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HP Inkjet Printers - Printhead Errors

One of the following errors or messages displays on the printer control panel or the computer, and the printer does not print.

  • Incompatible Printhead

  • Missing or Failed Printhead

  • Printhead Appears to be Missing or Damaged

  • Printhead Failure

  • Printhead is Missing, Not Detected, or Not Properly Installed

  • Printhead Missing

  • Printhead Missing or Damaged

  • Printhead Problem

Identify your cartridge type for steps to resolve these errors.

Ink cartridge types

Resolve printhead errors (178, 364, 564, 655, 862, 902-920, 934, 935 cartridges)

Resolve errors such as 'Incompatible printhead', 'Missing or failed printhead', and 'Printhead problem' for printers that use HP 178, 364, 564, 655, 862, 902, 903, 904, 905, 906, 907, 908, 909, 910, 912, 914, 915, 916, 917, 918, 919, 920, 934, and 935 cartridges.

Example of HP 904 ink cartridges

Reset the printer

Reset the printer to recover from printer errors or failures.

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

  2. Unplug the power cord from the power source.

  3. Wait 60 seconds.

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

    Note:

    HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

  5. Turn on the printer to complete the reset.

Clean or service the printhead

If your printer has a removable printhead, you can manually clean it. Otherwise use the steps provided to replace the printhead or service the printer.

  1. Open the door or lid to the cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage stops moving before continuing.

  2. Look for a latch on the carriage.

    Printhead with a latch
    • If there is no latch, the printhead is not replaceable. 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.

    • If there is a latch, continue to the next step.

  3. Remove all of the cartridges from the carriage. Push in the tab on each cartridge, and then lift them out of the carriage.

    CAUTION:

    Do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. Doing so can damage both the printer and the cartridges.

    Removing the cartridge from the carriage
  4. Lift the latch on the carriage until it stops.

    Lifting the printhead latch
  5. Grasp the printhead by the sides to remove it from the carriage.

    Removing the printhead
  6. Lightly dampen a lint free cloth with distilled or bottled water, and then wipe the electrical contacts from the bottom to the top until no ink appears on the cloth. Do not go past the edge between the electrical contacts and the ink nozzles.

    CAUTION:

    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts with your fingers, or let the contacts touch any surface.

    Cleaning the printhead contacts
  7. Using a clean area of the damp cloth, wipe any accumulated ink and debris from the edge between the ink nozzles and the electrical contacts.

    Cleaning the area between the contacts and the nozzles
  8. Using a clean area of the damp cloth, wipe the ramps on both sides of the ink nozzles. Wipe away from the nozzles only.

    Cleaning the area around the ink nozzles
  9. Wipe each of the previous areas with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

  10. Using a clean area of the damp cloth, wipe the electrical contacts in the carriage from top to bottom until no ink appears on the cloth.

    Cleaning the contacts in the carriage
  11. Wipe the contacts with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

  12. Slide the printhead back into the carriage, and then lower the latch until it stops.

    Closing the printhead latch
  13. Reinsert each cartridge into its color-coded slot, making sure each snaps into place and none are protruding.

  14. Close the door or lid to the cartridge access area.

    • If the error no longer displays, the issue is resolved.

    • If the error still displays, continue to the next step.

  15. Go to the HP Parts Store.If you are in Asia Pacific, the site directs you to a service center in your area.

  16. Search for your printhead number.

    • If your printer uses four ink cartridges, search for CN643A.

    • If your printer uses five ink cartridges, search for CN642A.

  17. Follow the steps to order the printhead.

    Note:

    If you have a defective printhead, it might be under warranty. Go to About Original HP Cartridges for HP limited warranty information.

  18. Install the replacement printhead. If the issue persists, service the printer.

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.

Resolve printhead errors (932, 933, 950, 951-959, 962-969 cartridges)

Resolve errors such as 'Incompatible printhead', 'Missing or failed printhead', and 'Printhead problem' for printers that use HP 932, 933, 950, 951, 952, 953, 954, 955, 956, 957, 958, 959, 962, 963, 964, 965, 966, 967, 968, and 969 cartridges.

