If you are facing the issue of poor print quality and your HP printer is not printing properly, then follow the below-described steps to resolve the same.

How to fix poor quality prints on HP Printers? You will be not getting the expected quality of the photo or document which you are trying to print. Some common issues which you would be facing are streaked or faded printouts, smears or ink streak lines, printed documents with blurred or fuzzy texts, no print with color inks, or other print quality issues.

How to fix poor quality prints on HP Printers

How to fix poor quality prints on HP Printers

Steps to Fix HP Printer’s Print Quality Issues

Follow the below steps for HP Printer’s print quality troubleshooting.

Step 1: Remove the black ink cartridge from your printer

If you have set up your printer for the first time and finding black ink faded or missing on your printouts, then remove your black cartridge and run your printer with a tri-color cartridge. This will create the composite black color from the tri-color cartridge.

 

So, follow the below steps to do the same.

  1. Turn On your HP printer.
  2. Locate the slots present at the left and right of the printer.
  3. Now gently place your fingers under these slots lift upwards to open the cartridge access door.
  4. You will find the carriage moving. Wait for some time to make the carriage idle or silent before proceeding further.
  5. To remove the cartridge from your printer, lift the lid present on the cartridge slot and then push the lid on the backside till it stops.
  6. Pull up the cartridge to take it out it from the slot.
  7. Place the cartridge aside with its nozzles facing up.
  8. Close the access door.
  9. Try to print the tri-color cartridge.

 

If you are able to print with the single cartridge left inside the printer, then keep the taken out black cartridge outside for some hours or overnight. Make sure you keep its nozzles upside. Reinstall the cartridge the next day and try to do the print job again. If you get a satisfactory print quality, then you can stop the print quality troubleshooting here itself.

If you are not able to print good quality documents with the tri-color cartridge remained inside your printer or even after reinstalling the black cartridge, then move on to the next print quality troubleshooting step for the HP printer.

Step 2: Only use original HP Ink cartridges

We advise and HP strongly recommends to use original HP ink cartridges and toner products. HP doesn’t guarantee the quality and reliability of non-HP components for its printers. You may not be able to resolve the issue which you are facing by following the steps in this article if you have a non-HP cartridge inserted inside your printer.

You can purchase original HP products from the HP Online Store. If you want to check the authenticity of your current cartridge, then visit HP Counterfeit webpage at HP’s official website.

If you are using the genuine HP parts and still not able to solve the problem, then move on to the next print quality troubleshooting step.

Step 3: Stop working with your printer for sometime

Sometimes print quality issues arise due to the continuous usage of the printer. In that case, stop your printer for a few hours and then restart it again. Try to print if the issue is solved or not.

If you still find your HP printer not working properly, then go to the next troubleshooting step.

Step 4: Check the paper inside your printer

Go through the below guidelines to ensure that you are using the paper appropriately for the print job. If not then reload your printer with properly adjusted papers.

  • Load the paper with its print side down

Many papers are one-sided for printing purposes. So check the printing and not printing sides of the papers before using them. Many papers have the company logo on the non-printing side, or the printing side is smoother than the non-printing side.

  • Avoid using curled or wrinkled papers

Only use clean and wrinkled free papers for your printer.

  • Use correct paper type for your project

Use papers with Colorlok Technology for everyday print purposes. The Colorlok Technology papers are industry standards papers that work well with all kinds of printers.

For photos or high graphic prints, or prints requiring high contrasts, use the HP Advanced Photo papers to get the best results.

  • Store the papers inside their original packaging

Load (10 – 20) papers at a time, or more if you require. After you are done with the printer, it is better to store the unused papers inside their original packages.

  • Try different paper for printing

Try different paper for your printing purposes. If the issues are there due to the poor quality of papers used, then this will definitely solve the problem.

Note that generally, the poor quality papers cause vertical unprinted streaks on the paper.

If you are not able to fix the problem by following up to described methods, then move on to the next print quality troubleshooting step.

