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HP Officejet J4500/J4600 All-in-One Series - An 'Alignment failed' Error Message Displays on the Printer Control Panel

Issue

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

Solution one: Reset the printer

  1. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  3. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  4. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  5. Reconnect the power cord to the printer.
  6. Turn the printer on.

Solution two: Load the correct paper type, and then align the cartridges again

Follow these steps to load the correct paper type, and then align the cartridges.
The following video demonstrates how to print an alignment page.
Remarque :
This video shows the HP Officejet J4580 All-in-One printer. The outside of the printer might not look the same as your printer, 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 letter or A4, unused white paper into the input tray.
    Remarque :
    If colored paper is loaded in the input tray when aligning the cartridges, then the alignment might fail. Load unused plain, white paper into the input tray, and then try the alignment again.
  2. Press the Setup button () on the printer control panel.
  3. Press the right arrow button () to select Tools, and then press OK.
  4. Press the right arrow button () to select Align Cartridge, and then press OK.
  5. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the page. The alignment page should have black and colored print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page
  6. Load the cartridge alignment page face down on the scanner glass in the right-front corner with the top of the page to the right.
    Figure : Load the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Load the alignment page on the scanner glass.
  7. Close the scanner lid, and then press OK. The printer aligns the cartridges.
  8. Recycle or discard the cartridge alignment page.
Remarque :
The printer prompts you to align the cartridges every time you install a new cartridge.
  • If the alignment page prints with no fading or streaking, and resetting and realigning the printer resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page prints with no fading or streaking, and resetting and realigning the printer 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 three: Check the 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 the ink levels

Remarque :
If you have installed a refilled or remanufactured print cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another printer, the ink level indicator will be inaccurate or unavailable.
  1. Load letter or A4 unused, plain, white paper into the paper tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ().
  3. Press the Right Arrow button () repeatedly until Print Report displays, and then press OK.
  4. Press the Right Arrow button () repeatedly until Self Test displays, and then press OK. A self-test report prints.
    Figure : Example of a self-test report
    Image: Example of a self-test report
    The black and colored bars above the labeled colored squares on the page represent the corresponding cartridge. Full color bars represent high ink levels, while color bars that are streaked or faded represent low ink levels.
  • If none of the ink cartridges are low on ink, you do not need to replace them yet. Continue to the next solution.
  • If any of the ink cartridges are low on ink, continue to the next step to replace them.

Step two: Replace any empty or nearly empty cartridges

Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
Learn how to replace a cartridge.
Remarque :
This video shows the HP Officejet J4680 printer. The outside of the printer might not look the same as your printer, 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.

Step one: Remove the old cartridge

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
      Attention :
    If the printer is off when the front accessdoor is opened, the printer will notrelease the cartridges.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on acartridge to release it.
    • To replace the tri-color cartridge, remove the cartridge from theslot on the left.
    • To replace the black cartridge, remove the cartridgefrom the slot on the right.
      Figure : Remove the cartridges
      Image: Remove the cartridges.
  4. Pull the cartridge toward you and out of its slot.

Step two: Prepare the new cartridge

Follow these steps to prepare the new cartridge for use in the printer.
  1. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  2. Remove the plastic tape by pulling gently on the pink pull tab.
      Figure : Remove the tape
      Image:  Remove the tape.
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Plastic tape with pink pull tab (must be removed before installing)
    3. Ink nozzles under tape
      Attention :
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles.Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electricalconnections.
    Figure : Do not touch the copper contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the copper contacts or ink nozzles.

Step three: Replace the old cartridge

Follow these steps to replace the old cartridge.
  1. Hold the new cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then slide the cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty cartridge slot. Push the cartridge in firmly until it snaps into place.
    • To install a tri-color cartridge, insert it into the left slot.
    • To install a black cartridge, insert it into the right slot.
      Figure : Insert the cartridges
      Image: Insert the cartridges.
  2. Close the front access door.
  3. When prompted, press the OK button.
  4. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the page. The alignment page should have black and colored print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page
  5. Place the alignment sheet on the scanner glass so that the top of the sheet is on the right side with the text facing down. Make sure that the sheet is aligned with the right front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment sheet on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment sheet on the scanner glass.
  6. Close the scanner lid, and then press OK. The printer scans the alignment page and completes the alignment process.
  7. Recycle or discard the alignment page.