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

Example of HP 950 ink cartridges

Reset the printer

Reset the printer to recover from printer errors or failures.

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

  2. Unplug the power cord from the power source.

  3. Wait 60 seconds.

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

    Note:

    HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

  5. Turn on the printer to complete the reset.

Update the printer firmware

HP regularly releases new firmware versions with printer enhancements or issue fixes. Update firmware on a regular basis to make sure you are getting the most out of your printer.

  • Update from the printer control panel: Many HP printers with touchscreens or menus can connect directly to HP to find and install updates. Make sure the printer is on a network with an active Internet connection. If the printer is connected with a USB cable, use one of the other options.

    On the printer, locate the Product Update or Check for Updates menu by pressing the HP ePrint icon or button ( or ). Or open the Setup, Service, or Settings menu, select Preferences, Printer Maintenance, or Tools, and then select Web Services, Printer Update, or LaserJet Update.

  • Download updates from HP Customer Support: With the printer turned on and connected to the computer or a network, go to HP Software and Driver Downloads to check for and install available updates listed under Firmware.

  • Install updates through the HP Smart app: Download and install the HP Smart app from 123.hp.com (Android, iOS, iPadOS), HP Smart - Microsoft Store (Windows), or HP Smart - Mac App Store (macOS). After adding the printer, click the printer image, click Printer Home Page (EWS) or Advanced Settings, click Tools or Web Services, and then click Printer Updates.

Reseat the printhead if it is replaceable

If your printer has a removable printhead, you can manually reseat it. Otherwise use the steps provided to replace the printhead or service the printer.

  1. Open the door or lid to the cartridge access area. Wait until the carriage stops moving before continuing.

  2. Look for a latch on the carriage.

    Latch on the ink cartridge carriage
    • If there is no latch, the printhead is not replaceable. 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.

    • If there is a latch, continue to the next step.

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

  4. Lift the carriage latch, slightly lift the printhead, lower the printhead back into the carriage, wiggle the printhead left and right, and then lower the carriage latch until it stops.

    Reseating the printhead
  5. Close the door or lid to the cartridge access area.

  6. Reconnect the power cord to the printer.

    If the error message still displays, sometimes the issue persists after inserting the printhead. Repeat the steps to reseat the printhead up to three times, and then continue to the next step if the error still displays.

  7. Go to the HP Parts Store.If you are in Asia Pacific, the site directs you to a service center in your area.

  8. Search for your printhead number.

    • For 950 and 951 cartridges, search for CR322A (Americas), CR324A (Europe, Middle East, Africa), or CR326A (Asia Pacific, Japan).

    • For 952-959 cartridges, search for M0H91A.

    • For 962-969 cartridges, search for 3JB16A.

  9. Follow the steps to order the printhead.

    Note:

    If you have a defective printhead, it might be under warranty. Go to About Original HP Cartridges for HP limited warranty information.

  10. Install the replacement printhead. If the issue persists, service the printer.

Resolve printhead errors (10-13, 18, 38, 39, 70, 72, 73 82, 84, 85, 88, 89 727, 728, 777, and 940 ink cartridges)

Resolve errors such as 'Incompatible printhead', 'Missing or failed printhead', and 'Printhead problem' for printers that use HP 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 38, 39, 70, 72, 73, 82, 84, 85, 88, 89, 727, 728, 777, and 940 cartridges.

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

Example of an HP 10 cartridge

Reset the printer

Reset the printer to recover from printer errors or failures.

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

  2. Unplug the power cord from the power source.

  3. Wait 60 seconds.

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

    Note:

    HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

  5. Turn on the printer to complete the reset.

Clean the printhead electrical contacts

Cleaning the contacts on the printhead and inside the printer can resolve printhead errors and issues.

CAUTION:

These steps involve removing the printhead from the printer. Be prepared to complete the cleaning steps within several minutes to avoid damaging the ink nozzles.

  1. Open the lid to the printhead access area.

    Opening the lid to access the printheads
  2. Read the error message. Only clean the contacts on the printheads mentioned in the error.

    Note:

    The black/yellow printhead is in the left printhead slot. The magenta/cyan printhead is in the right printhead slot.