Step 5: Check your print settings

Check the print settings of your printer to make sure they are as per your requirements.

For Windows

Checking the Print Settings in Windows PC.

  1. Go to the Print Application and select your file to print, and then click This will open a print window.
  2. Go to Properties dialogue box. Or depending upon your software installed, you may see Options, Printer Setup, Printer, or Preferences
  3. Follow the below steps to modify the settings as per your requirements. 

Paper Type

Select the type of paper which you using for print.

Print Quality

If you are not satisfied with the print quality of the print, then try increasing it. If you want to get a quick print, then decrease the print quality. You will find various modes like Best, Normal, or Draft for adjusting the quality of your print.

Paper Size

Make sure you choose the correct paper size before starting to print.

Black and White

Select the greyscale option if you want to print in black and white color only.

  1. After you have selected your desired print preferences, click OK to apply and save the settings.
  2. Try to print with your printer.

Check the below setting if you are a Mac user.

  1. First, open a document and then click File, and then Print. You will see a print window opened.
  2. From the menu, select the Paper Type/Quality or Media & Quality.
  3. Now modify your settings depending upon your requirements.
  • Paper Type

Select your paper type from the available options.

  • Quality

Increase the print quality if you are dissatisfied with the print quality. Lower the quality if you want the print to take less time.

Save your settings/preferences in the Presets menu for all your future prints.

After doing all the above steps, try to print again to check the print quality. If you are still not satisfied and your hp printer is not printing properly, then move on to the next steps.

Step 6: Check your cartridge Ink level

Go to the printer Control Panel to check the ink level in your cartridge. Low ink levels result in poor quality prints.

Touch the Ink icon on the control panel to check the estimated ink levels.

  • If you see the low ink levels in indicator graphics, then you have to replace your ink cartridges. Go to the next step to follow the instructions for the same.
  • If you see satisfactory ink levels in the indicator graphics, then skip the very next step and go to Step 8 to fix your Hp printer’s print quality issues.

Step 7: Replace the low or empty ink cartridges

Replace the low or empty ink cartridges. Then try to print again.

  1. Turn on your printer by pressing the power button.
  2. Open the lid of the scanner.
  3. Now you can open the cartridge access door. You will see the carriage moves to the cartridge access area. Make sure the carriage becomes idle before you move further.
  4. To remove the cartridge from your printer, lift the lid present on the cartridge slot and then push the lid on the backside till it stops.
  5. Pull up the cartridge to take it out it from the slot.
  6. Take out your new ink cartridge from its packaging.
  7. Pull the pull tab to remove the plastic tape from its top.
  8. Now, hold the cartridge at a slight upward angle. Make sure the cartridge contact faces the rear end of the printer. Then finally slide the cartridge into the empty slot of the printer.
  9. Close the lid of cartridge slot to properly fit the cartridge into its slot.
  10. Repeat the same above steps to install other cartridges, if necessary.
  11. Now close the cartridge access door of your printer.
  12. Also, close the lid scanner.
  13. Perform the cartridge alignment process by following instructions on the control panel screen.

Again try to print to check the print quality. If still you find it undesirable, then move on to the next print quality troubleshooting step.

Step 8: Print a Quality Diagnostic Report

Check the print quality by running a print quality diagnostic report.

  1. Load the plain white papers into the paper tray of your printer.
  2. Touch the Settings icon on your control panel. Then touch Tools. The tool menu will display.
  3. Touch the option Print Quality Report to generate a print quality diagnostic report.

Step 9: Check the generated diagnostic report to find defects

To find the defects, take a look at the Diagnostic Areas of the generated report. You can easily identify the defects using the information on the diagnostic report. This will help you to easily troubleshoot the problem.

In general, if your ink cartridge is working properly, then all the color bars will be present without any faded streaks. All the colors will be uniform. And the black text will also be unstreaked.

