article banner

Do you have an HP printer? Occasionally, you'll encounter a few common problems, whether a paper jam, slow printing, or an HP printer not printing. Don't worry! Let's explore these common HP printer problems and find simple solutions to simplify your printing life!

In this guide, we will discuss the following:

Common HP Printer Problems: Step-by-Step Troubleshooting

How do I fix HP printer issues? Printers, in general, have the same troubleshooting steps. What are the common HP printer problems that you encounter? Here are some causes and ways you can fix them:

1. Paper Jams

Why does paper sometimes get stuck in your printer, making it stop in its tracks? Well, it's like a traffic jam on the highway of printing. You can resolve this by following these tips:

  • Gently remove the jammed paper with both your hands.
  • Make sure the paper you use fits and is of good quality.
  • Also, keep the rollers clean to avoid future jams.

2. Slow Printing

If your HP printer seems to take an eternity to complete a print job, consider these solutions:

  • Change the print quality settings to draft mode for faster printing.
  • Update your printer firmware for improved performance.
  • Use a direct USB connection for quicker data transfer.

3. Poor Quality Prints

When your HP printer starts producing faded or blurry prints, you may follow these to enhance print quality:

4. Printer Scan Issues

If your HP printer is acting up and not scanning, check and try the following to get it working again:

  • Turn off your printer and computer, then turn them back on.
  • Make sure all the cables are plugged in correctly. Check that your printer and computer are connected if you're using Wi-Fi.
  • Visit the HP website to download and install the latest firmware for your printer model. Updated drivers can often resolve compatibility issues and improve scanning performance.

Why is My HP Printer Not Printing?

Why won't my HP printer print? You're all set to do your printing jobs, but your HP printer won't print. What can be the problem? There can be several reasons why your HP printer is not working. You can do basic HP troubleshooting for your printers by following these:

1. Printer Goes Offline

Wondering why is your HP printer not printing? It might be your printer is offline, one of the most common HP printer problems people encounter when printing. Properly checking your connection is important to ensure no delays in your tasks. Here are the things you need to look into.

Check Wired Connections

  • Ensure your printer is powered on. Look for lights or indicators showing that it's receiving power.
  • Confirm that the power cord is securely plugged into the printer and a working power outlet.
  • If using a USB cable, check that it's firmly connected to the printer and your computer. For Ethernet cables, ensure they are securely plugged into the printer and the network port on your router or switch.
  • If you're using a USB hub, connect the printer directly to the computer to eliminate potential issues with the hub.
  • See if your printer settings are "online", and try giving it a quick power cycle. If that still doesn't work, consider removing and reinstalling your printer.

Check Wireless Connection

  • Make sure your printer is turned on. Look for a light or a screen that shows it's working.
  • Check your printer for a symbol that shows it's connected to Wi-Fi. It might be a little icon or a light that stays on.
  • Unplug your Wi-Fi router for 10 seconds if things are not working. Plug it back in.
  • Use your printer's menu to find settings like "Network" or "Wireless". Confirm it's connected to the correct Wi-Fi network.
  • Turn off your printer and computer, then turn them back on. See if your printer is "online" again.

If you want to know more about how to fix an HP printer offline, check this article: How to Fix HP Printer Offline on Windows and Mac.

2. Set as Default Printer

Setting a default printer is like telling your computer, "Always use this printer unless I say otherwise". It helps your computer pick the right printer without asking every time you want to print something. This makes printing faster and saves you time. Here are simple steps to set your printer as the default printer:

  1. Step 1: Select Devices and Printers from the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Step 2: Look for your HP Printer in the list of printing devices. Select the suitable printer model, then right-click on it. Confirm by clicking Yes on the pop-up window.
  3. Step 3: Do a test print.

If the steps above don't resolve your problem with the HP printer, try to cancel all printing jobs.

3. Pending Prints on Queue

If you find your printer not responding and many prints stuck in line, don't worry. Here's a quick guide to clear those pending prints from the queue and get your printer back on track.

  1. Step 1: Select Devices & Printers from the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Step 2: In the list of printing devices, locate the right HP printer model. Right-click on the correct printer model and choose See what's printing from the drop-down list.
  3. Step 3: Open the printer menu at the top right and click Open as Administrator in the drop-down menu.
  4. Step 4: Click the printer menu in the top right again, then choose Cancel All Documents. A dialog window will open. You can clear all documents in the print queue by clicking Yes.
  5. Step 5: Try a test print to check if your HP printer works.

