You have sent a print command and are waiting for your printer to deliver a printout. However, what you see is your HP Printer Not Printing Black and delivers a blank page with hazy ink marks alerting you of some serious print issues. What’s more frustrating is the black ink cartridge is sufficiently full, but still your printer refuses to print black.

If that’s a routine problem with your old HP Printer and you are on the verge of retiring it, this HP printer not printing guide is worth giving a try. Moreover, if yours is a newly acquired HP printer, then also these troubleshooting steps won’t disappoint you. So, do you know what’s making your HP printer not print black? Let’s dive deeper and discover the reasons and the most effective ways to fix it.

HP Printer Not Printing Black

Why Won’t My Printer Print Black? 

Some might think that an empty or dry ink cartridge is causing an issue, but that’s just one of the reasons. We researched some faulty printers that weren’t printing black and here are the reasons that we observed.

  • Dry or empty ink cartridge – Troubled ink cartridge restricts the ink flow.
  • Clogged printhead and nozzle – It prevents the free flow of ink.
  • Printer components are not genuine – Duplicate parts damaged the printer.
  • The printhead is not aligned – Non-calibrated printheads don’t allow black ink to spread on paper.
  • Out-of-date printer driver – Bugs in previous driver versions may cause the printer not printing black issues.


How Do I Fix an HP Printer Not Printing Black Problem? 

That’s pretty simple and it requires you to take some basic steps to get beautiful printouts from your new or old HP printer. Here’s what you should do.


Step 1. Check the black ink cartridge 

The first thing you should do to resolve the HP printer not printing problem is verify the ink cartridges. Make sure to replace the dry, clogged, and empty ink cartridges as they won’t let you print and may cause further damage to your printer as well.

  • Open the printer cartridge access door and take out the ink cartridge from the slot.
  • Shake the ink cartridge well and see if it shows any ink movement.
  • If not then you should replace the ink cartridge with a new one.
  • Buy a genuine HP Ink Cartridge and replace the old one with it.
  • While installing the new toner, check the vents are not clogged. If you found them clogged, then use a pin to clean up the vents.


Step 2. Clean the printhead 

People ask why won’t my printer print even after replacing the ink cartridges. Well, switching the ink cartridges is not a waste of time, but sometimes it’s just not enough to resolve the HP printer not printing black problem. The next thing you should try is cleaning the printhead by using the below steps.

  • Turn on your printer.
  • Locate the Printer Maintenance option in the control panel.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to perform the automatic printhead cleaning.
  • The process may take up to 1 to 2 minutes to complete.
  • After cleaning finishes, your printer will print a test page. If the print quality satisfies you, that indicates the printer not printing black problems is resolved.
  • If it’s still there you should try your hands on manual cleaning. The subsequent steps will tell you the process.

Manual printhead cleaning (try only if you are confident about it)

  • Take a plastic container, and fill it with warm water.
  • Dip the paper towel two inches down into the water.
  • Uninstall all ink cartridges from the printer.
  • Open the cartridge access door, lift the latch up and gently remove the printhead from the printer.
  • Put the printhead in a water-filled container.
  • Wipe out the excess ink from the printhead. Do it with the damped cloth.
  • After cleaning the printhead, let it dry naturally and install it within the printer thereafter.
  • Install ink cartridges as well, turn on the printer and try printing.


Step 3. Use HP Print and Scan Doctor, if still printer won’t print black 

You can simply fix the HP printer not printing black using Hewlett-Packard’s in-house tool HP Print and Scan Doctor. Use the following steps to resolve the issue.

  • Search for HP Print and Scan Doctor on the web browser.
  • Download and Install the software on your PC.
  • Now open this software, and agree to the license agreement.
  • Select your printer and click Next.
  • On the next screen, click Fix Printing.
  • This will find and fix the root cause of the problem.
  • Now you should start getting the elegant printouts.


Step 4. Update the HP printer driver 

HP is quite particular in releasing the new driver versions and those updates also include the solution for HP printer not printing black problems. However, the drivers can update automatically if you have activated the auto-update feature. Here is what you should do to manually update the printer drivers.

  • Connect your printer and computer to the same wireless network.
  • Open the Chrome browser and visit the HP support website.
  • Scroll the webpage and click the Download drivers button.
  • Choose Printers on the list and enter the HP printer model number.
  • Click Submit.
  • You will see the list of available updates on the screen.
  • Select them all and download the complete package on your computer.
  • Go to the Download folder under File Explorer, right-click on the HP printer installer file and click Run.
  • Follow the subsequent on-screen instruction and install the latest drivers on your system.


Step 5. Align the printhead 

A non-calibrated printer leads to several problems like the one we are discussing here in this blog. If your printer won’t print black or facing trouble printing as a whole, then you should ensure to get your printer calibrated by the experts. If you want to try it by yourself, then the following steps could help.

  • Ensure the printer’s Control Panel is illuminated, or you should restart your printer once.
  • Locate the Printer Maintenance or Tools on the Control Panel.
  • Choose the Align Printhead option on the list.
  • Doing this will calibrate your printer and print a test page soon after.
  • In case aligning the printhead won’t fix the printer not printing black problem, then you should think of calling the experts.


Step 6. Use inbuilt Printer Troubleshooter 

If nothing works, then treat this as your last resort. Printer Troubleshooter comes built-in in Windows PC and it can be an answer for all who complain my HP printer won’t print, how do I fix it? Follow the below-mentioned easy steps to fix the problem.

  • Go to the search bar in the bottom left corner of your system and type Troubleshoot.
  • Click on Printer and select Run the Troubleshooter.
  • It might take a few minutes to detect the problem.
  • Select the HP printer model and click Next.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions, and finally restart the system and printer to fix the printer won’t print black issue.



Well, great you just have learned how to fix the HP printer not printing black problem, and that too by yourself. Trying these six steps will help you get your printer back on track and provide elegant-looking black printouts. If you still face trouble fixing the printing issue, then feel free to get in touch with us for further assistance. Our HP Printer Support experts are available 24/7 to assist you in dealing with such nasty issues.