Printers sometimes have a mind of their own, every senior PC user can vouch for that. Luckily, the industry of printers has improved, a lot, and with Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.13 behind them, troubleshooting can be really simple. With that in mind, in the next few lines we’re going to go through the most common HP Printer problems, together with solutions which are easy to implement. If you’re not a tech person, at first it’s going to be a bit confusing, but once you start working with our guide, you will see that your printer has just a limited amount of errors, and the structure is easy to follow.
Personally I’m a huge fan of HP and their ad campaigns, so in case you’re in a bad mood now, just check out the ad below, it’s going to bring the smile back on your face and make the troubleshooting a bit less frustrating 🙂
First step: Recognize the problem behind the printer
In most cases there are just four errors which can cause a non-working printer, the first one is that the printer is not recognized by the computer, the second one is that the printer is recognized but doesn’t print, the third one is that the printer is recognized and can print, but prints blank pages, and the last but not least, ink or toner problems with your HP printer.
Regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7 or XP, you should first try to recognize the problem before attempting anything complicated or time consuming. Through my own experience I can tell you that sometimes a simple re-start or cable exchange can solve the issue, without even going through all the troubles of driver re-installations and other time consuming things. So let’s go first through the basics.
If you can’t recognize the problem by yourself, and you’re on Windows 10, then you can go through the Printing Troubleshooter. You can do that by downloading the program through the Windows website and running it on the problematic computer. Once you do that and find the right problem, we can go through the next steps.
Problem 1: My HP Printer is not recognized by the computer
This particular error is happening when the HP printer and your PC computer can not communicate with each other, either through a wired connection (USB cable plugged in from your printer in to the computer) or through a wireless connection (your printer and your PC are connected to the same Wireless network and have sharing enabled). To solve it, you first need to check if the computer has the designated drivers for the device, if not, it’s mandatory that you install them. Each printer has its own set of drivers, and it usually comes with the device on a CD. After that, you need to check which type of connection you have, wired or wireless, and then continue with these steps:
- HP Printer doesn’t print over USB connection
First make sure that your PC is connected to internet, so that the device can automatically download the needed drivers for your HP printer. Second, disconnect the devices, exchange the cable which goes from your printer to the computer and connect the devices once again. If needed, restart the computer and check for changes. If you hear a Windows sound that a device is plugged in or recognized, go to your device manager, expand printers, find your printer on the list, right click on it and then click on Update Driver.
- HP printer doesn’t print over Wireless connection
This one can get a bit tricky if you insist on Wireless printing, since it asks for a different approach then the USB connection. What you first want to do is you need to check if the printer is actually connected to the same wireless network as your computer. Take a seat near it, open the settings on the printer panel, go through the wireless options and check if the device is connected to your network. The Diagnostic Results within the Connectivity area should be marked as PASS. If not, your printer is not connected to any network, so you need to ensure that the wireless router is turned on, that it’s working properly and that you can access it with your printer. Go through the PDF manual of the printer or follow these instructions on setting up your wireless printer.
Problem 2: My HP printer is recognized but doesn’t print
This one is a bit tricky since most users don’t know how to explain this problem properly. In case this is happening to you, you first need to remember how this started. Most people either do not have the right drivers on their computer, didn’t load the papers correctly or didn’t install the Ink Cartridges in the right way. So let’s go through the questions and solutions:
- Is this your first time using the device, is it a completely new unit?
If yes, either re-install or do a fresh installation of drivers. The easiest way on deleting old drivers is from the Programs and Features option within your OS. After you’re done with the removal you can reinstall the device and check again.
- Did you exchange the computer before this situation?
Keep in mind that the drivers are not stored on your printer, they are on your computer. So if you switch your printer from your desktop to your laptop, you will need to install the drivers on both computers.
- The printer was working before, but now it’s not printing?
There are only two issues at this point which could be the case, the first one is that there is an Ink or Toner problem, or a paper jam within the device. Check the device, if it has a screen it will list an error, if not, go through the troubleshooter again and the software will tell you what’s happening.
- Did you exchange the Ink/toner cartridges on it before this situation?
If yes, you either didn’t follow the right installation instructions for your ink cartridges or you have the wrong ink in your device, whichever option it is, first try to reinstall the cartridges by following the manual of your device, after that, if it still doesn’t work, check if you have genuine HP ink cartridges. The device will also signal a specific error if it can read the ink, so in case you’re getting a specific error, scroll down for the part with most common HP printing errors and how to solve them.
