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HP Deskjet, Photosmart 6520 Printers - Black Ink Not Printing, Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 6525 and HP Photosmart 6520, 6521, and 6525 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.

Step 2: Run another Print Quality Diagnostic report

Print another Print Quality Diagnostic Report, and then check for color bar and alignment defects.
  • If there are still defects in the color bars, continue to the next step.
  • If there are still alignment pattern defects, skip to the step at the end of this document to service the printer.
  • If there are no defects on the report, try to print. If the issue persists, skip to the step to check ink levels.

Step 3: Check the ink cartridge vents

Inspect the ink cartridges for clogged vents and for any remaining original packaging.
Avoid leaving unprotected ink cartridges out of the printer for an extended period of time.
  1. Open the ink cartridge access door.
    Open the cartridge access door
  2. Press the tab on the front of the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull it out of the slot.
    Remove the cartridge from the slot
  3. Examine the vent area on the top of the ink cartridge.
    Vent area on the top of the ink cartridge
  4. If the vent is clogged, use a pin to gently remove excess adhesive from the vent.
      Clean the clogged vent with a pin
    1. Clogged vent
    2. Gently remove excess adhesive from the vent
    3. Unclogged vent
  5. Make sure the orange pull tab is completely removed.
    Orange pull tab on the ink cartridge
  6. Insert the ink cartridge into its slot. Press down until it snaps into place.
  7. Repeat these steps for any other ink cartridges with defects on the report.
  8. After reinserting all the ink cartridges, run your finger along the top of the ink cartridges. If any are protruding, press down firmly until each ink cartridge snaps into place.
  9. Print another Print Quality Diagnostic report.
    • If there are still defects for a specific color bar, replace that ink cartridge. If you have a defective ink cartridge, it might be under warranty. Go to HP Printers - Ink Cartridge and Printhead Limited Warranty for more information.
    • If there are no defects on the report, try to print. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Check ink levels

Low or empty ink cartridges can cause print quality issues. Check ink levels to see if any ink cartridges need to be replaced.
On the printer, touch Settings, touch Tools, and then touch Estimated Ink Levels.
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

Step 5: Check the print settings

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

Step 6: Check the paper

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.
Try to print. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 7: 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.
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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