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HP LaserJet Pro 3001-3008 printers - Fixing poor print quality

The quality of a printed document is not as expected. Printouts are smeared, fuzzy, dark, or faded, or toner is loose, partially missing, or scattered.

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

Check the toner level and inspect the cartridge

Low toner or issues with the cartridge can cause poor print quality.

  1. Check toner and cartridge type. HP recommends that you use genuine HP toner supplies. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP or refilled cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP supplies, HP+ printers might not operate as expected and the troubleshooting steps on the HP support site might not resolve the issue.

    To check the authenticity of your cartridges, go to HP Anti Counterfeiting and Fraud Program (in English). You can purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.

  2. Check if the Cartridge light is on or blinking. A blinking Cartridge light indicates that the cartridge is low on toner.

    If you are using genuine HP cartridges and the toner level is not very low or empty, continue with these steps to inspect the cartridge for damage.

  3. Open the toner cartridge access door, and then remove the cartridge.

    Removing the toner cartridge
  4. Examine the memory chip for damage. If the memory chip is damaged, replace the cartridge.

    Locating the memory chip on a toner cartridge
  5. Examine the surface of the imaging drum. If you see any scratches, fingerprints, or other damage, replace the cartridge.

    CAUTION:

    Do not touch the imaging drum. Fingerprints can cause print quality problems.

    Locating the imaging drum to examine it for scratches or fingerprints
  6. Install the toner cartridge, and then close the toner cartridge access door.

    Installing the toner cartridge

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

    • Use paper designed for HP LaserJet printers, which is designed to handle the additional heat produced during the printing process.

      CAUTION:

      Do not use paper designed only for inkjet printers. For example, inkjet glossy photo paper can blister during the print job, which might damage the printer.

    • Some paper might not absorb toner as well as others, causing faded or smeared prints.

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

    • Do not use paper that is too rough. Smoother paper can result in better print quality.

  2. Loading paper according to the print side: Typically, the smoother or glossy side is the print side, and it is loaded with the print side facing up in the input tray.

  3. Loading paper according to the print side. Load paper into the paper tray with the print-side facing up. Typically, the smoother or glossy side is the print side.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Print a fuser cleaning page

Use Advanced Settings in the HP Smart app to print a fuser cleaning page and resolve any print quality issues including toner specks or spatter, smears, streaks, lines, or repeating marks.

  1. Make sure paper is loaded into the input tray, and then turn on the printer.

  2. Open the HP Smart app, and then click the image of your printer to open the settings and management tools.

  3. Under Advanced or Settings, click Advanced Settings to open the printer Embedded Web Server (EWS).

  4. From the EWS home page, click the Tools tab, and then click Utilities > Print Quality Toolbox.

    Clicking Print Quality Toolbox
  5. Next to Clean the Fuser, click Start.

    Clicking Start under Cartridge Cleaning mode in EWS

    A Printer cleaning is in progress displays on the printer control panel. The printer uses a single piece of paper to clean the fuser. The printer might take up to 3 minutes to complete the cleaning.

Change the print density settings (HP Smart app)

Use Advanced Settings in the HP Smart app to change the print density settings and resolve any print quality issues.

  1. Open the HP Smart app, and then click the image of your printer to open the settings and management tools.

  2. Under Advanced or Settings, click Advanced Settings to open the printer Embedded Web Server (EWS).

  3. From the EWS home page, click the Settings tab, and then click Preferences > General Printer Settings.

    Clicking General Printer Settings
  4. Click Advanced to open the print density settings.

    Clicking Advanced
  5. When prompted to log in, enter the PIN from the printer label, and then click Submit. This label is typically located inside the cartridge access area or printer door.

    Location of the PIN on the printer label
  6. Next to Print Density, select a higher density value to increase how much toner is used when printing, which can improve print quality.

    Selecting a Print Density value in the EWS
  7. When you are done, click Apply.

Update the printer firmware (HP Smart app)

Use Advanced Settings in the HP Smart app to check for and install firmware updates.

  1. Open the HP Smart app, and then click the image of your printer to open the settings and management tools.

  2. Under Advanced or Settings, click Advanced Settings to open the printer Embedded Web Server (EWS).

  3. From the EWS home page, click the Printer Update tile. If the tile is missing, click Tools > Printer Updates > Firmware Updates.

    Clicking Printer Update or Tools in the EWS
  4. If prompted to log in, enter the PIN from the printer label, and then click Submit. This label is typically inside the cartridge access area.

    Location of the PIN on the printer label
  5. Under Check for Printer Updates, click Check Now. Any new updates automatically install.

    CAUTION:

    Do not turn off the printer during a firmware update. This can permanently damage your printer.

    Clicking Check Now

For more information, go to Update the firmware on an HP printer.

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.

Note:

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.