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HP Smart Tank Printers - Color or black ink not printing, other print quality issues

The quality of a printed document from your HP Smart Tank 670, 720, 750, 6000, 7000, or 7300 series printer is not as expected, color or black ink does not print, or printouts are smeared, fuzzy, dark, or faded.

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

Check ink levels and fill ink tanks

Low ink levels can impact print quality. Refill any tanks that are low on ink.

HP recommends that you use genuine HP ink. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP ink. If you do not use genuine HP ink and HP printheads, the steps in this document might not resolve print quality issues.

Note:

Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.

  1. On the control panel, look for KYMC and the blinking Ink icons . The Printhead icons might also blink.

  2. Fill any tanks that are low on ink.

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

    • Some paper might not absorb ink as well as others, causing faded or smeared prints. Plain paper with ColorLok technology works well for text and documents with graphics. For photos, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for best results.

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

  2. Load paper according to the print side: Typically, the smoother or glossy side is the print side.

    • For inkjet printers with a rear load tray, load the print side facing up.

    • For inkjet printers with a front load tray, load the print side facing down.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Clean the ink smears (HP Smart app)

Use the HP Smart app to clean printhead contacts and improve 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 Tools, click Alignment & Maintenance.

    If the Alignment & Maintenance is not available, click Advanced Settings to open the printer Embedded Web Server (EWS), and then click Tools. Click Utilities, and then click Print Quality Toolbox.

  3. Under Clean Up, click Clean Smear or Clean Ink Smear.

    A Rib Smear cleaning in progress message displays, and the printer feeds one page slowly. The printer might make some noise for a minute before it is done.

Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

To resolve many print quality issues, print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then evaluate the results.

  1. On the printer control panel, press and hold the Information button for five seconds to enable support mode.

    All buttons on the control panel light up.

  2. Press and hold the Color Copy button for three seconds.

    A Print Quality Diagnostic Page prints.

    Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
  3. Review the test patterns, checking for missing colors, fading, and white lines.

    • If you find defects on the page, continue to the next step.

    • If you do not find defects on the page, skip to the step to Replace the printheads.

Clean the printhead (HP Smart app)

Use the HP Smart app to clean the printhead and fix many print quality issues including incorrect colors, streaks, and faded printouts.

  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.

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

  3. Under Tools, click Print Quality Tools, and then select Clean Printhead or Clean.

    A Cleaning printhead message displays, and a test page prints.

    Example of test page printouts

    Examples of a test page
  4. Examine the print quality on the test page.

    • If the print quality is acceptable, you are done troubleshooting.

    • If the print quality is unacceptable, touch Yes in the HP Smart app to perform a second-level and third-level cleaning, which are more thorough and take a few extra minutes to complete.

      Note:

      Printheads that are badly clogged might require another printhead cleaning cycle. Wait at least 30 minutes before cleaning the printhead again.

Align the printer (HP Smart app)

Use the HP Smart app to align the printhead, which can improve print quality and resolve alignment errors.

  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.

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

  3. Under Tools, click Print Quality Tools, and then select Align Printer, Align Printheads, or Align.

    An Aligning printhead message displays and an alignment page prints.

  4. If listed on the printout, follow the instructions to scan and finish the alignment process.

    Example alignment page with instructions to scan it with the printer

    Example alignment page with instructions listed to scan it

Replace the printhead

Remove the faulty printhead, and then install the new replacement.

  1. Turn on the printer.

  2. Lift the ink access door, and then wait until the carriage stops.

    Lifting the ink access door
  3. Press the blue button on the carriage to open the printhead cover.

    Opening the printhead cover
  4. Remove the printhead from the carriage, and then set it aside on a protected surface.

    CAUTION:

    To prevent ink from leaking, hold the printhead by its sides and keep the printhead upright at all times.

    Removing the printhead
  5. Remove the new printhead from its package.

    Removing the new printhead from its package
  6. Pull the plug straight up from the top of the printhead.

    Pulling the plug from printhead
  7. Remove the tape from the printhead contacts using the pull tabs.

    CAUTION:

    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzle. Do not replace the protective tape on the contact. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.

    Removing the tape
  8. Insert the new printhead into its slot until it snaps into place.

    Inserting the new printhead
  9. Close the printhead cover.

    Closing the printhead cover
  10. Close the ink access door.

    Closing the ink access door
  11. Align the printheads.

    • If your printer has a touchscreen control panel, follow the control panel prompts to print an Alignment page, and then follow the instructions on the page to scan it and align the new printheads.

    • If your printer does not have a touchscreen control panel, an A blinks on the control panel and an Alignment page prints automatically. Follow the instructions on the page to scan it and align the new printheads.

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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