solution Contentsolution Content

HP ENVY Inspire 7200e, 7900e Printers - Color or black ink not printing, other print quality issues

The quality of a printed document from your printer is not as expected, color or black ink does not print, or printouts are smeared, fuzzy, dark, or faded.

Perform the following tasks in the order given. Use the printer after each task to see if the issue is resolved.

Clean the ink cartridges

The printhead could be clogged, and you might need to clean the printhead several times to restore print quality. Use an automated tool from the printer control panel to clean the printhead.


Never turn off the printer when ink cartridges are not installed. To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead or that can damage the ink system, always replace ink cartridges as soon as possible, and always turn off the printer using the Power button.

  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .

  2. Touch Printer Maintenance > Clean Cartridges, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

    After cleaning completes, a Print Quality Diagnostic Report prints.

    Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Report
  3. Examine the Print Quality Diagnostic Report.

    • If the print quality is unacceptable, touch Clean Again to continue the next level of cleaning. If necessary, repeat these steps for the third cleaning cycle.


      If the printhead is badly clogged, it might require another cleaning cycle. If so, wait 30 minutes before you perform all three levels of cleaning again.

    • If the print quality is acceptable, touch Done.

Check for ink smears on the back of printouts

If there are smears of ink on the back of your printouts, use an automated tool to resolve the issue.

  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .

  2. Swipe up on the display, touch Printer Maintenance, and then touch Clean Smear.

    The printer feeds one page slowly. The printer might make some noise for approximately one minute.

  3. Wait until the page is out of the printer before you remove it.

Check ink cartridges

Very low ink levels, using non-HP cartridges, and rough handling can cause print quality issues.

  1. Replace any non-HP or refilled cartridges with genuine HP cartridges. HP supplies are available from the HP Store and local retailers.

    HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP or refilled cartridges. Go to HP Anti Counterfeiting and Fraud Program for more information.

  2. On the printer control panel, tap at the top to open the printer Dashboard.

  3. Touch the Ink icon , and then replace any low or empty cartridges.


    Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When an indicator shows low ink levels, consider having a replacement ink cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace ink cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.

    Checking ink levels
  4. Rough handling of cartridges during transport or installation can cause print quality problems. Wait a few hours for the automatic servicing routine to complete, and then try to print again.

  5. If a cartridge is bad, replace it. If you have a defective HP cartridge, it might be under warranty. Go to About Original HP Cartridges for page yield and HP limited warranty information to see if a cartridge is still in warranty.

Check the paper, print settings, and quality of the file being printed

Make sure your print job is set up for optimal print quality results.

  1. Check the paper type and condition: Make sure the paper is appropriate for the print job and in good condition.

    • Some paper might not absorb ink as well as others, causing faded or smeared prints. Plain paper with ColorLok technology works well for text and documents with graphics. For photos, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for best results.

    • Use clean, wrinkle-free paper. Wrinkled or curled paper can cause dark, horizontal defects.

  2. Load paper according to the print side: Typically, the smoother or glossy side is the print side.

    • For inkjet printers with a rear load tray, load the print side facing up.

    • For inkjet printers with a front load tray, load the print side facing down.

  3. Check the print job settings: From the application you are printing from, click File > Print, and then click Options, Printer Setup, or Preferences, or open the Paper Type/Quality or Media & Quality menu.

    Make sure the color, paper type, paper size, and quality settings are correct for your print job.

  4. Check the quality of the photo or document: Use editing tools to improve colors, brightness, contrast, and any other appearance settings. Higher resolution photographs and graphics result in clearer prints with more accurate colors.

Align the ink cartridges

Use an automated tool to align the ink cartridges.

  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .

  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.

  3. Touch Align Cartridges, and then touch Continue.

    An alignment page prints.

Replace the cartridges

If the print quality problem persists and your ink cartridge is under warranty, contact HP Customer Support for ink cartridge replacement.

Contact HP Customer Support.


To see if your genuine HP cartridge is under warranty, go to HP Printers - Ink Supplies Limited Warranty.

Service the printer

Service or replace your HP printer if the issue persists after completing all the preceding steps.

Go to Contact HP Customer Support to schedule a product repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, you will be directed to a local service center in your area.

To confirm your warranty status, go to HP Product Warranty Check. Repair fees might apply for out-of-warranty products.


Keep a print sample that shows the problem. If the printer, ink or toner cartridges, or the imaging drum are replaced under warranty, the support agent might request the print sample.