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Fix poor print quality on HP LaserJet MFP M139-M142 printers

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 paper

The quality and type of paper can affect the print job. Follow these guidelines to make sure that the paper is appropriate. If it is not, load an appropriate paper type.

  • Use paper that is designed for use in HP LaserJet printers. Do not use paper that is designed only for inkjet printers.

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

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 will not operate as expected (wireless models only) 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 the toner, and then replace a very low or empty cartridge.

    • HP Smart app: Open the app, and then view the toner level next to the printer name or image.

    • Configuration page: On the printer control panel, press the Cancel button to wake the printer. Press and hold the Start Copy/Resume button for five seconds, and then release it. The Ready light blinks. View the toner level on the printout.

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

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

    Opening print-cartridge door, and then removing the toner cartridge
  4. Examine the memory chip for damage. If the memory chip is damaged, replace the toner cartridge.

    The location of 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 toner 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. Reinstall the cartridge, and then close the toner access door.

    Aligning the cartridge with the tracks inside the printer

Check the print settings

Sometimes the print settings can affect print quality. Check print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.

Clean the cartridge

Use Cartridge Cleaning Mode to clean dust from the paper rollers and improve print quality.

  1. Open the Advanced settings, Printer Home Page, or HP Device Toolbox.

    • HP Smart app (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android): Open the app, and then click your printer name or image. Select Printer Settings if necessary, and then select Advanced settings.

    • HP Printer Assistant (Windows 7): Search for and open HP, and then open HP Printer Assistant. Select Print, and then click Printer Home Page (EWS) or HP Device Toolbox.

  2. Click System > Service.

  3. If prompted, enter the Username and Password.

    Note:

    If the password has not been changed, you can find the Username and PIN (password) underneath the toner access door.

    Example of the username and pin sticker location
  4. Locate Cartridge Cleaning Mode, and then click Start.

    The printer cleans the cartridge.

Print a cleaning page

Use Toner Cleaning Mode to clean dust from the paper rollers.

  1. Make sure paper is loaded in the main tray, and then turn on the printer.

  2. Open the Advanced settings, Printer Home Page, or HP Device Toolbox.

    • HP Smart app (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android): Open the app, and then click your printer name or image. Select Printer Settings if necessary, and then select Advanced settings.

    • HP Printer Assistant (Windows 7): Search for and open HP, and then open HP Printer Assistant. Select Print, and then click Printer Home Page (EWS) or HP Device Toolbox.

  3. Click System > Service.

  4. If prompted, enter the Username and Password.

    Note:

    If the password has not been changed, you can find the Username and PIN (password) underneath the toner access door.

    Example of the username and pin sticker location
  5. Locate Fuser Cleaning Mode, click Start, and then click OK.

    The Attention light blinks on the printer control panel.

  6. On the control panel, press the Resume/Cancel button .

    The printer uses a single piece of paper to clean the fuser.

  7. Discard the paper in the output bin.

Adjust the print density setting

Adjust the print density settings to help improve print quality issues.

  1. Open the Advanced settings, Printer Home Page, or HP Device Toolbox.

    • HP Smart app (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android): Open the app, and then click your printer name or image. Select Printer Settings if necessary, and then select Advanced Settings.

    • HP Printer Assistant (Windows 7): Search for and open HP, and then open HP Printer Assistant. Select Print, and then click Printer Home Page (EWS) or HP Device Toolbox.

  2. Click System > System Setup.

  3. If prompted, enter the Username and Password.

    Note:

    You can find the Username and PIN (password) underneath the toner access door.

    Example of the username and pin sticker location
  4. Increase the print density setting, and then click Apply.

Update the printer firmware

Check for and install any available printer firmware updates that include new features or resolve issues.

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.


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