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HP DeskJet, ENVY, OfficeJet Printers - Black or Color Ink Not Printing, Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 5645, ENVY 5640, 5642, 5643, 5644, 5646, 5660, 5661, 5663, 5664, 5665, 7640, 7643, 7644, 7645, Officejet 5740, 5741, 5742, 5743, 5744, 5745, 5746, and 8040 with Neat 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.
note:
Rough handling at the store or during installation can cause print quality problems with newly installed ink cartridges. If you see print problems with newly installed ink cartridges, wait for a few hours for the automatic servicing routine to complete, and then try to print again.

Step 1: Reinstall the print driver (Windows only)

If you cannot print color from a Windows computer, uninstall and reinstall the printer software. Skip this step if your printer is able to print in color.
  1. Remove the printer from the devices list.
    For steps on removing the printer from the devices list, go to Uninstalling the Printer Software (Windows).
  2. Go to HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads, and then install the latest software for your printer.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 2: Use genuine HP ink 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).
Ink Cartridge Description
Worldwide
Black ink cartridge
HP 62 Black
HP 62XL Black
Color ink cartridge
HP 62 Tri-color
HP 62XL Tri-color
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.

Step 3: Allow the printer to rest

Many print quality problems, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed ink cartridge, clear up with the automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 4: Check the paper

Use the following guidelines to 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, 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.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 5: Check the print settings

Check the print settings to make sure they are appropriate for your print job.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 6: Check for ink smears on the back of printouts

If there are smears of ink on the back of your printouts, follow these steps to resolve the issue.
  1. Load plain white paper into the tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, swipe the display to scroll to Setup, and then touch the Setup icon .
    The Setup menu displays.
  3. Swipe the display to scroll to Printer Maintenance, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  4. Touch Clean Page Smears.
    note:
    Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal.
  5. After the printer prints a test page, touch OK.
  6. Review the test page to see if the issue is resolved.
If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 7: Check the estimated ink levels

Check the estimated ink levels from the printer control panel.
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.
On the printer control panel, touch the Ink icon to display the current estimated ink levels.
Example of estimated ink levels.

Step 8: Replace any low or empty ink cartridges

Replace any critically low or empty ink cartridges. Otherwise, skip to the next step.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door by placing two fingers under one or both of the small handles on the sides of the ink cartridge access door and then lifting it up.
    Open the ink cartridge access door
  3. Lightly press down on the low or empty ink cartridge to release it.
    Press down on the ink cartridge
    • Remove the ink cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the tri-color ink cartridge.
    • Remove the ink cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black ink cartridge.
  4. Pull the ink cartridge toward you out of its slot, and then set it aside for recycling.
    note:
    Recycle any low or empty ink cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  5. Remove the new ink cartridge from its package. Be careful to touch only the black plastic on the ink cartridge.
    Remove the ink cartridge from its package
  6. Pull the orange tab to remove the protective tape from the ink cartridge.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not replace the protective tape on the contacts. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Remove the tape and avoid  touching the ink cartridge contacts or ink nozzles
  7. Slide the new ink cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push up on the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    • Insert the tri-color ink cartridge into the left slot.
    • Insert the black ink cartridge into the right slot.
    Insert the new ink cartridge
  8. Repeat these steps to replace the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  9. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Close the ink cartridge access door
  10. Touch OK.
  11. Wait for the printer to calibrate and align the ink cartridges.
    After the alignment is complete, the printer prints an alignment page.
  12. Touch OK, and then discard or recycle the alignment page.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 9: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic report

Follow these steps to print a Print Quality Diagnostic report.
  1. Load U.S. letter or A4 size, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, swipe the display to the left, and then touch Setup.
    The Setup menu displays.
  3. Touch Reports, and then touch Print Quality Report.
    A Print Quality Diagnostic page prints.
Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic report without defects
Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic report with no defects.
Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic report with defects
Example of a Print Quality Diagnostic report with  defects.

Step 10: Examine the color blocks for defects

Follow these steps to examine the color blocks for defects.
  1. Check the color blocks on the Print Quality Diagnostic report.
    Example of the color blocks with no defects.
  2. If the color blocks do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, skip to the step to check the alignment.
  3. If any of the color blocks show white lines, are faded, or are missing completely, continue to the next step.

Step 11: Clean the ink cartridges

Follow these steps to clean the ink cartridges from the printer control panel.
note:
To avoid issues that require cleaning, always turn the printer off with the Power button.
  1. Load U.S. letter or A4 size, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, swipe the display to the left, and then touch Setup.
    The Setup menu displays.
  3. Swipe the display up, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  4. Touch Clean Cartridges.
    A Print Quality Diagnostic report prints.
  5. Examine the Print Quality Diagnostic report.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, touch Proceed when prompted to continue the next level of cleaning. Repeat these steps for the third cleaning stage, if necessary.
      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.
    • If the print quality is acceptable, touch Done when prompted to continue the next level of cleaning. You do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  6. Examine the print quality on the Print Diagnostic report.
If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 12: Examine the alignment lines and box for defects

Follow these steps to examine the alignment lines and box for defects.
  1. Check the alignment lines and box on the Print Quality Diagnostic report.
    Example of the alignment lines and box.
  2. If the alignment lines are straight and connected, you can stop troubleshooting.
  3. If any of the lines are not straight and connected, continue to the next step to align the printer.

