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HP Photosmart C7280 All-in-One Printer support

Troubleshooting Print Quality Issues

  • PrintPrint

Issue

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.

Solutions

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 when you installed your printer, 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.
Which cartridges you use might depend on your country/region. Follow these steps to purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
NOTE:For the United States only, go to the HP Home & Home Office Store .
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.

Solution two: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  1. When printing on photo paper, avoid curled paper. Try flattening curled paper by rolling it gently in the direction opposite the curl.
    Make sure to store photo paper in a sealed plastic bag to keep it from curling.
    Figure 1: Roll the paper opposite the original curl
  2. Make sure to load the paper with the print side facing down.
    Many papers have printing and non-printing sides.
  3. Make sure that the paper type is correct for the project. For everyday documents, plain paper works well.
    For documents that require dense printing, such as high-contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Premium paper for the best results.
  4. If these steps did not help, try a different paper. Ink might not bleed as easily on heavier paper. Paper that does not accept ink well is also prone to bleeding and smearing. HP designs its ink and paper to work together.
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 the printout
Figure 2: Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Horizontal streaks.
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure 3: Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Vertical streaks.
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document.
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 three: Check the print settings

Check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.
Follow these guidelines when printing on photo paper.
  • Use 240 pixels per inch (94 pixels per cm) for images that you want to print on smaller format photo paper, such as 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm).
  • Use 300 pixels per inch (117 pixels per cm) or higher for larger format photo papers.
  • Lower resolutions might produce acceptable images when printed on rough-textured paper.
Follow these steps to check the print settings for your print job.
  1. In the program you are trying to print from, click File, and then click Print. The Print dialog box opens.
  2. Select your printer, and then click the button that opens the Properties dialog box. Depending on the software program, the button might be Properties, Options, Printer Setup, Printer, or Preferences.
  3. Click the Paper/Quality tab.
  4. From the Media drop-down, select the paper type that matches the paper loaded in the input tray and then select the desired print quality.
  5. Click OK to apply the settings, and then click Print.
NOTE:If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality.
  • 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 ink levels, and then replace the depleted cartridge

The printer might continue to operate with a depleted cartridge, but it can affect the print quality. For instance, blacks are not as dark with a depleted cartridge. Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace the depleted cartridges if print quality is unacceptable.
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.

Step one: Check the ink levels

  1. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button.
  2. Press the Down Arrow button until Tools is selected.
  3. Press OK.
  4. When the Display Ink Gauge option displays, press OK. The ink gauge displays.
    Figure 4: The ink gauge
    Image: Example of the ink gauge.

Step two: Replace the depleted cartridge

  1. Turn on the printer, if it is not on already.
  2. Lift the cartridge access door until the door locks into place.
    Figure 5: Lift the cartridge access door
    Image: Lift the cartridge access door.
  3. Squeeze the bottom of the latch below the cartridge you want to replace, and then lift the latch.
    • To replace the black ink cartridge, lift the latch on the far left.
    • To replace one of the five color ink cartridges, such as yellow, light cyan (blue), cyan, light magenta (pink), or magenta, lift the appropriate latch.
    Figure 6: Lift the cartridge latch
    Image: Lift the cartridge latch.
    1 - Cartridge latch for the black ink cartridge
    2 - Cartridge latches for the color ink cartridges
  4. Pull the cartridge towards you and out of its slot to remove it.
    Figure 7: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
    NOTE:If you are removing the print cartridge because it is low or out of ink, recycle the print cartridge.
  5. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging.
  6. Holding the new cartridge by the handle, gently push the cartridge into the empty slot.
    Match the color and pattern of the cartridge to the color and pattern on the print carriage.
    Figure 8: Insert the new cartridge
    Image: Insert the new cartridge.
  7. Close the latch, and then make sure that it locks into place.
    Figure 9: Close the latch
    Image: Close the latch.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure 10: Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Print a self-test report

If the steps above have not helped, print and evaluate a self-test report to see if the cartridges or printer is causing the problem.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. Press Setup.
  3. Press the Down Arrow () to highlight Print Report.
  4. Press OK.
  5. Press the Down Arrow () to highlight Self-Test Report.
  6. Press OK.
The self-test page might indicate that the printer and print cartridges are functioning properly and something else is causing the print quality problem.
  • If the test page printed clearly, check the settings and media you are using, and then try to print again.
  • If the report or printout shows streaks, lines, or missing colors, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Clean the printhead

  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. Press Setup, press the Down Arrow (), press Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the Down Arrow () to select Clean Printhead, and then press OK. A test page prints.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Align the printer

  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. Press Setup, press the Down Arrow (), press Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the Down Arrow () to select Align Printer, and then press OK. A test page prints.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Calibrate the color

Select your operating system, and then follow the steps to check the estimated ink levels from the HP software on your computer.
NOTE:If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in this document might not match. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
  1. Open the HP software:
      On the Windows taskbar, click Start (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
      On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), click Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
      On the Windows taskbar, click the Windows icon (), click All Programs, click HP, click the folder for your HP printer, and then click the icon for your HP printer ().
      1. Swipe from the right side of the touchscreen, or move the mouse cursor to the lower-right or upper-right corner of the screen to open the Charms bar.
      2. Click Search (), type the name of your printer in the search box, press Enter, and then double-click your printer.
    NOTE:You can also open the HP software from your computer desktop; double-click the icon for your HP printer ().
    The HP software window opens.
  2. Click Settings, click Print Settings, and then click Printer Toolbox.
  3. On the Device Services tab, click Calibrate Color, and then follow the on-screen instructions. The procedure takes about two minutes and requires two sheets of paper.
  4. Try to print again.
  1. From the desktop, double-click the icon for your HP printer.
  2. Click Settings, click Print Settings, and then click Printer Toolbox.
  3. On the Device Services tab, click Calibrate Color, and then follow the on-screen instructions. The procedure takes about two minutes and requires two sheets of paper.
  4. Try to print again.
  • 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 printer

If you have completed all the steps and are still experiencing a problem, 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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