HP printers are reliable machines that perform excellent printing and scanning. However, it does not negate the fact that they do run into errors from time to time. Users frequently report common problems like paper jams to 50.4 errors. So, the owners of this printing machine must know about HP printer troubleshooting. 

In this article, you’ll find the 7 most 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

HP Printer Troubleshooting for Common Printer Problems

From printer offline to ghosting and faded prints, there’s 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 supports.

 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.


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.