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HP Deskjet Printers - 'Incompatible Print Cartridge' or 'Print Cartridge Problem' Message Displays on the Computer or Printer Control Panel

This document applies to the HP Deskjet 1050, Deskjet 2050, Deskjet 3050 All-in-One and Deskjet 3050A e-All-in-One printer series.
An 'Incompatible Print Cartridge(s)' or 'Print Cartridge Problem' error message displays on the computer or printer control panel. The attention light might blink or stay solid, and the print does not print.
Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges
Make sure that the installed cartridges are compatible with your printer and that they are unmodified, genuine HP cartridges.
Cartridge Description
Country/Region
The Americas
Europe
Middle East and Africa
Asia Pacific
Black cartridge
HP 61 Black
HP 301 Black
HP 122 Black
HP 301 Black
HP 802 Black
Color cartridge
HP 61 Tri-color
HP 301 Tri-color
HP 122 Tri-color
HP 301 Tri-color
HP 802 Tri-Color
Visit HP SureSupply to check ink cartridge compatibility or purchase replacement ink cartridges.
  1. Go to the HP SureSupply website.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then make sure the country/region location is correct.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order new ink cartridges or check ink cartridge compatibility with your printer.
Genuine HP ink cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
Solution two: Remove, inspect, and then reseat the cartridges
The cartridge might not have full electrical contact with the printer. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge might help.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull the cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
     caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. This can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the contacts or nozzles
  4. Remove any clear protective tape that still might be on the nozzles.
     caution:
    Do not try to remove the copper electrical strip.
    Figure : Remove the protective tape
    Image: Remove the protective tape
  5. Hold the cartridge by its sides with the nozzles toward the printer, and then insert the cartridge into its slot. Make sure that the icon on the cartridge matches the icon on the slot.
    Figure : Insert the cartridge into its slot
    Image: Install a cartridge
    • The tri-color cartridge () goes in the slot on the left
    • The black cartridge () goes in the slot on the right
  6. Push the cartridge forward into its slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Snap the cartridge into place
    Image: Snap the cartridge into place
  7. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  9. Try to print again.
Solution three: Clean the electrical contacts
Follow these steps to clean the electrical contacts on the cartridge.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Dry foam-rubber swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that will not come apart or leave fibers (coffee filters work well)
    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the cartridges)
       caution:
      Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the cartridge contacts. These can damage the cartridge or the printer.
  2. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  4. Disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer.
  5. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then pull the cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
     caution:
    Do not leave the cartridges outside of the printer for more than 30 minutes. If the cartridge is outside of the printer for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  6. Hold the cartridge by its sides.
    Figure : Hold the cartridge by its sides
    Image: Hold the cartridge by its sides
  7. Inspect the cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
  8. Dip a clean foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth into distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  9. Clean only the copper-colored contacts.
      Figure : Clean the contacts
      Image: Clean the contacts
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  10. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  11. Lightly moisten another cotton swab with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from the swab.
  12. Use the swab to clean the electrical contacts in the carriage, located inside the printer.
    Figure : The electrical contacts in the cartridge slots
    Image: The electrical contacts in the cartridge slots
  13. Wait 10 minutes to allow the cartridge and carriage electrical contacts to dry.
  14. Hold the cartridge by its sides with the nozzles toward the printer, and then insert the cartridge into its slot. Make sure that the icon on the cartridge matches the icon on the slot.
    Figure : Insert the cartridge into its slot
    Image: Install the cartridge
  15. Push the cartridge forward into its slot until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Snap the cartridge into place
    Image: Snap the cartridge into place
  16. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  17. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
  18. Reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer.
  19. Try to print again.
  20. If you are still unable to print, repeat these steps to clean and reseat the cartridges. Multiple cleanings might be necessary to restore printing.
Solution four: Reset the printer
Follow these steps to 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 five: Identify and replace the problem cartridge
If cleaning and reseating the cartridge and resetting the printer does not fix the problem, replace the cartridge with a new cartridge.
Step one: Identify the problem cartridge
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press down on either cartridge to release it, and then pull the cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  4. Close the cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the cartridge access door
    Image: Close the cartridge access door
    • If the 'Incompatible Print Cartridge(s)' or the 'Print Cartridge Problem' error message still displays on the computer, proceed to the next step.
    • If the computer does not display an error message, skip to the 'replace the cartridge' step and replace the tri-color cartridge.
  5. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
  6. Push down on the top of the tri-color cartridge (located on the left side of the carriage) to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
  7. Slide the black cartridge forward into the empty right slot, and then gently push on the upper part of the cartridge until it clicks into place.
  8. Close the cartridge access door.
    • If the 'Incompatible Print Cartridge(s)' or the 'Print Cartridge Problem' error message still displays on the computer, proceed to the 'Replace the cartridge' step and replace the black and the tri-color cartridge.
    • If the computer does not display an error message, proceed to the 'replace the cartridge' step and replace the tri-color cartridge.
Step two: Replace the problem cartridge
Follow these steps to install a new cartridge. If you need to print immediately and the quality of the printouts is not a concern, you can print in backup mode.
If you have a defective ink 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, then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
The following video demonstrates how to replace a cartridge.
 note:
The video shows the HP Deskjet 2050. The outside of the product 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. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  3. Open the ink cartridge door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the ink cartridge door
    Image: Open the ink cartridge door
  4. Lightly press down on the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the ink cartridge
    Image: Remove the ink cartridge
     caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or nozzles
    Graphic: Do not touch the contacts or nozzles
  5. Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging, and then pull the pull tab to remove the plastic tape.
     caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or ink nozzles. Also, do not re-tape the ink cartridge. Doing so can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure : Remove the plastic tape
    Image: Remove the plastic tape
  6. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides with the contacts toward the printer and the nozzles facing down toward the bottom of the product, and then insert the ink cartridge into its slot.
    • The tri-color ink cartridge () goes in the slot on the left
    • The black ink cartridge () goes in the slot on the right
    Figure : Insert the ink cartridge into its slot
    Image: Insert the  ink cartridge into its slot
  7. Push the ink cartridge forward into its slot until it snaps into place.
  8. Repeat these steps to replace the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  9. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Figure : Close the ink cartridge access door
    Image: Close the ink cartridge access door
  10. Press the button next to OK on the control panel display ().
    The printer prints an alignment page.
Solution six: Service the printer
If you have followed the preceding steps, including replacing the cartridges with new, genuine HP cartridges, the printer hardware might be malfunctioning. Follow these steps to service the printer.
Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.
If you completed all the preceding steps and your product still has an issue, service the product.
First, go to HP Printer Warranty Check to check your warranty status, and then go to Contact HP to find an authorized service dealer or to schedule a repair. Repair fees might apply for out of warranty printers.
Workaround: Print in backup mode
If you do not have a replacement cartridge available, you can still print. Remove the problem cartridge, and then print with the remaining cartridge. If you remove the tri-color cartridge, the printouts are in grayscale. If you remove the black cartridge, the printer prints slowly and the colors in the printouts might differ.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the center of the printer. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door
  3. Press down on either cartridge to release it, and then pull the cartridge out to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge
  4. Close the cartridge access door. The control panel displays a message that one of the cartridges is missing or not detected.
  5. Wait a few moments for the message to clear, and then submit a print job.

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