then gently press the cartridge down until it clicks into place.
    NOTE:Make sure that the colored dot and icon on the cartridge label matches the colored dot and icon on the slot.
    Figure 6: Install the new cartridge
    Image: Install the new cartridge.
  8. Repeat these steps for other cartridges, if necessary.
  9. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 7: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.

Step three: Align the printer

If you replaced any low or empty cartridges, align the printer again. Otherwise, continue to the next solution.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the print areas. The page should have black and blue print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and replacing the low or empty cartridges resolved the issue , you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and replacing the low or empty cartridges did not resolve the issue , then continue to the solution to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is missing colors or is faded or streaked , then continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and correctly installed

Follow these steps to make sure that the cartridges are properly vented and correctly installed.

Step one: Make sure that the cartridge vents are not clogged

  1. Lift to open the cartridge access door until the door locks into place in the upright position. The carriage moves to the cartridge access area.
    Figure 8: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  2. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge inward to release it, and then pull on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 9: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot.
    CAUTION:Do not lift the gray latch next to the carriage to remove the cartridges. Lifting the latch might result in incorrectly seated cartridges and printing problems. The latch must remain down in order to correctly install the cartridges.
  4. Locate, and then examine the vent area on the top of the cartridge.
    Figure 10: Vent area on the top of the cartridge
    Image: Vent area on the top of the cartridge
    • If an orange pull tab is still attached to the cartridge, pull to remove it.
      Figure 11: Orange pull tab
      Image: Orange pull tab
    • If a vent is clogged, carefully clean it with a pin.
      Figure 12: Properly vented
      Image: Unclogged vent
      Figure 13: Clogged vent
      Image: Clogged vent
  5. Face the nozzle and contacts down, and then slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks into place.
    Figure 14: Reinstall the cartridge
    Image: Reinstall the cartridge.
  6. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the cartridges.

Step two: Make sure that the cartridges are correctly installed

  1. 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.
    Figure 15: Match the icon and color of each cartridge with the corresponding slot
    Image: Match the icon and color of each cartridge  with the corresponding slot.
  2. 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 protrude, and if any do, press down firmly until each cartridge snaps into place.
  3. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 16: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.

Step three: Align the printer

Try to align the printer again.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the print areas. The page should have black and blue print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and cleaning the vents and correctly installing the cartridges resolved the issue , you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and cleaning the vents and correctly installing the cartridges did not resolve the issue , then continue to the solution to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is missing colors or is faded or streaked , then continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Clean the printhead with an automated tool

Important : You should clean the printhead only if the alignment page is streaked, faded, or missing colors.
NOTE:This tool uses ink to try to unclog and clean the nozzles in the printhead. The process might take a few minutes and uses one or more sheets of paper.

Step one: Clean the printhead

NOTE:If the printhead is badly clogged, you might need to clean it several times to restore normal print quality.
  1. Load letter, A4, or legal size, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ).
  3. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to highlight Tools , and then press OK .
  4. Press the Down Arrow button ( ) to highlight Clean Printhead , and then press OK . The printer cleans the printhead.
  5. When the cleaning process completes, press any button on the control panel to return to the Tools menu.
NOTE:To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead, always turn the printer off using the Power button on the printer itself. Make sure that you replace any missing cartridges as soon as possible to avoid print quality issues and possible extra ink usage or damage to the ink system. Never turn off the printer when cartridges are missing .

Step two: Align the printer

Try to align the printer again.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
  2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
    NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
  3. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the print areas. The page should have black and blue print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and cleaning the printhead resolved the issue , you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page looks correct, and cleaning the printhead did not resolve the issue , then continue to the solution to service the printer .
  • If the alignment page is missing colors or is faded or streaked , then continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all the previous steps and are still experiencing a problem, you can replace the printhead. Replacement printhead assemblies are available only from HP Support or authorized service providers. Contact HP for assistance to get a new printhead.
CAUTION:Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.
Once you have replaced the printhead, try to align the printer again.
    1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ( ) repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK .
    2. Press the Right Arrow button ( ) to select Align Printer , and then press OK .
      NOTE:Mechanical noises during the alignment are normal.
    3. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the print areas. The page should have black and blue print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.

Solution seven: 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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