Brother Printer Doesn’t Print Black [Solution]

There are a lot of possible reasons why your Brother printer doesn’t print black. Read this article to find out these reasons and also how to fix this problem.

My Brother Printer Does Not Print Black [Reasons & Solutions]

Below are the common reasons why Brother printer will not print in black and how to solve them…

1. The Ink’s Cartridge Breather Tape is not Taken Off Completely

The breather tape otherwise known as the shipping tape helps to keep the ink cartridge safe during shipping. This tape has to be taken off before the ink cartridge is installed.

If the tape is not taken off completely, it may result in the ink staying sealed inside the cartridge. You need to inspect the black ink cartridge to solve this problem and save yourself from complaining: “My Brother printer will not print black ink”.

If the breather tape was properly removed then you need to remove it. Test print any document afterward to see if your printing problem has been fixed.

2. You are Using a Bad Third-Party Ink Cartridge

Not all third-party inks are bad. However, most of the available third-party ink may not match your Brother printer’s specification.

This is why Brother advises that you only make use of original Brother party ink cartridges for your Brother printer. And even if you choose to use a third-party ink, ensure it is a reliable one. We recommend E-Z Ink.

The E-Z ink cartridge below is compatible with the following Brother printers: MFC-J491DW, MFC-J497DW, MFC-J690DW, and MFC-J895DW Inkjet Printer

3. Air is In the Print Nozzle

Air in the print nozzle often occurs when the ink cartridge’s level is low but you keep using the cartridge until it runs completely dry.

Air entering the print nozzle can cause the ink in the nozzle to dry off. And ultimately, this may damage your print head. This is why you need to replace your ink cartridge once your printer prompts you to.

To solve this problem, you need to clean the print head.

How to Clean Brother Printer Print Head

Do the following to clean your Brother printer print head…

Step 1: Press the “Menu” button on the printer.

Step 2: Scroll through the options with the “Up” and “Down” buttons. When the printer displays “Cleaning” press “OK”.

Step 3: The options will be all the ink colors in the printer. Select black since it is the color in question. Or you can choose to clean all the ink cartridges, simply select “All” to do this.

When you are done cleaning the print head, print any document and see if the problem has been solved. If it isn’t, clean the print head again.

You can also decide to manually clean the print head. However, in some models, this will require that you uncouple the printer. So we recommend that get a professional unless you have proper knowledge about this.

4. The Purge Pump is Faulty

The purge pump sucks ink out of the ink cartridge and into the printer’s print head when the ink cartridge is initially installed. If the purge pump gets bad, then the ink will not flow out as it should.

The purge seal is usually the part of the purge pump that can cause your Brother printer not to print black. Now, you may ask: “How do I fix black ink not printing in this case?” It is simple, you just need to give the purge seal and pump a good clean.

Watch this video that shows you how to clean your printer’s purge pump and seal…

5. The Intake Nozzle Valve is Clogged

The intake nozzle valve is found underneath the cartridge. This valve can get clogged with ink or other debris. Your Brother printer will not print black if this happens with your black ink cartridge.

To resolve this problem, you need to take out the ink cartridge. Then, soak cotton wool in Windex and clean the valve with it. Ensure you clean off every bit of dried ink from the valve. After that, reinstall the ink cartridge.

After a few hours, or by the next morning, print any document to see if the printing issue has been rectified.

6. The Data Cable is Faulty

A data cable is connected to the print head and it can get disconnected or defective. This may cause your Brother printer not printing black problem.

The solution to this problem is to open the machine and ensure everything is connected. If the cable looks damaged then it should be replaced. Again, do not do this yourself if you do not have ample knowledge of how to dismantle and rearrange the machine.

To read more awesome articles, click any of the links below…

My Brother Printer is Printing Black Pages [How to Fix]

Brother Printer Only Printing in Black And White [Solved]

Brother Printer Vertical Black Line [Solved]

My Brother Printer Won’t Scan [How to Fix]

Brother Printer is not Printing [Reasons and Solutions]

Brother Printer is Printing Light [Quick Fix]

Why is My Brother Printer Printing Faded [Reasons and Solution]

Brother Printer Doesn’t Print Black [Preventive Measures]

Now that we have answered the question: “Why is my Brother printer not printing black?”, we will give you tips that will prevent the reoccurrence of this printer problem…

1. Print More Regularly

Try to print more regularly on your printer. This will ensure the constant flow of ink to the print head. And then the ink in the print nozzle will not dry out.

Also, even if you do not print often, ensure you leave the printer on. This way, your printer will occasionally perform a cleaning cycle that will prevent clogging. You may read this article to find out more on this topic.

2. Only Use Quality Ink Cartridges

This will guarantee quality print and also reduce the chances of your black ink easily getting dried.

3. Do Not Keep Your Printer in a Hot Environment

Keeping your printer in a hot environment will increase the chances of your black ink getting congealed. The recommended temperature for the environment of your printer should be between 50 – 90.5◦F.

Use a room thermometer to check the temperature. If it is above 90◦F, cool the room.

Can You Print Black and White without Color Cartridge Brother? [Solved]

You can print black and white without a color cartridge on your Brother printer. When you run out of all color cartridges, your printer will ask if you would like to continue printing in monochrome (black and white).

However, some glitch may occur and your Brother printer won’t print black and white without color toner. In this case, you can send a command to make it print black and white.

How to Print Black and White without Color Ink Brother

Do the following to make a Brother printer print black and white without color ink…


Step 1: Click the start button and then select “Control Panel” and then select “Devices and Printer”.

Step 2: Select your Brother printer to bring out the printer’s properties and then click on “Printing Preferences”.

Step 3: You will see a “Color/Mono” box, click on it, and then select “Mono”.

Step 4: Click on “Apply” and then “OK” to save your settings.

Note: This will cause all your print jobs to be monochrome. However, if you want the settings for a single job do the following…

Step 1: From the application you want to print from, click print options.

Step 2: Click on “Properties”.

Step 3: Do the above steps 3-4 but click “Print” instead of “OK”.


Step 1: From the print application, click on “File” and then “Print”.

Step 2: Select “Print Settings”.

Step 3: Now, select “Mono” from the “Color/Mono” box.

Step 4: To save your setting, it has to be saved as a preset. Do this by doing the following:

i. Click on the preset menu that will come up and then select “Save Current Settings as a Preset…”

ii.Put in your desired name for the present and then click “OK”.

“Brother printer won’t print black and white” issue can be resolved with the fix above.

However, if the problem persists, you may contact Brother Authorized Customer Center for further assistance.