HP printers are reliable machines that perform excellent printing and scanning. However,  we can’t negate the fact that they do run into errors from time to time, the cause of a few reasons. Users frequently report common problems like paper jams to 50.4 errors, HP printer offline, ghosting problems, HP Print jobs stuck in a queue, poor print quality, printer not printing color, etc. So, the owners of this printing machine must know about HP printer troubleshooting. 

In this article, you’ll find the common HP printer problems that you can run into frequently. Follow the detailed troubleshooting measures to fix these problems.

HP Printer Troubleshooting

HP Printer Troubleshooting for Common Printer Problems

From printer offline to ghosting and faded prints, there are HP Printers troubleshooting available for every problem. Find the printer issue you are facing and the appropriate solutions below it.


  1. Fix an offline HP printer

HP printer offline is a common problem. You can use the HP Print and Scan doctor to fix the printing and scanning problem you are facing. If it doesn’t work, set your printer as default. Both these methods are explained below.


 Use HP Print and Scan doctor.

  • Ensure that you’ve loaded paper in the tray. Then, switch on the printer.
  • Download HP Print and Scan Doctor and adhere to the prompts for its installation.
  • Tap ‘Start‘ on the welcome screen to choose your printer and run the tool.


  Set your printer as the default

  • In Windows PC, open ‘Printers & Scanners.’
  • Ensure the box beside ‘Let Windows manage my default printer‘ isn’t checked.
  • Tap your printer name from the printer list, then click ‘Manage.’
  • Now, choose ‘Set as Default.’


  2. Resolve the paper jam problem

Paper jams are very common. But you shouldn’t just try pulling out pieces of paper from the tray. Follow this HP printer troubleshooting guide for overcoming this problem.


 Check and clear the jam.

  • Firstly, inspect the paper tray. If there’s any loose paper in it, remove it.
  • Remove an access door at the bottom of the printer. Using the knob, release the door. Remove pieces stuck in the rollers.
  • Now lift the front cover and pull out the extra paper jam slowly.
  • Check the printer carriage. It must move freely from one to the other side. Move the carriage gently by unplugging the power cord. Rotate the rollers three times if you find the carriage not moving freely. Everything within the printer should move easily.
  • Now test the printer and check if it is working.


 Know the printer models that aren’t designed for heavy use

Specific models of HP printers are prone to paper jams. A printer that holds the paper in a vertical position and pulls it down usually has paper jam issues. It’s because these models aren’t built for heavy use. You must be aware of it beforehand.


  3. Fix the ghosting problem

Ghosting refers to a situation where the image prints like usual, but a significantly lighter copy of the photo also prints elsewhere. You can use these steps for troubleshooting HP printer that’s having a ghosting problem.

  • Check the environment of your printer – Ensure that your printer is kept in a dry room. It’s because the humidity can lead the toner powder to clump, which impacts the print quality.
  • Ensure to use appropriate paper. Some HP printer models are suited to work with a particular kind of paper. If the paper’s not suitable for the kind of printing you need, the toner powder will not adhere properly to the page.
  • Change the paper setting – You also need to ensure that the setting of your paper aligns with the paper type. In many cases, paper setting adjustment resolves the ghosting issue.


  4. Solve the poor print quality issue

Many users of HP LaserJet Pro printers complain of the bad quality of the print output. You can use the following HP printer troubleshooting approaches to fix poor print quality. Before proceeding, check if you are using genuine HP ink or toner supplies. Always purchase authentic cartridges from the HP store.

 Examine the paper

  • Use paper suitable for HP LaserJet printers.
  • Don’t employ a very rough paper. Instead, use smoother ones.
  • After loading the right paper, try printing.

 Inspect the EconoMode settings

Inspect the EconoMode settings if you find the output too dark or light. But don’t use this mode full-time.

  • Choose ‘Print‘ in the program you are printing from.
  • Right-tap your printer and tap ‘Properties‘ or ‘Printer setup.’
  • Hit the ‘Paper/Quality’ tab and find the ‘Print Quality’ area.
  • If the page is too dark, choose the ‘600 dpi’ option.
  • Choose ‘EconoMode‘ and enable it.
  • If the page is too light, choose the ‘FastRes 1200′ option.
  • Now clear the checkbox of EconoMode.
  • Lastly, tap ‘OK‘ to print the job.