  • If you didn’t found any fault in the print diagnostic report, then return to check your print settings.
  • If you found the defects in the print diagnostic report, then continue below to the next print quality troubleshooting step

Step 10: Clean your ink cartridges

You have to run an automatic cleaning tool to clean your cartridges if you found any defects in the print diagnostic report. Follow the below-described steps to do the same for your HP printer.

  1. Go to the control panel on your printer and touch the Settings icon.
  2. Go to Tools and then touch Clean Printhead. The printer will clean your printhead and will generate a test page.
  3. Now, check the print quality of the generated page.
  • If you find the print quality to be good, then touch Done.
  • If you find the print quality unsatisfactory, then click Clean Again. The printer will repeat the above process and will again print a test page.

Step 11: Align your printer

You have to align the cartridges to get the best quality prints. Follow the below steps for that.

  1. Load plain white paper into the paper tray.
  2. Touch the Settings icon on the control panel.
  3. Touch the Tools option and then click on the Down Arrow once.
  4. Now, touch Align Printer.

Then the printer will print a test page and tell you to scan that.

  1. For scanning, lift the scanner lid and place the paper on the glass. Make sure you follow the instructions on the page printed.
  2. Close the scanner lid and touch OK.

Print another print diagnostic report and then examine that.

  • If your issue has resolved by following the above steps, then you can stop the troubleshooting process.
  • If you see track marks or smears on the print quality report, then move on to the next step to clean the nozzle ink areas.
  • If you don’t find any track marks or smears on the print quality report, then skip the very next step and go to Step 13.

Step 12: Clean the areas around the ink nozzle of the cartridge

Note that don’t perform the cleaning of the ink nozzle if don’t find any track marks or smears on the test page. Follow this process only after you make sure the printed page has smears on it.

  1. Gather the below materials for cleaning.
  • Dry foam, swab, or any cloth material that doesn’t leave fibers upon use.
  • Distilled water or packaged water bottle. Avoid the common tap water, as contamination in it can damage the ink nozzle.
  1. Turn on your printer by pressing the power button.
  2. Remove the cartridge by following the steps as described in Step 7 above.
  3. Hold the taken out cartridge from its sides.
  4. Check if there is any ink or debris buildup around the nozzle area without touching it.
  5. Take your cloth or foam and dip it in the distilled water first. Then squeeze it to remove excess water from it.
  6. Gently wipe the cloth around the faces and edges of the nozzle.
  7. Dry your nozzle by using a separate cloth or foam. You can leave the nozzle for (25-30) minutes to dry it properly.
  8. Now, place your cartridge back into its slot, again by following the steps describes in above Step 7.
  9. Follow the same cleaning process for other cartridges, if necessary, and place them back into its slot.
  10. Try printing again with your printer.

Step 13: Replace your faulty ink cartridge

Even after following all the above print quality troubleshooting steps for your HP printer, and given the ink level is not low in your cartridge, then you have to replace the defective ink cartridge. You can find this by reviewing the print diagnostic report which you generated above.

Also, make sure you check the warranty status of your old cartridge. You can check the warranty status of your products by visiting the official HP site.

Now, follow the exact process described in Step 7 above to install the new cartridge on your Hp printer.

Print the print quality diagnostic report to check the print quality again. Move on the next step if still, your hp printer is not printing properly.

Step 14: Service your printer

If you have followed all the steps described in this article, and you are still facing the print quality problem, then finally you have to give your printer for its servicing.

You can contact the HP printer support team from the HP official website. If you are in an Asia specific country, then you will be redirected to contact your local HP service centers. Make sure you check the warranty of your printer. You have to bear the service cost if your product is out of warranty.

Also, it will be better if you take out a print sample to show the printer support team. If your printer is under warranty, the HP support agent may ask you for a print quality diagnostic report. In case you have to return your printer to HP, then place the print test page inside the output tray while packaging.

So, above were the Hp printer’s print quality troubleshooting steps for you. We hope that you got the solution which you were looking for. Let us know if you have any questions or queries in the comment section below. We will give our best to help you out to solve your problem.