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HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 Printers - Fixing Poor Print Quality

This document is for HP OfficeJet Pro 8210, 8216, and 8218 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.
  note:
Windows operating systems 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.
Figure : Example of garbled, jumbled or illogical text, or an incomplete print job
Image: Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout
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.
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 hp.com/go/anticounterfeit.
Visit HP SureSupply to check ink or toner cartridge compatibility or purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies.
  1. If necessary, select your country/region.
    Figure : Country/region selector
    Selecting your country/region
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to order new supplies or check cartridge compatibility with your printer.
You can also purchase genuine HP cartridges and supplies from other retailers.
If installing genuine HP ink cartridges resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
Step 2: Make sure you are using the appropriate paper for your print job
Make sure 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, like photo paper and other special media. 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. Load only clean, wrinkle-free paper into the product.
    Figure : Do not use wrinkled paper
    Image: 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.
      Figure : Plain paper with ColorLok technology is recommended for text printing
    • For documents with dense printing, such as high contrast graphics or photographs, use HP Advanced Photo Paper for the best results.
    • Some media may 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, damaged, or unsupported paper can cause vertical streaks in printouts.
Examples of horizontal and vertical streaks in a printout
Figure : Horizontal streaks in a printout
Image: Horizontal streaks  in a printout.
If your printout contains horizontal lines or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks, continue to the next step.
Figure : Vertical streaks in a printout
Image: Vertical streaks in a printout.
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. Vertical streaks in copies can often be fixed by cleaning the scanner glass.
Try to print. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.
Step 3: Check print settings
Check the print settings to make sure they are appropriate for your print job.
  note:
Print settings vary by operating system and software programs.
Check the estimated ink levels. If an ink cartridge is empty, your printer can print for a period of time in either greyscale or composite black, depending on which ink cartridge is empty. If a color ink cartridge is empty, the printer prints in greyscale using black ink. If the black ink cartridge is empty, the printer prints in composite black using color ink. Composite black might not be as dark as regular printouts.​
  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 you are prompted to.
  1. From the Home screen on the printer control panel, use the arrow buttons to select Cartridge Information, and then press OK.
  2. With Estimated Levels selected, press OK.
    The control panel displays estimated ink levels. The amount of color shown within a column represents how much ink remains in the ink cartridge of that color.
    Figure : Estimated ink levels
    Estimated ink levels
Step 5: Replace any low or empty ink cartridges
Replace any critically low or empty ink cartridges, and then try to print again. Skip this step if all ink cartridges display full ink levels.
  note:
To avoid print quality issues and dried out ink cartridges, do not leave any ink cartridges outside the printer for longer than 30 minutes.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door.
    Figure : Opening the ink cartridge access door
    Image: Lift the ink cartridge cover
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
  4. Push in on the front of the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge toward you to remove it.
    Figure : Removing the ink cartridge
    Removing the ink cartridge
  5. Remove the replacement ink cartridge from its package.
  6. Carefully insert the new ink cartridge into its slot, and then push the ink cartridge forward until it snaps into place.
    Figure : Reinserting the ink cartridge
    Reinserting the ink cartridge
  7. Repeat these steps for the other ink cartridges.
  8. Make sure each ink cartridge is not sticking out farther than the other ink cartridges. If an ink cartridge is sticking out, push it until it snaps into place.
  9. Close the ink cartridge access door.
Try to print. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.
Step 6: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page
Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Report, and then evaluate the results.
  1. Load plain white paper in the input tray.
  2. From the home screen on the printer control panel, use the arrow buttons to select Setup, and then press OK.
  3. Press the down arrow to select Print Reports, and then press OK.
  4. Press the down arrow to select Print Quality Report, and then press OK.
    A Print Quality Diagnostic Page prints.
    Figure : Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic Page without defects
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic page without defects
Step 7: Examine Test Pattern 1
Evaluate Test Pattern 1 to make sure 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 the color blocks for defects.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue with the steps to align the printer.
Step 8: Align the printer
Aligning the ink cartridges correctly aligns the printhead with the printer, which can resolve errors with Test Pattern 1.
  1. From the home screen on the printer control panel, use the arrow buttons to select Setup, and then press OK.
  2. Press the down arrow to select Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the down arrow to select Align Printer, and then press OK.
    An alignment page prints.
    Figure : Example of an alignment page
    Image: Example of an alignment page
Step 9: Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page
Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to examine the lines in Test Pattern 1 again.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, continue with the next step to examine the color blocks.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, skip to the step to Order a replacement printhead.
Step 10: Examine the color blocks for defects
Examine the color blocks on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page to make sure the color blocks do not show white lines and are not faded or missing.
Figure : Color blocks with white lines in a color bar
Image: Test Pattern 2 with white lines in a color bar.
Figure : Color blocks with a missing color block
Image: Test Pattern 2 with a missing color block.
  • If the color blocks do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, you do not need to continue with the steps in this document.
  • If any of the color blocks show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue with the next step.
Step 11: Clean the printhead
The printhead could be clogged, and you might need to clean the printhead several times to restore print quality. Use the automated tool from the printer control panel to clean the printhead.
  caution:
Never turn off the printer when ink cartridges are missing. Make sure you replace any missing ink cartridges as soon as possible to avoid print quality issues and possible extra ink usage or damage to the ink system. To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead, always turn the printer off with the Power button on the printer itself.
  1. From the home screen on the printer control panel, use the arrow buttons to select Setup, and then press OK.
  2. Press the down arrow to select Tools, and then press OK.
  3. Press the down arrow to select Clean Printhead, and then press OK.
    Cleaning... displays on the control panel. The printer might beep or make mechanical noises, and then the printer prints a printhead cleaning test page.
  4. Examine the printhead cleaning test page.
    Figure : Example of the printhead cleaning test page
     Example of the printhead cleaning test page
    • If the print quality is acceptable, press the button next to Done. You can stop troubleshooting.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, press OK to perform the next level of cleaning. If the print quality is unacceptable after the second cleaning, press OK to start the third level of cleaning.
        note:
      If the printhead is badly clogged, it might require another cleaning cycle. If so, wait 30 minutes before you perform all three levels of cleaning again.
Step 12: Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page
Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 again.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 2, you do not need to continue with the steps in this document.
  • If there are still defects in Test Pattern 2 after a second printhead cleaning, you can try to clean the printhead a third time or continue to the next step.
Step 13: Order a replacement printhead
If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, replace the printhead. If you are an HP Instant Ink subscriber, you might receive a new set of HP Instant Ink cartridges. You must install the Setup ink cartridges first, or an ink cartridge error occurs.
  caution:
Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the ink cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the ink cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the ink cartridges.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink or toner supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
If your printhead assembly is no longer under warranty, you can purchase a new one online.
  1. Go to HP Parts Store (in English), and then select your country/region and language combination, if prompted.
  2. In the Find your part search box, type M0H91A, and then press Enter.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to order the printhead assembly.
When you have the replacement printhead, go to Replacing the Printhead .
If replacing the printhead did not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.
Service or replace your HP product if you completed all preceding steps.
To see if your product is still under warranty, go to the warranty check website http://www.support.hp.com/checkwarranty. Contact HP Support to schedule a repair or replacement. If you are in Asia Pacific, Contact HP Support to find a local service center in your area.
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.

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