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HP OfficeJet 8010, Pro 8020 and 8030 Printers - Black Ink Not Printing, Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for HP OfficeJet 8010, 8012, 8013, 8015, 8022, and Pro 8020, 8021, 8022, 8023, 8024, 8025, 8026, 8028, and 8035 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.

Step 1: Clean the printhead

The printhead could be clogged, and you might need to clean the printhead several times to restore print quality. Use an automated tool from the printer control panel to clean the printhead.
  caution:
Never turn off the printer when ink cartridges are not installed. To avoid issues that require cleaning the printhead or that can damage the ink system, always replace ink cartridges as soon as possible, and always turn off the printer using the Power button.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Clean Printhead, and then touch Continue.
    A test page prints.
    Example of the printhead cleaning test page
  4. Examine the test page.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, touch Clean Again to continue the next level of cleaning. If necessary, repeat these steps for the third cleaning cycle.
      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.
If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

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

If there are smears of ink on the back of your printouts, use an automated tool to resolve the issue.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Clean Smear.
    After the cleaning, the printer ejects a blank sheet of paper.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

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

The quality and type of paper can affect the print job. Follow these guidelines to make sure the paper is appropriate. If it is not, load 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.

Step 4: Check the print settings

Sometimes the print settings can affect the print quality. Select your operating system, and then check the print settings to make sure they are appropriate for your print job.

Step 5: Check the estimated ink levels

Check estimated ink levels to see if any ink cartridges are critically low or empty. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Ink Level Indicator icon .
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.
Estimated ink levels displayed on the control panel
  • If none of the ink cartridges are low on ink, you do not need to replace them yet. Skip to Check the ink cartridge vents.
  • 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 6: Check the ink cartridge vents

Check the vents on the top of the ink cartridges. If they are clogged or obstructed, the ink cartridges might not work properly, which can affect print quality.
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. Open the front door, and then lift the ink cartridge access door.
    Opening the printer doors
  2. Wait until the carriage stops moving before you continue.
  3. Remove an ink cartridge from its slot.
  4. Examine the vent area above the HP logo on the top of the ink cartridge.
    Vent area on the top of the cartridge
  5. If the ink cartridge still has the orange pull-tab attached, pull to remove it.
    Remove the orange pull-tab
  6. If the vent is clogged, use a straight pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
    1. Clogged vent
    2. With a straight pin, gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3. Unclogged vent
  7. Turn the ink cartridge so that the ink cartridge contacts face downward, and then match the label color with the color dot on the carriage.
  8. Slide the ink cartridge into its slot, and then press down on the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.
    Inserting the ink cartridge
  9. Repeat these steps to inspect the vents on each of the ink cartridges.
  10. Make sure each ink cartridge is firmly installed in its slot. Run your finger along the top of the ink cartridges to feel for any that are protruding, and if any are, press down firmly until each ink cartridge snaps into place.
Try to print. If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

Step 7: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then evaluate the results.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, touch Reports, and then touch Print Quality Report.
    A Print Quality Diagnostic Page prints.
    Example of the Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Step 8: Examine Test Pattern 1

Evaluate Test Pattern 1 on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page to make sure the lines are straight and connected.
Test Pattern 1
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, skip to Examine Test Pattern 2.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, continue to the next step to align the printhead.

Step 9: Align the printhead

Aligning the printhead can resolve errors with Test Pattern 1.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Align Printhead.
    An alignment page prints.
    Example of an alignment page
  4. Open the scanner lid, place the alignment page on the scanner glass, and then touch Scan. See the engraved guide next to the scanner glass for help loading the alignment page.
    The printer scans the alignment page, and an Alignment Successful message displays on the control panel.
    Placing the alignment page on the scanner glass
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then examine the lines in Test Pattern 1 again.
    • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are straight and connected, continue to the next step to examine Test Pattern 2.
    • If the lines in Test Pattern 1 are not straight and connected, skip to Service the printer.

Step 10: Examine Test Pattern 2

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
Test Pattern 2 with white lines in a color bar
Test Pattern 2 with white lines in a color bar.
Test Pattern 2 with a missing color block
Test Pattern 2 with a missing color block.
  • If the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, skip to Examine Test Pattern 3.
  • If any of the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue to the next step to clean the printhead.

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 an automated tool from the printer control panel to clean the printhead.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Clean Printhead, and then touch Continue.
    A test page prints.
    Example of the printhead cleaning test page
  4. Examine the test page.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, touch Clean Again to continue the next level of cleaning. If necessary, repeat these steps for the third cleaning cycle.
      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.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 2 again.
    • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 2, continue to the next step.
    • If there are defects in Test Pattern 2, clean the printhead again.
    • 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 skip to Service the printer.

Step 12: Examine Test Pattern 3

Examine the green columns in Test Pattern 3 on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
Test Pattern 3 with white gaps in the columns
Test Pattern 3 with white gaps in the columns.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 3, you do not need to continue with the steps in this document.
  • If the columns in Test Pattern 3 display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, continue to the next step.

Step 13: Align the printhead

Aligning the printhead can resolve errors with Test Pattern 3.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe down to open the Dashboard, and then touch the Setup icon .
  2. Swipe up on the display, and then touch Printer Maintenance.
  3. Touch Align Printhead.
    An alignment page prints.
    Example of an alignment page
  4. Open the scanner lid, place the alignment page on the scanner glass, and then touch Scan. See the engraved guide next to the scanner glass for help loading the alignment page.
    The printer scans the alignment page, and an Alignment Successful message displays on the control panel.
    Placing the alignment page on the scanner glass
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 again.
    • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 3, you do not need to continue with the steps in this document.
    • If the columns in Test Pattern 3 still display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, continue to the next step.

Step 14: 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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