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HP OfficeJet 4630, DeskJet 4640 Printers - Printer Does Not Print Black or Color Ink

This document is for HP Officejet 4630, 4631, 4632, 4634, 4635, 4636, 4639, and Deskjet Ink Advantage 4645, 4646, 4648 e-All-in-One printers.
The printer is working, but the printed output is missing black or color ink, or the printed page is blank or has very little ink.

Solution one: Remove the black ink cartridge

If you just set up your printer and you notice that black ink is missing or faded on your printouts, follow these steps to remove the black ink cartridge and print only with the tri-color ink cartridge. This allows the printer to operate in single-cartridge mode, which creates composite black from the tri-color ink cartridge.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Locate the slots on the left and right sides of the printer.
    Image: Locate the slots on the sides of the printer
  3. Slide your fingers into the two slots, and then gently lift up to open the ink cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the ink cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Image: Open the ink cartridge access door
  4. To release the ink cartridge, lift the lid on the ink cartridge slot, and then gently push the lid back until it stops.
  5. Pull up on the black ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
      Image: Remove the ink cartridge.
    1. Lift the lid
    2. Gently push the lid back
    3. Pull up on the ink cartridge
  6. Set the black ink cartridge aside, with the nozzles facing up.
    Image: Ink cartridge with nozzles facing up
  7. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Image: Close the ink cartridge access door.
  8. Try the print job again.
    • If the printer operates correctly in single-cartridge mode, let the black ink cartridge rest with the nozzles facing up for several hours or overnight, reinstall it, and then try to print again. If you are satisfied with the print quality, you can stop troubleshooting.
    • If the printer does not operate correctly in single-cartridge mode or you are not satisfied with the print quality after you reinstall the black ink cartridge, continue to the next solution.

Solution two: Make sure you are using genuine HP ink

HP recommends that you use genuine HP ink or toner supplies. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP or refilled cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the steps in this document might not resolve the issue. To check the authenticity of your cartridges, go to the HP anti-counterfeit webpage (in English).
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
HP Officejet 4630, 4631, 4632, 4634, 4635, 4636, and 4639 printers
Ink cartridge description
North America and Asia Pacific, including Japan (excluding India, China, and Indonesia)
Western Europe
Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and CIS
China, India, and Indonesia
Black ink cartridge
HP 61 Black
HP 301 Black
HP 122 Black
HP 802 Black
Color ink cartridge
HP 61 Tri-color
HP 301 Tri-color
HP 122 Tri-color
HP 802 Tri-color
HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 4645, 4646, and 4648 printers
Ink cartridge description
Latin America
Asia Pacific
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Black ink cartridge
HP 662 Black
HP 678 Black
HP 650 Black
Tri-color ink cartridge
HP 662 Tri-color
HP 678 Tri-color
HP 650 Tri-color

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

Low ink can contribute to poor print quality. Follow these steps to check the ink levels, and then replace any low or empty ink cartridges.

Step 1: 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 ink cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not need to replace ink cartridges until print quality becomes unacceptable.
  1. On the printer control panel, press the Home button to open the Home screen.
  2. Press the Down Arrow to select Ink Levels, and then press OK. The control panel displays the estimated ink levels.
      Image: Estimated ink levels
    1. Color ink level indicator
    2. Black ink level indicator
  • 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 2: Replace any low or empty ink cartridges

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Locate the slots on the left and right sides of the printer.
    Image: Locate the slots on the sides of the printer.
  3. Slide your fingers into the two slots, and then gently lift up to open the ink cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the ink cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
  4. To release the ink cartridge, lift the lid on the ink cartridge slot, and then gently push the lid back until it stops.
  5. Pull up on the ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
      Image: Remove the ink cartridge.
    1. Lift the lid
    2. Gently push the lid back
    3. Pull up on the ink cartridge
  6. Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging, and then pull the tab to remove the plastic tape.
    Image: Remove the plastic tape.
  7. Hold the ink cartridge at a slight upward angle with the ink cartridge contacts facing the rear of the printer, and then slide the ink cartridge into the empty slot.
  8. Close the lid on the ink cartridge slot to secure the ink cartridge into place.
    note:
    Insert the color ink cartridge in the slot on the left. Insert the black ink cartridge in the slot on the right.
      Image: Insert the ink cartridge.
    1. Insert the ink cartridge
    2. Close the lid
    3. The color ink cartridge is on the left, and the black ink cartridge is on the right
  9. Repeat the previous steps to install the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  10. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Image: Close the ink cartridge access door.
  11. Follow the instructions on the control panel to start the ink cartridge alignment. The printer aligns the ink cartridges, and then prints an alignment page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead

Follow these steps to run an automated tool to clean the ink cartridges.
note:
You might need to clean the printhead several times for optimal print quality.
note:
To avoid issues that require cleaning, always turn the printer off with the Power button.
  1. Load letter or A4, unused, plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, press the Down Arrow to select Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the Down Arrow to select Clean Printhead, and then press OK. The printer cleans the printhead, and then prints a printhead test page.
    Image: Example of the printhead test page without defects
  4. Review the print quality on the printhead test page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Identify and then replace the problem ink cartridge

If cleaning the printhead did not resolve the issue, follow these steps to identify and replace the problem ink cartridge.
note:
Replace the problem ink cartridge, even if it is not low on ink.

Step 1: Identify the problem ink cartridge

  1. Review the test page you printed in the previous solution.
  2. Check the text and color blocks on the test page.
  • If you identify any defects with the black text on the page, the black ink cartridge is the problem.
  • If you identify any defects with the colored blocks on the page, the tri-color ink cartridge is the problem.

Step 2: Replace the problem ink cartridge

If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink or toner supplies, go to Printer and Page Yield Overview, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Locate the slots on the left and right sides of the printer.
    Image: Locate the slots on the sides of the printer.
  3. Slide your fingers into the two slots, and then gently lift up to open the ink cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the ink cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.
  4. To release the ink cartridge, lift the lid on the ink cartridge slot, and then gently push the lid back until it stops.
  5. Pull up on the ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
      Image: Remove the ink cartridge.
    1. Lift the lid
    2. Gently push the lid back
    3. Pull up on the ink cartridge
  6. Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging, and then pull the tab to remove the plastic tape.
    Image: Remove the plastic tape.
  7. Hold the ink cartridge at a slight upward angle with the ink cartridge contacts facing the rear of the printer, and then slide the ink cartridge into the empty slot.
  8. Close the lid on the ink cartridge slot to secure the ink cartridge into place.
    note:
    Insert the color ink cartridge in the slot on the left. Insert the black ink cartridge in the slot on the right.
      Image: Insert the ink cartridge.
    1. Insert the ink cartridge
    2. Close the lid
    3. The color ink cartridge is on the left, and the black ink cartridge is on the right
  9. Repeat the previous steps to install the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  10. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Image: Close the ink cartridge access door.
  11. Follow the instructions on the control panel to start the ink cartridge alignment. The printer aligns the ink cartridges, and then prints an alignment page.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: 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.
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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