Troubleshooting HP Printer That Is Not Printing Black Ink

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Printing Problems

An HP printer, particularly the inkjet printer, can encounter printing problems. One of the printing problems a person may experience is when the HP printer will not print black ink. Oftentimes, the owner believes the black ink is low and needs a new replacement, only to find out that the new printer cartridge does not solve the problem.


Troubleshooting Steps

One can perform certain troubleshooting steps in order to find the root of the problem. Oftentimes, through a series of trials and errors, a person can find the real problem and find a resolution. The first troubleshooting step an owner can take is to make sure that the plastic protective tape on the new black cartridge is off. Many HP printer owners commit this simple mistake possibly due to absent-mindedness or maybe due to distractions while loading the new black ink cartridge. Others simply forget to do so.


Video of the Day

Next, the owner should calibrate the HP printer. Some owners think that they can skip through this process because they already calibrated the printer after it was purchased. One thing to remember is that every time there is a need for a new printer cartridge, calibration is one of the steps to perform right after loading. You can run "Self Test Diagnostic," as well as, "Print Cartridge Alignment" in order to get the black ink to work.


You can also try cleaning the black ink cartridge. Remove the blank ink cartridge from the HP printer; use a cotton swab to clean the laser or scanner block. Wipe away dirt, grime or any dried ink that may prevent ink from flowing. You can also try cleaning the printer heads.

If you are having issues on an HP Laserjet printer, go to the menu, click "Diagnostics," then print the "PQ Troubleshooting Pages." If black ink does not print, go to "Disable the Cartridge" and switch the magenta and black cartridges on the menu. Then, print the pages again. If black ink does not print, then the problem may be the toner cartridge.


At times, when black ink does not print, it can signify a problem with a printer's laser. The owner of a HP printer may see an error on the LCD screen, indicating that there is a problem with the laser assembly.

Another problem could be the wiring connection at the laser or scanner; check if the plugs are loose. Contact HP Support for further assistance.


Repair or Replace

If the printing problem continues after troubleshooting, then there may be a more serious problem within the HP printer mechanism. Before deciding whether to replace parts like a fuser, transfer kit, roller or any parts for that matter, consider the cost of replacement parts amd labor. You may be better off buying a brand new printer.