4. Printer Cartridge Issues

At times, it's not the printer that's the problem but the cartridge. Problems with ink cartridges can cause printing issues. Here are some common HP cartridge problems and ways you can fix them:

Check Ink Levels

  1. Step 1: If you use a Windows computer, download HP Print and Scan Doctor.
  2. Step 2: Click Tools, then Printer/Supply Levels. It will show the ink levels of your HP printer.

Refill HP Ink Cartridges

  1. Step 1: Remove the cartridge from your HP printer.
  2. Step 2: Prepare your HP ink cartridge refill kit, including inks, syringes, and drill.
  3. Step 3: Remove the label of your cartridge. You will see three small holes on a multicolor cartridge. Each hole indicates a separate ink color chamber.
  4. Step 4: Drill the hole using the drill in a circular motion so the syringe can pass through.
  5. Step 5: Insert a needle in each hole to determine the color of each chamber for the multicolor cartridge.
  6. Step 6: Draw the correct ink color into the syringe to inject into each chamber. Use an individual syringe for each ink color.
  7. Step 7: Fill the correct ink through the cartridge hole to avoid squirting or overflowing.
  8. Step 8: Wipe the cartridge sensor using a dust cloth or a paper towel with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Ink stains on the sensor may cause it to be unreadable.
  9. Step 9: Cover the entire top of the drilled side of the cartridge with tape and poke a hole through it. It provides ventilation for the cartridge.
  10. Step 10: Make sure that it is appropriately taped to avoid leaking.

Clean Printhead

Another common problem of an HP printer not printing is a clogged printhead. Here are some ways to clean it:

  • Automatic Cleaning
    1. Step 1: Search Devices and Printers on the search bar.
    2. Step 2: Choose the icon of your printer model and right-click it.
    3. Step 3: Select Printing preferences.
    4. Step 4: Choose Maintenance, then click Head Cleaning.
  • Manual cleaning
    1. Step 1: Uninstall the printhead from the printer.
    2. Step 2: Remove the nozzle from the printer and place it in a shallow dish of 91% isopropyl alcohol.
    3. Step 3: Soak it overnight, then dry it with a lint-free cloth. Once it is completely dry, set it back into place.
    4. Step 4: Reinstall the printhead and try to rerun the printer.

5. Printer Driver Issue

Ever been annoyed by your HP printer acting up because of driver problems? Don't worry; we're here to help you get things back on track.

Update or Reinstall Printer Firmware

Make sure your printer is working its best by updating its software. Go to the HP website and get the newest software for your printer model. This can often fix issues and make everything run smoother.

HP Printer Firmware Downgrade

Generally, an HP printer firmware update is done to fix bugs and issues. However, it can also prevent you from using economical alternatives to HP ink. Updating your firmware might prohibit you from using remanufactured or compatible cartridges. So, how do you go about it? You can disable or downgrade the HP printer firmware update to help you resolve this problem.

Other HP Printer-Related Questions

Properly setting things up from the start is important to avoid the hassle of going through all these common HP printer problems. Whether setting up your printer with a computer, a laptop, or even your smartphone, our guide will walk you through it.

1. How to Setup HP Printer on a Computer or Laptop

Setting up your HP printer on a computer or laptop is easy. Follow these steps for Windows and Mac.


  1. Step 1: Connect your laptop to your HP printer via a USB cable.
  2. Step 2: Click the Start menu, then Settings.
  3. Step 3: Find the icon Devices, then click it.
  4. Step 4: Choose Printers and Scanners in the left column.
  5. Step 5: Click Add Printers and Scanners.
  6. Step 6: Choose the correct HP printer.
  7. Step 7: Wait for the installation process to finish.


  1. Step 1: Turn on your HP printer.
  2. Step 2: On your MAC device, open a web browser and type in "".
  3. Step 3: Click Download. Install Printer Software.
  4. Step 4: Open the downloaded file.
  5. Step 5: Click on HP Easy Start. Follow the installation process.
  6. Step 6: Ensure your printer driver is on the latest driver software. If it is not updated, go to and download the updated driver for your HP printer.
  7. Step 7: Connect your HP printer. Select the Continue with USB connection, and click Continue. It will prompt you to the installation screen.
  8. Step 8: Fill in and select the necessary information. Click Install.
  9. Step 9: To begin with the installation, it will prompt you to fill in your administrator password.
  10. Step 10: When the installation is complete, click Continue.
  11. Step 11: Fill in any information needed and click Continue to finish the installation process. You can now start printing using your HP printer.

