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HP Customer Support - Knowledge Base

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HP Printers - Alignment errors

After trying to align the printheads or cartridges in your printer, an Alignment unsuccessful or Alignment failed error displays on the computer screen or printer control panel.

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

Perform an alignment

Align the printheads or cartridges in your printer when you replace them, to improve print quality, or to clear an alignment error.

  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.

  2. Adjust the paper width guides until they rest against the edges of the paper.

  3. Print an alignment page.

    • Control panel (printers with touchscreens): Open the Tools or Printer Maintenance menu, and then select the option to Align cartridges, Align printhead, or Print an Alignment Page.

    • HP Smart app (Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS): In the app, click your printer, click Print Quality Tools, and then select the option to align the printheads or cartridges.

    • HP Printer Assistant (Windows): Click Maintain Your Printer, and then select the option to align the printheads or cartridges.

    • HP Utility (Mac): Click the option to align the printheads or cartridges.

  4. If your printer has a scanner, follow the directions on the alignment page to scan it and complete the alignment.

Reset the printer

Reset the printer to recover from printer errors or failures.

  1. If your printer has a rechargeable battery, remove it.

  2. With the printer turned on, disconnect the power cord from the printer.

  3. Unplug the power cord from the power source.

  4. Wait 60 seconds.

  5. Reconnect the power cord to a wall outlet and to the printer.

    Note:

    HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

  6. Turn on the printer to complete the reset.

Check ink levels and replace low or empty cartridges

Low ink levels can result in poor print quality or errors. HP recommends having replacement ink on hand when cartridges are low.

  1. Check ink levels.

    • From the printer control panel: Look for an ink drop, a cartridge icon, or an Ink Levels menu.

    • From the HP Smart app: Open the HP Smart app. Estimated ink levels display on the Home screen.

    • From the printer software: Open the printer software, and then click the Supplies or Ink Levels option.

    • Ink Tank, Smart Tank, DeskJet GT printers: Look at the ink tank windows on the printer. Most printers with ink tanks have a minimum fill line.

  2. If any of the cartridges or tanks are low on ink, or if you see a Low ink message, replace the low cartridge or refill the empty tank.

Clean the printheads or cartridges

Use a printhead or cartridge cleaning tool in the printer software or on the control panel to resolve errors and improve print quality.

Use this cleaning tool when you see streaks, smudges, or colored or white lines on printed pages.

  • Control panel (printers with touchscreens only): From the Settings, Setup, or Tools menu, look for an option to clean the printheads or cartridges.

  • HP Smart app (Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS): In the app, click your printer, click Print Quality Tools, and then select the option to clean the printheads or cartridges.

  • HP Printer Assistant (Windows): Click Maintain Your Printer, and then select the option to clean the printheads or cartridges.

  • HP Utility (Mac): Click the option to clean the printheads or cartridges.

After the cleaning, evaluate the page that prints. You might need to clean the printheads or cartridges more than once.

Replace cartridges or printheads that are not functioning

Alignment pages with defects or missing colors can cause the sensor inside the printer to misread the page and alignment to fail. Check the page for issues, and the replace faulty cartridges or printheads.

  1. Check the page for defects such as missing colors or sections. See the examples below for sections of alignment pages without defects.

    Note:

    Depending on your printer, the alignment page might have multiple colors or only black ink. Most alignment pages include a series of lines and blocks.

    Examples of clean alignment pages
  2. If you find any defects, replace the ink cartridges and printhead (for printers with a removeable printhead).

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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