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Printer Does Not Print Black Ink or Color Ink, or Prints Blank Pages

  • PrintPrint

Issue

The printer is working, but the printed output is missing black or color inks, or the output is blank or has very little ink.

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.
To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Solution two: Check estimated ink levels, and then replace any low or empty 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

Follow these steps to 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. On the printer control panel, press the Setup icon ().
  2. Press the button () next to OK to select Ink Information.
  3. Press the button next to OK to select Estimated Levels. The Estimated Levels gauge displays.
  4. In the Estimated Levels gauge, check the ink levels for each cartridge. Note any that are low or empty.
    Figure 1: Estimated Ink Level gauge on the control panel
    Image: Estimated Ink Level gauge on the control panel.
  • 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

Watch this video for help to replace the cartridges, and then follow the steps to replace any low or empty cartridges.

Video of replacing the cartridges

The following video demonstrates how to replace cartridges.
NOTE:This video shows the HP Officejet 4620 e-All-in-One Printer series, but the steps are the same for your printer.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .
Follow these steps to replace the cartridges.
  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on.
  2. Locate the two slots on the sides of the product.
    Figure 2: Slots on the sides of the product
    Image:  Slots on the side of the product
  3. Place your fingers in the slots on the right and left sides of the product, and then lift to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves into the carriage access area.
    Figure 3: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  4. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  5. Press the tab inward on the front of the old cartridge to release it, and then pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 4: Remove the cartridge from its slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from its slot
  6. Pull the orange pull tab straight back to remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
    CAUTION:Make sure you remove the orange pull-tab completely and the label is slightly torn before you remove the orange cap in the next step, or ink can leak.
    Figure 5: Pull the orange tab straight back
    Image:  Pull the orange tab straight back
  7. Twist the protective orange cap counter-clockwise to snap it off the cartridge.
    Figure 6: Twist the orange cap to snap it off the cartridge
    Image: Twist the orange cap to snap it off the cartridge
  8. Hold the cartridge so that the cartridge contacts are facing toward the product.
  9. Match the colored dot on the cartridge with the dot of the same color on the carriage.
  10. 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 on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.
    Figure 7: Install the cartridge
    Image: Install the cartridge
  11. Repeat these steps for other cartridges, if necessary.
  12. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 8: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Solution 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. Locate the two slots on the left and right sides of the printer.
    Figure 9: Locations of the two slots
    Image: Locations of the two slots
  2. Slide your fingers into the two slots, and then lift up to open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves into the access area.
    Figure 10: Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Press the tab on the front of the cartridge inward to release it, and then pull up on the cartridge to remove it from the slot.
    Figure 11: Remove the cartridge from the slot
    Image: Remove the cartridge from the slot
  4. Examine the vent area on each cartridge, above the HP logo on the top of the cartridge.
    Figure 12: Vent area on the top of the cartridge
    Image: Vent area on the top of the cartridge
  5. If the cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Figure 13: 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 14: 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. With the nozzle and contacts facing down, slide the cartridge into its slot. Press down on the cartridge until it clicks 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.
    Figure 15: Reinsert the cartridge
    Image: Insert the cartridge
  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.
    Figure 16: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  11. Try the print job again.

Solution four: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead, and then update the printer firmware

Follow these steps to run an automated tool to clean the printhead, and then update the printer firmware.

Step one: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead

NOTE:Never turn off the printer when cartridges are missing. 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. To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead, always turn the printer off with the Power button on the printer itself.
  1. Load plain, white U.S. letter or A4 size paper in the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Setup icon ().
  3. Press the button () next to the Down Arrow () until Tools displays next to OK.
  4. Press the button next to OK to select Tools, and then press the button next to the Down Arrow () until Clean Printhead displays next to OK.
  5. Press the button next to OK to clean the printheads. The printer cleans the printheads and then prints a test page.
  6. Evaluate the test page for print quality.
    • If the print quality on the test page is satisfactory, touch No to return to the current print job.
    • If the print quality on the test page is unsatisfactory, touch Yes to perform a secondary cleaning of the printhead.
      NOTE:There are three printhead cleaning stages. Complete all three stages if necessary. If the printhead is badly clogged, it might require another cleaning cycle. If so, wait 30 minutes after the last (third) cleaning stage to start the first stage of the cleaning process over again.

Step two: Update the printer firmware

If cleaning the printhead fixed the problem, select the link for your printer to install the latest firmware update. The firmware update can prevent future printing problems.
NOTE:Currently, firmware updates are only available for Windows operating systems.

Solution five: Service the printer

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.
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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