Step four: Place any unused cartridge in a cartridge protector

If you are temporarily removing a working cartridge (for instance, removing a black cartridge in order to install a photo cartridge), put the cartridge that you are not using into a cartridge protector.
Remarque :
Cartridge protectors come only with photo cartridges. If a cartridge protector is unavailable, store the unused cartridge in a rigid, airtight container (not a plastic bag). If unprotected, the cartridge might dry out and become unsuitable for use.
  • If the alignment page prints with no fading or streaking, and replacing the low or empty cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page prints with no fading or streaking, 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: Clean the cartridges

Follow these steps to clean the cartridges, and then try to align the cartridges again.
Remarque :
Use this feature when there is streaking, white lines through any of the lines of color, or when a color is muddy. Do not clean cartridges unnecessarily, as this wastes ink and shortens the life of the ink nozzles.

Step one: Clean the cartridges

  1. Make sure that letter or A4 unused, plain, white paper is loaded into the paper tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Setup button ().
  3. Press the Right Arrow button () repeatedly until Tools displays, and then press OK.
  4. Press the Right Arrow button () repeatedly until Clean Cartridge displays, and then press OK. A page prints that you can recycle or discard.

Step two: Align the cartridges

Try to align the cartridges again.
  • If the alignment page prints with no fading or streaking, and cleaning the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting.
  • If the alignment page prints with no fading or streaking, and cleaning 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: Replace the cartridges

If you have completed all the previous steps and the alignment page still looks streaked or is missing colors, replace the cartridges, and then try aligning the cartridges again.
  • If the black areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the black or photo print cartridge located in the slot on the right.
  • If the colored areas of the alignment page look streaked, faded, or are missing colors, replace the tri-color cartridge located in the slot on the left.

Video of replacing the cartridges

Learn how to replace a cartridge.
Remarque :
This video shows the HP Officejet J4680 printer. The outside of the printer might not look the same as your printer, 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.

Step one: Remove the old cartridge

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
      Attention :
    If the printer is off when the front accessdoor is opened, the printer will notrelease the cartridges.
  2. Open the cartridge access door.The carriage moves to the far right side of the printer.
    Figure : Open the cartridge access door
    Image: Open the cartridge access door.
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent, and then lightly press down on acartridge to release it.
    • To replace the tri-color cartridge, remove the cartridge from theslot on the left.
    • To replace the black cartridge, remove the cartridgefrom the slot on the right.
      Figure : Remove the cartridges
      Image: Remove the cartridges.
  4. Pull the cartridge toward you and out of its slot.

Step two: Prepare the new cartridge

Follow these steps to prepare the new cartridge for use in the printer.
  1. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging. Be careful to touch only the black plastic.
  2. Remove the plastic tape by pulling gently on the pink pull tab.
      Figure : Remove the tape
      Image:  Remove the tape.
    1. Copper-colored contacts
    2. Plastic tape with pink pull tab (must be removed before installing)
    3. Ink nozzles under tape
      Attention :
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles.Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electricalconnections.
    Figure : Do not touch the copper contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the copper contacts or ink nozzles.

Step three: Replace the old cartridge

Follow these steps to replace the old cartridge.
  1. Hold the new cartridge with the HP logo on top, and then slide the cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty cartridge slot. Push the cartridge in firmly until it snaps into place.
    • To install a tri-color cartridge, insert it into the left slot.
    • To install a black cartridge, insert it into the right slot.
      Figure : Insert the cartridges
      Image: Insert the cartridges.
  2. Close the front access door.
  3. When prompted, press the OK button.
  4. Wait for the alignment page to print, and then examine the page. The alignment page should have black and colored print areas, and the print areas should be sharp and clear, with no fading or streaking.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page
  5. Place the alignment page on the scanner glass so that the top of the page is on the right side with the text facing down. Make sure that the page is aligned with the right front corner of the scanner glass.
    Figure : Place the alignment page on the scanner glass
    Image: Place the alignment page on the scanner glass.
  6. Close the scanner lid, and then press OK. The printer scans the alignment page and completes the alignment process.
  7. Recycle or discard the alignment page.

Step four: Place any unused cartridge in a cartridge protector

If you are temporarily removing a working cartridge (for instance, removing a black cartridge in order to install a photo cartridge), put the cartridge that you are not using into a cartridge protector.
Remarque :
Cartridge protectors come only with photo cartridges. If a cartridge protector is unavailable, store the unused cartridge in a rigid, airtight container (not a plastic bag). If unprotected, the cartridge might dry out and become unsuitable for use.

Solution six: Service the printer

Service or replace your HP product 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.

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