Step 13: Align the printer

Follow these steps to align the printer from the control panel.
  1. Load U.S. letter or A4 size, unused, plain white paper into the input tray.
  2. On the printer control panel, swipe the display to the left, and then touch Setup.
    The Setup menu displays.
  3. Swipe the display down, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  4. Touch Align Printer.
  5. After the printer prints the alignment page, touch OK, and then recycle or discard the alignment page.
  6. Try to print.
    • If these steps resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting.
    • If the Print Quality Diagnostic report shows track marks or smears, continue to the next step to clean the area around the ink nozzles.
    • If these steps did not resolve the issue, and the Print Quality Diagnostic report does not show track marks or smears, skip to the next step to replace the problem ink cartridge.

Step 14: Clean the area around the ink nozzles

Do not perform these steps unless the test page or printout specifically shows smeared text or track marks. If you see track marks or smears on the printouts, follow these steps to clean the area around the ink nozzles.
Example of smeared text
Example of text with track marks
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Dry foam-rubber swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that does not come apart or leave fibers (coffee filters work well)
    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the ink cartridges)
        caution:
      Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the ink cartridge contacts. These can damage the ink cartridge or the printer.
  2. Turn on the printer.
  3. Open the ink cartridge access door by placing two fingers under one or both of the small handles on the sides of the ink cartridge access door and then lifting it up. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
    Open the ink cartridge access door
    The Door Open screen displays on the printer control panel with the message, 'The cover or door must be closed to print. Check that it is completely closed.' A Change Ink option also displays on the bottom right corner of the touchscreen. You do not need to select this option at this time.
  4. Lightly press down on one of the ink cartridges to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge toward you out of its slot.
    Press down to remove the ink cartridge
      caution:
    Do not remove both ink cartridges at the same time. Remove and clean each ink cartridge one at a time. Do not leave an ink cartridge outside the printer for more than 30 minutes.
  5. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.
    Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.
  6. Inspect the ink cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Do not touch the contacts or nozzles.
  7. Lightly moisten a foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  8. Clean the face and edges around the ink nozzle with the swab.
      caution:
    Do not clean the ink nozzle plate.
      The ink nozzle and ink cartridge contacts.
    1. Nozzle plate - Do not clean
    2. Area surrounding ink nozzle - Do clean
    3. Cartridge contacts - Do not clean
  9. Either let the ink cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  10. Reinsert the ink cartridge by sliding it at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently pushing up on the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    • Reinsert the tri-color ink cartridge into the left slot.
    • Reinsert the black ink cartridge into the right slot.
    Reinsert the ink cartridge
  11. Repeat these steps to clean around the nozzles on the other ink cartridge.
  12. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Close the ink cartridge access door
  13. Turn on the printer.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 15: Replace the problem ink cartridge

Replace the problem ink cartridge if you saw defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic report and the preceding steps did not resolve the issue, even if the ink cartridge is not low on ink. The problem ink cartridge is the one that printed the defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic report as described earlier in this document.
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 Printer and Page Yield Overview, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Open the ink cartridge access door by placing two fingers under one or both of the small handles on the sides of the ink cartridge access door and then lifting it up.
    Open the ink cartridge access door
  3. Lightly press down on the low or empty ink cartridge to release it.
    Press down on the ink cartridge
    • Remove the ink cartridge from the slot on the left to replace the tri-color ink cartridge.
    • Remove the ink cartridge from the slot on the right to replace the black ink cartridge.
  4. Pull the ink cartridge toward you out of its slot, and then set it aside for recycling.
    note:
    Recycle any low or empty ink cartridges. The HP Inkjet Supplies Recycling Program is available in many countries/regions, and it is free of charge.
  5. Remove the new ink cartridge from its package. Be careful to touch only the black plastic on the ink cartridge.
    Remove the ink cartridge from its package
  6. Pull the orange tab to remove the protective tape from the ink cartridge.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Do not replace the protective tape on the contacts. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Remove the tape and avoid  touching the ink cartridge contacts or ink nozzles
  7. Slide the new ink cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push up on the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    • Insert the tri-color ink cartridge into the left slot.
    • Insert the black ink cartridge into the right slot.
    Insert the new ink cartridge
  8. Repeat these steps to replace the other ink cartridge, if necessary.
  9. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    Close the ink cartridge access door
  10. Touch OK.
  11. Wait for the printer to calibrate and align the ink cartridges.
    After the alignment is complete, the printer prints an alignment page.
  12. Touch OK, and then discard or recycle the alignment page.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 16: 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.

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