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HP Officejet 6600, 6700 Printers - Fixing Poor Print Quality Problems

This document is for the HP Officejet 6600 e-All-in-One and 6700 Premium e-All-in-One printers.
The quality of a printed document or photo is not as expected. The procedures in this document should help with streaked or faded printouts, color or black ink not printing, documents with blurred or fuzzy text, ink streaks or smears, and other print quality problems.

Solution one: Use genuine HP cartridges

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.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up with the printer's automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
  • If waiting for automatic servicing to complete resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If waiting for automatic servicing to complete did not resolve the issue, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Check the paper

Follow these guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side down in the input tray. Many papers have printing and nonprinting sides, such as photo paper and envelopes. Usually, the smoother side is the "print side," and sometimes the non-print side has a logo of the paper manufacturer on it.
  • Do not use wrinkled or curled paper. Use only clean, wrinkle-free paper.
    Do not use wrinkled paper
  • Use the correct paper type for your project.
    • For everyday text documents, plain paper with ColorLok technology works well. Paper with ColorLok technology is industry-standard paper that works well with HP ink.
      ColorLok logo
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photos, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for best results.
    • Some paper might not absorb ink as well as others. If your prints smear easily, make sure you are using a recommended paper.
  • Store photo paper in its original packaging inside a resealable plastic bag. Store the paper on a flat surface in a cool, dry place. Load 10-20 sheets of photo paper only when you are ready to print, and then put the unused paper back in the packaging.
  • Try using a different paper. This determines if the problem is related to the paper.
note:
Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in the printout
Figure : Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Horizontal streaks.
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks, or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure : Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Vertical streaks.
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document, or search for a document that covers this issue.
After trying the preceding guidelines, try printing again.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.

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

In general, low ink levels should not impact print quality. Your printer stops and displays a message when ink levels get too low. However, the printer might still perform a limited amount of printing in 'backup mode' at low ink levels. In backup mode, blacks might not be as dark, or printouts might be in grayscale (shades of gray with no color). Replace any low ink cartridges if backup mode printing is unacceptable.

Step one: Check the ink levels

If your printer is having issues printing black ink, the black ink might be low, and the printer might be running in backup mode. Follow these steps to check the 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, touch the Ink Level icon () or ().
    note:
    The Ink Level icon that displays on your control panel differs depending on your printer model.
    A graphic of the estimated ink levels for each ink cartridge displays on the control panel.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels displayed on the printer control panel
    Graphic: Estimated ink levels displayed on printer control panel
  2. Identify any ink cartridges that are low or empty, and then continue to the next step.
  • 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 two: Replace any low or empty cartridges

Follow these steps to replace any low or empty cartridges, and then try to print again.

Video of replacing a cartridge

The following video demonstrates how to replace an ink cartridge.
note:
This video shows the HP Officejet 6700 Premium e-All-in-One Printer series (H711), but the steps are the same for your printer.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, view the video on YouTube.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Slip your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull forward to open the ink cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the left side of the printer.
    Figure : Slot on the left side of the printer
    Image: The slot on the left side of the printer
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before proceeding.
  4. Push in on the front of the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
    Figure : Removing the ink cartridge from its slot
    Image of removing a cartridge
  5. Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging.
  6. Hold the ink cartridge so that the ink cartridge contacts are facing toward the printer.
  7. Slide the new ink cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it snaps into place.
    note:
    Make sure the colored dot on the cartridge label matches the colored dot on the slot.
    Figure : Inserting the cartridge into its color-coded slot
    Image of inserting the cartridge into its color-coded slot
  8. Repeat these steps for other ink cartridges, if necessary.
  9. Close the ink cartridge access door.

Solution six: Print and evaluate a diagnostic page, and then troubleshoot defects

Follow these steps to print a Print Quality Diagnostic Report, and then evaluate the results.

Step one: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Follow these steps to print a test page.
  1. Load plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display more options.
  3. Touch Setup (). The Setup Menu displays.
  4. Touch the Down Arrow (), and then touch Reports.
  5. Touch Print Quality Report. The test page prints.
      Figure : Print Quality Diagnostic Page
      Image: Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
    1. Printer information
    2. Test Pattern 1
    3. Test Pattern 2
    4. Test Pattern 3

Step two: Examine Test Pattern 1

Evaluate Test Pattern 1 to make sure that the lines are straight and connected.
Figure : Test Pattern 1
Image: Test Pattern 1.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, skip to the step to examine Test Pattern 2.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue with the steps to align the printhead.

Step three: Use an automated tool to align the printhead

  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  2. Touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  3. Touch Tools, and then touch Align Printhead.
  4. Wait while the printer aligns the printhead and then prints an alignment page.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, skip to the solution to service the printer.

Step four: Examine Test Pattern 2

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
Figure : Test Pattern 2 with white lines in a color bar
Image: Test Pattern 2 with white lines in a color bar.
Figure : Test Pattern 2 with a missing color block
Image: Test Pattern 2 with a missing color block.
  • If the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, skip to the step to examine Test Pattern 3.
  • If any of the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue with the steps to clean the printhead.

Step five: Use an automated tool to clean the printhead

You might need to clean the printhead several times to restore print quality.
  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, touch the Right Arrow () to display more options.
  3. Touch Setup (), and then touch Tools. The Tools Menu displays.
  4. Touch Clean Printhead.
  5. Wait while the printer completes the printhead cleaning process, and then touch OK.
    note:
    You might have to clean the printhead several times to correct the issue.
  6. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  caution:
Never turn off the printer when ink cartridges are not installed. To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead or that can damage the ink system, always replace ink cartridges as soon as possible, and always turn off the printer using the Power button.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 2, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are defects in Test Pattern 2, try cleaning the printhead again.
  • If there are still defects in Test Pattern 2 after another printhead cleaning, you can try to clean the printhead again or skip to the solution to service the printer.

Step six: Examine Test Pattern 3

Examine the colored columns in Test Pattern 3.
Figure : Test Pattern 3 with white gaps in the columns
Image: Test Pattern 3 with white gaps in the columns.
  • If the columns in Test Pattern 3 do not display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, skip to the next solution to check the image.
  • If the columns in Test Pattern 3 display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, follow the steps to align the printhead.

Step seven: Use an automated tool to align the printhead

  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  2. Touch the Right Arrow () to display the second navigation screen.
  3. Touch Tools, and then touch Align Printhead.
  4. Wait while the printer aligns the printhead and then prints an alignment page.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to see if the issue is resolved.

Solution seven: Check the image

  • If you see one or more defects on the print quality diagnostic report, continue to the next solution to service the printer.
  • If there are no defects on the print quality diagnostic report, it indicates that the print mechanism and ink supplies work correctly. Therefore, you do not need to continue the troubleshooting steps in the remainder of this document. However, if printouts are still unsatisfactory, try the following general procedures to improve print quality:
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Enlarged images might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the issue is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the printer or another software program to rotate the image 180 degrees. The problem might not display on the other end of the printout.
    • Avoid leaving unprotected cartridges out of the printer for an extended period of time.
    • Always use the Power button to turn off the printer. This protects the cartridges from drying out.
Image: Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout.
Windows only: If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Continuous Pages of Strange or Garbled Characters Print in Windows.

Solution eight: 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.
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.

Related Links

Print with black ink only
Go to the Replacing Cartridges document to learn more about how to print with black ink only
Does your printer have issues with the black ink, or does it print blank pages?

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