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  • Information

    For non-hp original ink users an optional firmware update to remove dynamic security is now available for select Officejet, Officejet Pro, Officejet ProX printers.

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HP OfficeJet Printers - Fixing Print Quality Problems

This document is for the following printers.
HP OfficeJet 8600 Series Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8625 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8610 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8630 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8615 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8640 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8616 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8660 e-All-in-One Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One Printer
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.

Solution one: Use genuine HP 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.

Solution two: Allow automatic servicing to complete

Many print quality problems with black ink, such as poor black text or issues that occur with a newly installed black cartridge, clear up with the printer's automatic servicing routine. There is nothing you need to do. The print quality should start improving in a few hours.
  • If waiting for automatic servicing to complete resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If waiting for automatic servicing to complete did not resolve the issue, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Check the paper

Follow these guidelines to make sure that the paper you are using is appropriate for the print job. If it is not, reload the printer with an appropriate paper type.
note:
To purchase paper in the United States and Canada, go to HP Home & Home Office.
  • Load the paper print side down 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 product.
    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 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 10-20 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.
note:
Inappropriate paper usually causes vertical streaks in printouts (or if the problem occurs on a copy, dirty scanner glass usually causes the issue). Do not replace cartridges to fix vertical streaks.
Examples of horizontal streaks and vertical streaks in the printout
Figure : Horizontal streaks in printout
Image: Horizontal streaks.
Continue with the following troubleshooting steps if your printout contains horizontal streaks or other print quality issues besides vertical streaks.
Figure : Vertical streaks in printout
Image: Vertical streaks.
Do not replace cartridges for vertical streaks in a printout. Instead, check the paper as described earlier in this document or search for a document that covers this issue.
After trying the preceding guidelines, try printing again.

Solution four: Check the print settings

Check the print settings to make sure that they are appropriate for your print job.

Solution five: Check the estimated ink levels, and then replace any depleted cartridges

In general, low ink levels should not impact print quality. Your printer stops and displays a message when ink levels get too low. However, the printer might still perform a limited amount of printing in 'backup mode' at low ink levels. In backup mode, blacks might not be as dark, or printouts might be in grayscale (shades of gray with no color). Replace any low ink cartridges if backup mode printing is unacceptable.

Step 1: Check the estimated ink levels

Check the estimated ink levels through the control panel.
On the printer control panel, touch the Ink Level Indicator icon .
The control panel displays estimated ink levels.
Figure : Example of the ink level display with full cartridges
Image:  Example of the ink level display with full cartridges.
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 you are prompted to.
  • If none of the ink cartridges are low on ink, you do not need to replace them yet. Continue to the next solution.
  • If any of the ink cartridges are low on ink, continue to the next step to replace them.

Step 2: Replace any depleted cartridges

Replace any depleted cartridges, and then try to print again.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Place your fingers into the slot on the left side of the printer, and then pull to open the cartridge access door.
    The carriage moves to the left side of the printer.
      Image: Open the cartridge access door.
    1. Slot for opening the cartridge access door
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  4. Push in on the front of the cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.
    Image: Remove the cartridge from its slot.
  5. Remove the new cartridge from its package.
  6. Hold the new cartridge so that the cartridge contacts face the printer.
  7. Slide the new ink cartridge into its slot, and then gently push it forward until it snaps into place. Make sure the letter on the ink cartridge matches the letter on the slot.
      caution:
    Do not lift the latch handle on the carriage to insert ink cartridges. Doing so could cause the printhead or ink cartridges to be incorrectly seated, which could damage the print mechanism and cause printing problems.
    Image: Insert the ink cartridge into its color-coded slot
  8. Repeat these steps to install any other new cartridges.
  9. Close the cartridge access door.
    Image: Close the cartridge access door

Solution six: Print and evaluate a diagnostic page, and then troubleshoot defects

Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page, and then evaluate the results.

Step 1: Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page

Print a Print Quality Diagnostic Page to identify the print quality 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 Print Reports, and then touch Print Reports.
  4. Touch Print Quality Report. The printer prints a test page.
    Figure : Example of a Print Quality Diagnostics Page
    Image: Example of a Print Quality Diagnostics Page.

