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HP DeskJet 2700, 4100, 4800 Printers - Black Ink Not Printing, Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for the HP DeskJet 2710, 2710e, 2720, 2720e, 2721, 2721e, 2722, 2722e, 2723, 2723e, 2724, 2732, 2742e, 2752, 2752e, 2755, 2755e, 4110e, 4120e, 4121e, 4122e, 4123e, 4130e, 4132e, 4152e, 4155e, 4158e, DeskJet Ink Advantage 2775, 2776, 4175, 4176, DeskJet Plus 4110, 4120, 4121, 4122, 4130, 4140, 4152, 4155, 4158, DeskJet Ultra Ink Advantage 4825, 4826, 4828, 4829, and 4877 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: Clean the ink cartridges

Clean the ink cartridges using HP Smart or HP Printer Assistant, and then evaluate the results.
  caution:
Always turn the printer off with the Power button to prevent poor print quality and cartridge damage.
If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Check for ink smears on the back of printouts

If there are smears of ink on the back of your printouts, you can use an automated tool to resolve the issue.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Load paper into the input tray.
  3. Press and hold the Power button , press the Cancel button () three times, press the Start Copy Color button () eight times, and then release the Power button.
    The printer feeds one page slowly. The printer might make some noise for approximately one minute.
  4. Wait until the page is out of the printer before you remove it.
  5. Examine the test page.
If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Make sure you are using the appropriate paper for your print job

Using incorrect paper for the print job might cause warping, lines, or streaks. Refer to the following guidelines to make sure the paper you are using is appropriate. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
  • Load the paper print side up 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 printer.
    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.
    • 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 10-15 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.
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
Try to print again. If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Check the print settings

Check the print and paper settings to make sure they match your print job.
note:
Print settings vary by operating system and software application.
  • Paper Type: Select the type of paper you are printing on, such as photo paper or plain white paper.
  • Print Quality: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality.
  • Paper Size: Make sure you select the correct paper size for your print job.
  • Color or Black and White: If you want to print in black and white only, select the grayscale option.
After checking the print settings, try to print again. If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Check ink levels

Low ink levels can impact print quality. Check estimated ink levels using HP Smart or HP Printer Assistant.
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.
  • If none of the ink cartridges are low on ink, you do not need to replace them yet. Skip to the step to print a Print Quality Diagnostic page.
  • If any of the ink cartridges are low on ink, go to Replacing Ink Cartridges for steps to replace any critically low or empty ink cartridges, and then try to print again.

Step 7: Examine the color blocks for defects

Examine the color blocks on the Print Quality Diagnostic page to make sure that the color blocks do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing.
Example of the color blocks without defects.

Step 8: Examine the alignment lines and green color block for defects

Examine the alignment lines and green color block on the Print Quality Diagnostic page. Make sure that the lines are straight and connected and that there are no dark lines or white gaps in the green color block.
Example of the alignment  lines without any defects
Green color block in Print Quality Diagnostic page
  • If you see no defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic page, the print mechanism and ink cartridges are working correctly. If print quality is still not satisfactory, try these general print-quality guidelines. You do not need to continue the troubleshooting steps in this document.
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has a high enough resolution. Images that have been enlarged might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the problem is near the edge of a printout, use the print settings to rotate the image 180 degrees. The problem might not appear on the other end of the printout.
    • Do not leave unprotected ink cartridges out of the printer for an extended period of time.
    • Always use the power button to turn the printer off. This protects the ink cartridges from exposure to air.
  • If any of the alignment lines are not straight and connected, or the green color block has dark lines or white gaps, continue to the next step.

Step 9: Align the ink cartridges

Aligning the ink cartridges correctly aligns the printhead with the printer. Align the ink cartridges using HP Smart or HP Printer Assistant, and then evaluate the results.

Step 10: Manually clean the area around the ink nozzles

Do not perform these steps unless the test page or printout has smeared text or track marks. Clean the area around the ink nozzles if you see track marks or smears on the printouts.
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. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  3. Open the ink cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the center of the printer.
    DeskJet 2700
    DeskJet Plus 4100
    Opening the ink cartridge access door
    Opening the ink cartridge access door
  4. Wait until the printer is idle and silent before you continue.
  5. Lightly press down on the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge out of its slot.
    Removing the ink cartridgeDo 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.
  6. Lightly press down on one of the ink cartridges to release it, and then pull the ink cartridge toward you out of its slot.
  7. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.
    Image of holding the ink cartridge by its sides
  8. Inspect the ink cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.
      caution:
    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Handling these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Image of not touching the contacts or nozzles
  9. Lightly moisten a foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  10. Clean the face and edges around the ink nozzle with the swab.
      caution:
    Do not clean the ink nozzle plate.
      Image of the ink nozzle and ink cartridge contacts
    1. Nozzle plate - Do not clean
    2. Area surrounding ink nozzle - Do clean
    3. Ink cartridge contacts - Do not clean
  11. Either let the ink cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.
  12. Slide each ink cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and then gently push up on each ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    Snapping the ink  cartridge into place
  13. Repeat these steps to clean around the nozzles on the other ink cartridge.
  14. Close the ink cartridge access door.
    DeskJet 2700
    DeskJet Plus 4100
    Closing the ink cartridge access door
    Closing the ink cartridge access door
  15. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.
  16. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it does not turn on automatically.

Step 11: Replace the problem ink cartridge

Replace the problem ink cartridge if you saw defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic page 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 page 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.
Go to Replacing Ink Cartridges for steps to replace the problem ink cartridge, and then try to print again. If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 12: Service the printer

If you have followed all the steps in this document and your printer is producing printouts with print quality issues, 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.
When sending the printer to service, 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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