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HP DeskJet, ENVY 6000, 6400 Printers - Black or Color Ink Not Printing, Other Print Quality Issues

This document is for HP DeskJet Plus Ink Advantage 6075, 6078, 6475, 6476, 6478, ENVY 6010e, 6020, 6020e, 6022, 6022e, 6030, 6030e, 6032, 6032e, 6034e, 6052, 6052e, 6055, 6055e, 6075e, 6420e, 6430e, 6432e, 6452e, 6455e, 6458e, 6475e, ENVY Pro 6420, 6422, 6430, 6432, 6452, 6455, and 6458 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

Cleaning the ink cartridges can improve print quality. Clean the ink cartridges with HP Smart, and then evaluate the results.
  1. Make sure your device is on the same wireless network as your printer.
  2. Open HP Smart, and then select your printer, if it is not already selected.
  3. Under Tools, click Print Quality Tools.
  4. Next to Clean Printhead, click Clean or Clean Printheads.
    After the printhead cleaning procedure, the printer prints a Print Quality Diagnostic report.
    Example of Print Quality Diagnostic report
  5. Examine the print quality on the Print Quality Diagnostic report.
    • If the print quality is acceptable, close the app and stop troubleshooting.
    • If the print quality is unacceptable, click Second Level Cleaning or Level 2 Cleaning in the app to perform the next level of cleaning.
  6. If print quality is still unacceptable, wait 30 minutes and repeat this cleaning cycle.
If the print quality is still unacceptable after 2 cleaning cycles, 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, use an automated tool in the HP Smart app to resolve the issue.
  1. Make sure your device is on the same wireless network as your printer.
  2. Open HP Smart, and then select your printer, if it is not already selected.
  3. Under Advanced, click Advanced Settings.
  4. Click Print Quality Toolbox, or, under Tools, click Utilities, and then tap Print Quality Toolbox.
  5. Click Clean next to Clean Smear.
    A Rib Smear cleaning in progress message displays, and the printer ejects a blank page.
After cleaning ink smears, send a print job. 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 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.
Purchase replacement cartridges and other supplies from the HP Store or local retailers.
After loading different paper, send a print job. 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 affect print quality. Check the ink levels in HP Smart.
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.
Open HP Smart, and then select your printer, if it is not already selected.
Estimated ink levels display next to your printer.
Estimated ink cartridge levels

Step 7: Examine the color blocks for defects

Examine the color blocks on the Print Quality Diagnostic page to make sure the color blocks are not streaked, 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 report. Make sure the lines are straight and connected and there are no dark lines or white gaps in the green color block.
Alignment  lines without any defects
 Green color block without any defects
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Step 9: Align the printer

Align the ink cartridges for best print quality using HP Smart.
  1. Make sure your device is on the same wireless network as your printer.
  2. Open HP Smart, and then select your printer, if it is not already selected.
  3. Click Print Quality Tools, or click Printer Settings, and then Print Quality Tools.
  4. Click Align or Align Printheads.
    The printer aligns the ink cartridges, and an alignment page prints.
  5. Wait for the alignment page to fully eject from the printer, and then click OK.
  6. Try to print again.
    • If these steps resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting.
    • If the printout displays track marks or smears, continue to the next step to manually clean the area around the ink nozzles.
    • If the printout does not display track marks or smears and the issue persists, skip to Replace the problem ink cartridge.

Step 10: Manually clean the area around the ink nozzles

If you see track marks or smears on the printouts, clean the area around the ink nozzles. Do not perform these steps unless the Print Quality Diagnostic report or printout has smeared text or track marks. If you do not see track marks or smears, skip to Replace the problem ink cartridge.
 Example of smeared text
 Example of text with track marks
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • A clean, lint-free cloth or a clean, dry cotton swab
    • Distilled or bottled water
        caution:
      Do not use tap water as it might contain contaminants that can damage the printhead.
  2. Lift the ink cartridge access door by using the recessed areas on the sides of the printer until it locks into place.
    The carriage moves slightly to the left.
    HP DeskJet Plus Ink Advantage 6000 and HP ENVY 6000 All-in-One printers
    HP DeskJet Plus Ink Advantage 6400 and HP ENVY Pro 6400 All-in-One printers
    Opening the ink cartridge access door
    Opening the ink cartridge access door
  3. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you continue.
  4. Lift up the lid on the ink cartridge slot, and then pull up on the ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
      Removing the ink cartridge.
    1. Lift the lid
    2. Gently push the lid back
    3. Pull up on the ink cartridge
  5. Remove the new ink cartridge from its package. Be careful to only touch the black plastic on the ink cartridge.
    Holding the ink cartridge by its sides.
  6. Lightly dampen a clean, lint-free cloth or swab with bottled or distilled water.
  7. Clean the face and edges around the ink nozzle with the cloth or 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 - clean
    3. Ink cartridge contacts - do not clean
  8. Wait for the cleaned area to dry before you continue (approximately 10 minutes).
  9. With the nozzles toward the printer, insert the ink cartridge into its slot until it snaps into place.
    note:
    Install the color ink cartridge on the left and the black ink cartridge on the right.
    Inserting the ink cartridge.
  10. Close the lid on the ink cartridge slot to secure the ink cartridge into place.
  11. Repeat these steps to clean around the nozzles on the other ink cartridge.
  12. Close the ink cartridge access door.
Try to print. If the print quality is unacceptable, continue to the next step.

Step 11: Replace the problem ink cartridge

Replace the problem ink cartridge if you saw defects on the Print Quality Diagnostic report 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 report 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.
Try to print. 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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