2. How to Print from Smartphone

Printing from your smartphone is not only convenient but also a straightforward process. You can transform your digital files into tangible prints in just a few easy steps.

How to Print from iPhone?

  1. Step 1: Turn on your HP printer.
  2. Step 2: Open the file you want to print from your iPhone.
  3. Step 3: Tap the share icon, then tap Print.
  4. Step 4: Select the correct HP printer. Tap Print.

How to Print from Android Phone?

  1. Step 1: Ensure your phone is connected to your printer's Wi-Fi network.
  2. Step 2: Find the file or photo you want to print on your Android device.
  3. Step 3: Look for your app's Share or Options button, then tap it.
  4. Step 4: From the options, choose Print. You might need to scroll or look for the printer icon.
  5. Step 5: Select your printer from the list that pops up. Make sure it's turned on and connected.
  6. Step 6: If there are color or paper size settings, make your choices.
  7. Step 7: Hit the Print button, and your document or photo should start printing.

Parting Words

Ready to dive into the world of resolving common HP printer problems? With the insights from this guide, including why an HP printer not printing, you can keep your HP printer in good shape and ensure it consistently delivers top-quality prints. Let's get started, and happy troubleshooting!

Key takeaways:

  • Common HP Printer Problems, such as paper jams, slow printing, and disconnected printers, can occur. Solutions to these issues include gently removing the jammed paper, adjusting the print settings to a higher quality option, and cleaning the printheads.
  • Connectivity issues often occur due to incorrect settings or software-related problems. Solutions include ensuring cables are connected, double-checking the printer queue to clear any print jobs, updating the firmware or drivers, and removing/reinstalling the printer.
  • To change ink on an HP printer or connect it to Wi-Fi or a laptop, use devices & printers from the Windows Control Panel or download printer software from its website and follow the installation instructions.

Whether you have queries about ink or need assistance with your orders, our warm and welcoming team is just a phone call away. Contact us at 1-833-465-6888, Monday to Friday, from 6am-4pm PT. Your printing satisfaction is our top concern!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I resolve paper jams in my HP printer?

Dealing with paper jams in your HP printer? Here's a simple guide to sort it out. First, turn off your printer and gently remove the jammed paper – take your time to avoid tearing. Also, ensure you're using the type of paper recommended for your printer; it helps prevent future jams. As a bonus, give the paper feed rollers a little clean with a lint-free cloth and a mild cleaning solution to keep things smooth. These easy steps will help you fix paper jams and keep your HP printer happy.

2. Why is my HP printer printing so slowly?

If you find your HP printer taking too long to produce your prints, there are some uncomplicated solutions to speed things up. Firstly, consider adjusting the print quality settings to a lower option – this can significantly boost printing speed without compromising too much on quality. Another helpful step is to make sure your printer drivers are up to date. Visit the HP website, find your printer model, and download the latest drivers. Additionally, if you're currently using Wi-Fi, think about switching to a direct USB connection for a faster and more direct data transfer.

3. How can I improve print quality from my HP printer?

To make your prints look way better, try these easy ways. First, if your ink cartridges are running low, change them for new ones or refill the old ones. Then, when you're about to print something, pick the higher quality option in the settings – it makes everything look sharper. Lastly, keep things flowing smoothly by cleaning your printheads well. These simple steps will boost your printer's performance and make your prints look top-notch.

4. Why is my printer showing an error message?

Your printer might be displaying an error message for various reasons. It could be due to low ink levels, paper jams, or issues with the connection between your computer and the printer. Check the printer's display or status lights for more information about the specific error. If it's a paper jam, gently remove the jammed paper. Ensure there's enough ink in the cartridges and correctly installed. You can also follow the troubleshooting steps above

5. How should I resolve driver problems with my HP printer?

Start by uninstalling the current printer drivers on your computer. Head to the official HP website to download the latest drivers designed for your printer model. It's like getting the latest tools for the job. Additionally, ensure your operating system is current; having the latest software helps your printer and computer communicate smoothly. By following these simple steps, you can resolve driver problems and have your HP printer running seamlessly in no time.