  Change an empty or low toner cartridge.

  • Remove the old toner cartridge.
  • Now substitute it with a new toner cartridge.
  • Using both sides of the toner cartridge, rock it to dispense the toner within the cartridge.
  • Bend the tab on the toner cartridge’s left side till it breaks loose. Now pull it till the tape gets removed from the cartridge.
  • Place the cartridge in your product and close its door.


  5. Fix the 50.4 error message

A 50.4 error message appears on some newer HP Laserjet models. The error signals an issue with the power supply. Follow these HP troubleshooting printer steps to get your printer out of this error.

  • Restart your printer and clean it – Turn off the power and then turn it on again. It will normalize the printer temperature level and fix the issue. Also, remove any paper jam inside the paper. Clean the clogged ink to ensure good printer functioning.
  • Inspect the power source – The power source can also cause heat up. Ensure that the printer’s plug isn’t loose or broken. Otherwise, it will cause a problem with the power cable.
  • Check the HP printer’s environment – Don’t put your printer in a very cool location. If you are shifting the device from outdoors to indoors, give a few hours to the device to warm up to the current atmosphere.


  6. Fixes for when HP printer shows 79 service error

A 79 error occurs due to an issue with the network print server that services your printing device. Some good HP printer troubleshooting techniques for this problem are reinstalling the DIMM and the drivers.

 Reinstall the DIMM

  • Firstly, switch off your HP printer.
  • Now remove the DIMM.
  • Reinstall DIMM and confirm it’s properly in your printer.
  • Turn on the printer and remove the installed DIMMS.
  • Retest the printer.
  • If it functions well, install a DIMM that your HP printer support.

  Reinstall the drivers

  • Open the ‘Control Panel.’
  • Remove HP printer-related software by choosing ‘Uninstall a program.’
  • Go to ‘Device Manager.’
  • Remove the HP device below the print queues.
  • Lastly, restart your system and let the driver install automatically.

  7. Resolve HP print jobs stuck in a queue.

There are numerous ways to clear the print queue. Follow the different methods below and see which one gives you the desired result.

 Start the print spooler service again.

  • Open the Run box.
  • In its window, type ‘services.msc’ and press Enter.
  • Go down to Print Spooler. Right-tap it and choose ‘Stop.’
  • Now, go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS, and delete every file in this folder.
  • Right-tap print Spooler in the ‘Services’ window, and choose ‘Start.’

 Clear stuck files by using the command prompt.

  • In the search box, input ‘cmd,’ and Run it as administrator.
  • Input the commands below in the Command Prompt window.

net stop spooler

del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\* /Q /F /S

net start spooler

  • They will clear every print job that’s stuck in the queue.


8. HP printer cannot connect to Wi-Fi.

Is your HP printer not connecting to the Wi-Fi/ Follow these points to fix the connection with the Wi-Fi.

  • Print a Wireless Network Test Report to check if the printer is linked to the network.
  • If you have updated the security software, and firewall. Or browser, it can result in connection issues.
  • Try re-configuring the protection settings to include printers.
  • You may also install an updated driver.
  • Now, to connect the HP printer to Wi-Fi, look for the button with the Wi-Fi icon and press it.
  • Follow the steps to configure the wireless settings.
  • You may go to the ‘Wireless Settings’ menu and choose ‘Wi-Fi Protected Setup.’
  • Hit the ‘Push’ button followed by ‘Start.’
  • Now, head to the router and press down the ‘WPS’ button.
  • Do it for three seconds till the wireless signal light starts blinking.


9. Fix the issue of a clogged printhead

You may wonder about HP printer troubleshooting if you see lines, streaks, or bands in your output. This is the result of a clogged printhead. Use these points to clean them.

These steps are for printers that have two cartridges. These printers have an integrated printhead. This means your printer has HP 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, and 67 cartridges.


  • Using a damp paper towel, blot the cartridge. Its printhead side should be down on your towel.
  • Tap down the cartridge a couple of times.
  • Slide it down on the towel and repeat the same process till you view the ink lines on the towel.
  • When the ink on the paper towel can be seen clearly, hold the cartridge against the towel for half a minute.
  • After that, slide back the cartridge into the printer and give a test print command.