  3. Move the printhead carriage to the left. Button and menu presses on the printer vary by model.

    • Officejet Pro 8500A: Touch Change Printheads.

    • Officejet Pro 8000, 8500, L7300, L7400, L7500, L7600, L7700, K8600, and Photosmart Pro B9180: Press and hold OK for five seconds.

    • Officejet Pro K5400: Press and hold the Resume button for three seconds.

    • Photosmart Pro B8850: Press and hold the Toolbox button for three to-five seconds.

  4. Wait for the printhead carriage to move into the access area.

  5. Disconnect the power cord from the printer.

  6. Lift the printhead latch.

    Lifting the printhead latch
  7. Obtain a dry, soft, lint-free cloth.

  8. Lift the handle to pull the printhead out of the slot.

    Removing the printhead from the carriage
  9. Use the cloth to remove any ink or debris from the electrical contacts on the printhead.

    CAUTION:

    To avoid damage to the printhead, do not wipe or touch the ink nozzles or let them touch other surfaces.

    Printhead electrical contacts and ink nozzles

    Callout

    Description

    1.

    Printhead contacts (clean these only)

    2.

    Ink nozzles (do not touch or clean)

  10. Place the printhead on its side on a sheet of paper or a paper towel.

  11. Using a clean area of the cloth, remove any ink or debris from the electrical contacts in the carriage.

    Cleaning the contacts in the carriage
  12. Reinsert the printhead into its color-coded slot and lower the handle.

  13. Repeat these steps for the other printhead if it is mentioned in the error message.

  14. Close the printhead latch.

  15. Reconnect the power cord to the printer.

  16. Close the lid to the printhead access area.

  17. Press Done, OK, or Resume if prompted.

Replace the printhead

Replace the printhead to resolve printhead errors and issues.

  1. Open the lid to the printhead access area.

    Opening the lid to access the printheads
  2. If an error message displays, only replace the printhead mentioned in the error.

    Note:

    The black/yellow printhead is in the left printhead slot. The magenta/cyan printhead is in the right printhead slot.

  3. Move the printhead carriage to the left. Button and menu presses on the printer vary by model.

    • Officejet Pro 8500A: Touch Change Printheads.

    • Officejet Pro 8000, 8500, L7300, L7400, L7500, L7600, L7700, K8600, and Photosmart Pro B9180: Press and hold OK for five seconds.

    • Officejet Pro K5400: Press and hold the Resume button for three seconds.

    • Photosmart Pro B8850: Press and hold the Toolbox button for three to-five seconds.

  4. Wait for the printhead carriage to move into the access area.

  5. Disconnect the power cord from the printer.

  6. Lift the printhead latch.

    Lifting the printhead latch
  7. Lift the handle to pull the printhead out of the slot.

    Removing the printhead from the carriage
  8. Go to the HP Store, and then search for the model number listed on the label to order a replacement printhead.

  9. While still in the package, shake the new printhead up and down at least six times.

    Shaking the printhead before opening the package
  10. Remove the printhead from the package, and then remove the protective caps from the nozzles. To avoid damage to the printhead, do not touch the ink nozzles or let them touch other surfaces.

    Removing the printhead caps
  11. Insert the printhead into its color-coded slot and lower the handle.

  12. Repeat these steps for the other printhead if it is mentioned in the error message.

  13. Close the printhead latch.

  14. Reconnect the power cord to the printer.

  15. Close the lid to the printhead access area.

  16. Press Done, OK, or Resume if prompted.

  17. Follow any instructions to align the printer if prompted.

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.

Resolve printhead errors (02, 17, 363, 801 cartridges)

Resolve errors such as 'Incompatible printhead', 'Missing or failed printhead', and 'Printhead problem' for printers that use HP 02, 17, 363, and 801 cartridges.

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

Example of an HP 02 ink cartridge

Reset the printer

Reset the printer to recover from printer errors or failures.

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

  2. Unplug the power cord from the power source.

  3. Wait 60 seconds.

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

    Note:

    HP recommends plugging the printer directly into a wall outlet.

  5. Turn on the printer to complete the reset.

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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