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HP Inkjet Printers - 'Alignment Unsuccessful' Error Message Displays

This document is for HP inkjet printers.
Alignment issues might occur when scanning or printing, and an Alignment failed or Alignment Unsuccessful error message displays on the printer control panel.

Step 1: Tips for understanding printer alignment messages

Use these tips to help complete the alignment or remove the message.
  • Use clean white paper: Make sure the printer is loaded with unused, clean white paper, and then retry alignment.
  • Scan page if required: If your printer has a scanner, you might see instructions on the alignment page to place the page on the scanner bed and press Scan. Follow the instructions on the alignment page to complete the scan.
  • Choose 'Skip' to continue printing: If the 'Alignment Unsuccessful' message cannot be resolved, and you see a Skip button, you can choose to continue printing without alignment. Print quality might be affected.
If these tips do not resolve alignment issues, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Reset the printer

Turning the printer off, and then on again might resolve an Alignment failed error message.
  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 the printer on.
If resetting the printer does not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 3: 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).
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
If using genuine HP ink cartridges does not resolve the issue, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Evaluate the alignment page

Examine the alignment page to see if the printer is properly aligned.
If the printer seems to be printing an alignment page, but the printed page is blank or has very little ink, skip to the step to Check the ink levels.
note:
Your alignment test page might be different from the one pictured, but the steps are the same.
Figure : Example of an Alignment test page
Image: Alignment test page
  • If the patterns on the alignment test page are solid and aligned and you see both black and blue patterns, skip to the step to Service the printer.
  • If the patterns on the alignment test page are faded, streaked, or smeared or black or cyan is missing, continue to the next step to check the estimated ink levels.

Step 5: Check estimated ink levels and replace any low or empty ink cartridges

Check estimated ink levels to see if any ink cartridges are critically low or empty. Replace any critically low or empty ink cartridges.
If no ink cartridges are critically low or empty, continue to the next step.
note:
For detailed instructions for your printer model, go to HP Customer Support. Type your printer model, then search for the document to "Replace Ink Cartridges".
If replacing any low or empty ink cartridges does not resolve the issue, clean the printhead.

Step 6: Clean the printhead or ink cartridge

Cleaning the printhead or ink cartridge often resolves alignment issues and helps resolve print quality problems at the same time. HP offers two general inkjet printhead designs: the Integrated Printhead (IPH) is integrated into the ink cartridge, and the Individual Ink Cartridges (IIC) has a printhead built into the printer.
Your printer comes with an automated tool to clean the printhead. There are several ways to access the tool, depending on your printer and the software you are using.
Run the cleaning test using one of the following methods that works for your printer and wait until the test completes.
  • If your printer has a display, go to the Settings or Tools menu to find and run printhead or ink cartridge cleaning.
  • In HP Print Assistant for Windows, find and run the cleaning test from the Maintain Your Printer section.
  • In HP Solution Center for Windows, find and run the cleaning test from the Printer Toolbox.
  • In the HP Printer Utility for Mac, find and run the cleaning test from the Information and Support panel.
If cleaning the printhead does not resolve the issue, replace the printhead.

Step 7: Replace the printhead or ink cartridge

If you have tried all the previous steps and the alignment error persists, replace the printhead or ink cartridge.
note:
Some printers have ink cartridges with an integrated printhead (IPH). Other printers have separate ink cartridges and replaceable printheads (IIC).
If your printer has ink cartridges that look like this, replace the ink cartridges.
Figure : Integrated Printhead (IPH)
Image: Integrated Printhead (IPH)
If your printer has ink cartridges that look like this, try searching HP Customer Support for a 'Replacing the Printhead' document for instructions to replace the printhead.
If you do not find a 'Replacing the Printhead' document, your printer does not have a replaceable printhead. The printer must be serviced.
Figure : Individual Ink Cartridge (IIC)
Image: Individual Ink Cartridge (IIC)
If replacing the printhead does not resolve the issue, service the printer.

Step 8: 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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