10. Fix the slow printing error

Many people are bothered by their HP printers printing slowly. It is particularly true for Inkjet printer owners. If your printer is kept in the ‘Draft’ quality, it results in poor print output. So, those searching for an HP troubleshooting printer for slow printing should use a lesser standard for print quality. For example, consider that your printer is printing in duplex mode.


In such a case, the printer needs to be flipped every time a sheet of paper gets over since duplex printing is performed on both sides. It will take some time for the printer to print in this mode. So, if you want quick printing, modify the printer settings to simpler ones.


11. Fix the HP ink cartridge error.

The ink cartridge printer error message is seen on the LCD of the HP printer. It halts the print activity. To resolve it, you must clean the contacts of the cartridge.


  • Take out the cartridge from the printer.
  • Find the copper or gold dots at the end of the cartridge.
  • These points facilitate the cartridge to communicate with your HP printer.
  • But these contacts can have dust accumulated, which prevents the printer from printing correctly.
  • Take a dry and clean cloth and clean the contacts.
  • After that, install the cartridge again.
  • Now give a print command.
  • After installing the cartridges, turn off the device.
  • Then turn it back on after a minute and give it a test print.

12. Troubleshoot the incompatible print cartridge error.

Models such as HP Deskjet D1330 and Deskjet D1360 get a print cartridge error due to which they cannot print. Here’s the HP printer troubleshooting guide to fix this error.


  • Identify the problematic cartridge.
  • After identifying it, reinstall it.
  • Ensure to remove the tape if it’s present on the cartridge.
  • Finally, clean the contacts of the cartridge.
  • Post-cleaning, reinstall the cartridge, and print a test page.


13. Troubleshooting for HP printer for Mac

If you are troubled by HP printer problems on your Mac, try resetting the HP print system.


  • Tap ‘Printers and Scanners.’
  • Right-tap on the ‘Printers’ window and choose ‘Reset Print System.’
  • Choose ‘Reset.’
  • In the end, click ‘OK.’
  • If this doesn’t work, restart your HP printing device.
  • Ensure to wait for 10 seconds before reconnecting the printer.


14. Fix the HP printer not printing

If your printer is not printing, ensure that it is set as the default printer. Apart from that, cancel all print jobs.


  • Go to ‘Devices and Printers’ in the Control Panel.
  • Now, right-tap on your printer.
  • Choose ‘See what’s printing.’
  • Hit the ‘Printer’ tab at the top-left.
  • Choose ‘Open as administrator.’
  • Now, choose ‘Cancel all documents.’
  • Press ‘Yes’ and now see if the printer can print.


15. Fix EP cartridge or error code 14 on HP printers.

Error code 14 on the printer also prevents it from working. It happens if no cartridges are installed, or a bad toner cartridge is installed. For troubleshooting HP printer showing error code 14, follow these points.


  • If you have an HP Laser printer 2d or 3d, check if there is defective paper in the tray.
  • Also, the voltage in the machine should not be over its limit.
  • If you have an HP Laser printer 3si and 4si, check marks on the right part of the toner.
  • Also, turn on the actuator bent support tab on the right part of the control.

16. Fix the HP printer won’t print even when connected

Faulty configurations or drivers can prevent your printer from printing even when it is connected. Follow these tips to make the printer print.


  • Update the printer drivers.
  • Next, set your printer as default.
  • Head to the ‘Devices and Printers’ section and choose your printer as the default printing device.
  • Lastly, cancel all print jobs.


17. Fix operating system-related issues on the HP printer

Sometimes, an error in the printer and scanner can lead to the printer not printing properly. Here’s the HP printers troubleshooting for OS-related issues.


  • Ensure that your printer is properly connected.
  • See whether the Ethernet port of the printer is available on the router.
  • If the printer’s green light isn’t stable and there’s no orange light, you need to restart all the devices.
  • First, close all the running applications on your system and turn them off.
  • Turn off the printer also.
  • Now, power on both devices.
  • In the Search window of your computer, input the model name of your printer.
  • The HP Printer Assistant will open.
  • Here tap ‘Scan a document or photo.’
  • The printer should automatically start scanning.

Final Words

This exhaustive HP printer troubleshooting guide will help you overcome most issues. You can implement these techniques on any HP printer model. Thus, you won’t need to stop your workflow because of any printer error. Contact expert HP printer support services to get more assistance with any problem. The printer technicians are only a call away. They’ll efficiently diagnose and troubleshoot all major and minor glitches.