Problem 3: My HP Printer is recognized, but prints blank pages
The mistake which most people do is they power off the printer before the printer can actually park the cartridges properly (yep, this is why the device takes so long to shut down, it actually “closes” the cartridges so that the ink doesn’t dry out). If this happened to you, then you will probably get blank pages when printing.
- Clean the print-head of your printer
If your ink dried out, there are only two things which you can do, the first one is to clean the print head of your device. This process is a bit different from one device to another, but overall you can follow this instruction paper to solve it, or google “how to clean print head [your printer model”. The second option is:
- Buy new ink cartridges
Since, as I said, your ink dried out, the only logical step is to buy a new set and, this time, use them properly. If you don’t know which model to buy, check our toner and ink category. But before you buy a new set, learn how to turn off your device:
- Learn how to properly turn off your device!
This problem, when the printer prints blank pages, is usually happening with users who “plug out the printer” before it finishes parking the cartridges, just because they don’t like the sound or “don’t have the time to wait”. But it’s important to note that you should always turn of your device properly, do not plug it out of the socket before it can park the cartridges so that you don’t end up with dry ink after a few weeks.
Problem 4: My HP printer doesn’t recognize the Ink Cartridge
This is a quite a common problem and there are usually three different reasons for this error. The first one is the printhead, the second one is using non-genuine ink cartridges, the third one are used genuine ink cartridges. When it comes to the most common errors, usually your printer will say something like “Cartridge is not compatible” or “Printer cartridge not detected“, and to understand this problem you need to understand the process on how your printer is reading the ink cartridges.
Your printer has an internal memory, which needs to be reset every time a new set of ink cartridges is installed. When you exchange your ink cartridges, the printer should automatically reset the internal memory. If it doesn’t – you get the above mentioned errors. So, how to solve it? Follow these simple steps:
- Reset the printer memory manually
Remove the new cartridges and place the old ones back in to the printer, leave the printer on for 10-15 minutes and let it do its thing. After the printer has been standing with the old cartridges for a while, go and replace them with the new ones. The device will now reset the memory by itself and solve the issue. This works in 99% of the situations, but if it doesn’t, let’s go to the second solution:
- Force reset printer memory through power cycling
Step 1: Remove the new cartridge and make sure that the surface where they were is clean and without any pieces of paper or ink spots
Step 2: Turn the printer off by using it’s power off button
Step 3: After you turned the printer off, unplug it at the wall outlet and leave it for a few minutes
Step 4: Plug the printer back in to the wall but do not turn it on
Step 5: Put the new ink cartridges in to the device
Step 6: Power on the device, the problem should be solved.
Common Error codes and how to solve them
I’m going to include a short list of codes here, which are the most common ones, and explain on how to solve them, if you can’t find your error code here, check the full list under this article: HP Printer Error Code Cheat Sheet
- Memory Full Error Codes
The HP Error code under the name XXX Memory Full, Job Memory Full or Memory Overflow are connected to the printer memory capacity, you have either send to many print jobs to the printer or one big file is causing the problem. Either reduce the size of the print job or, alternatively, install more memory in to your device.
- 50.x Fuser Error Codes
The fuser error is mainly connected to the internal parts of the device and can not be solved by a regular user, so contact the HP support team and let a professional exchange the part, the common errors are:
- 50.1 Low temperature. Fuser is failing to warm up.
- 50.2 Warm up failure. The warm-up period timed out. This could be a power supply or firmware issue.
- 50.3 High temperature. The main thermistor is too hot. Likely to be a control circuit issue.
- 50.4 Faulty fuser (or Bad AC line voltage). Moderately likely to be bad mains supply (UPS, generator, extensions)
- 50.5 Inconsistent fuser or Wrong type fuser installed. The printer has detected the wrong fuser.
- 50.6 Open fuser. Fuser heater cut-off. The fuser possibly overheated.
- 50.7 Fuser pressure release mechanism failure. Fuser drive motor or the pressure release doesn’t work
- 50.8 Lower fuser temperature (sub-thermistor). Secondary thermistor detects a fault
- 50.9 High fuser temperature (sub-thermistor).
In the worst case scenario, where can you get official support?
After going through all of the things above, I would recommend to solve the issue by yourself, if we didn’t cover any error codes, just try to Google it by yourself, it’s going to go much faster then calling the customer support or writing them through the forum. But in case you do want to get in contact with them, here is the official link, they usually answer in a timely manner: https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/First-Time-Here-Learn-How-to-Post-and-More/bd-p/Hello