Step 2: Examine Test Pattern 1

Examine the gray columns in Test Pattern 1.
Figure : Test Pattern 1 with white gaps in the columns
Image: Test Pattern 1 with white gaps in the columns.
  • If the columns in Test Pattern 1 do not display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, skip to the solution to check the image.
  • If the columns in Test Pattern 1 display dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Align the printhead

Use an automated tool to align the printhead.
  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 Tools, and then touch Tools.
  4. Touch Align Printhead.
  5. After the printer prints the alignment page, touch OK, and then recycle or discard the alignment page.
  6. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If there are no defects on the page, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are still dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing in Test Pattern 1, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Calibrate the linefeed

Use an automated tool to calibrate the linefeed.
  1. On the printer control panel, swipe the display to scroll to Setup, and then touch the Setup icon (). The Setup menu displays.
  2. Swipe the display to scroll to Tools, and then touch Tools.
  3. Touch Calibrate Linefeed.
  4. After the printer prints a test page, touch OK, and then recycle or discard the test page.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If there are no defects on the page, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are still dark lines or white gaps where the arrows are pointing in Test Pattern 1, skip to the solution to service the printer.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 2 are not straight and connected, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Examine Test Pattern 2

Evaluate Test Pattern 2 to make sure that the lines are straight and connected.
Figure : Test Pattern 2
Image: Test Pattern 2.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 2 are straight and connected, skip to the step to examine Test Pattern 3.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 2 are not straight and connected, continue with the steps to align the printhead.

Step 6: Align the printhead

Use an automated tool to align the printhead.
  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 Tools, and then touch Tools.
  4. Touch Align Printhead.
  5. After the printer prints the alignment page, touch OK, and then recycle or discard the alignment page.
  6. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Page to see if the issue is resolved.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 2 are straight and connected, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the lines in Test Pattern 2 are not straight and connected, skip to the solution to service the printer.
  • If any of the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue to the next step.

Step 7: Examine Test Pattern 3

Examine the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 on the Print Quality Diagnostic Page.
Figure : Test Pattern 3 with a missing color block
Image: Test Pattern 3 with a missing color block.
  • If the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 do not show white lines, and are not faded or missing, skip to the solution to check the image.
  • If any of the color blocks in Test Pattern 3 show white lines or are faded or missing completely, continue with the steps to clean the printhead.

Step 8: Clean the printhead

Use an automated tool 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. 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 Tools, and then touch Tools.
  4. Touch Clean Printhead. There are three cleaning stages. A test page (different from the Print Quality Diagnostics page) prints between each cleaning stage. Do not use this test page for analysis. Touch No when prompted to continue the next level of cleaning.
    note:
    Mechanical noises during the cleaning process are normal.
  5. Print another Print Quality Diagnostics Page to determine if the issue is resolved.
  • If there are no defects in Test Pattern 3, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If there are defects in Test Pattern 3, try cleaning the printhead again.
  • If there are still defects in Test Pattern 3 after another cleaning, you can try to clean the printhead again or skip to the solution to service the printer.

Solution seven: Check the image

Check the image for any print quality issues.
  • If you do not see defects on the test page, the print mechanism and ink cartridges work correctly. Do not continue the troubleshooting steps in this document. If printouts are still unsatisfactory, try the following general print quality guidelines.
    • Make sure that the image you are printing has sufficient resolution. Images that are enlarged too much might appear fuzzy or blurry.
    • If the issue is confined to a band near the edge of a printout, use the software you installed with the printer or another software program to rotate the image 180 degrees. The problem might not display on the other end of the printout.
    Garbled, illogical text, and incomplete printout (graphic)
    Windows only: If you are experiencing garbled, jumbled or illogical text, incomplete printouts, or missing text or graphics, go to Continuous Pages of Strange or Garbled Characters Print in Windows
  • If you see one or more of these defects on the test page, continue to the next step.

Solution eight: Replace the printhead

If you have completed all of the troubleshooting steps and are still experiencing a problem, replace the printhead.
  caution:
Wait until you have a new printhead assembly available before removing the cartridges. HP recommends that you do not leave the cartridges outside the printer longer than 30 minutes. This could damage both the printer and the cartridges.

Step 1: Check the printhead warranty status

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.

Step 2: Order the printhead

Step 3: Replace the printhead

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution nine: Service the printer

If you have performed all the steps, and the print quality is unacceptable, contact HP to 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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