HP Printer Black Ink [Issues & Solutions]

In this article, we will discuss the various issues associated with HP printer black ink. We will also provide solutions to each of the issues that we will raise.

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Table of Contents

Why Is HP Printer Not Printing Black Ink [Reasons & Solutions]

If your HP printer is not printing in black ink, the following reasons are responsible:

1. Use of Non-Genuine HP Ink Cartridges

One reason why your HP printer is not printing black is that you are making use of a non-HP cartridge. It could be that you are using a refilled cartridge. A good number of HP printers are programmed not to print when non-HP cartridges are detected.

Therefore, confirm that you are making use of genuine HP cartridges. If your cartridges aren’t genuine HP ink cartridges, then you need to replace the current cartridge with a genuine HP cartridge.

2. The Estimated Levels of the Ink in your HP Printer is Low

Your HP printer won’t print black ink if the printer’s estimated ink level is low. Therefore, you need to confirm the ink level which will determine whether you need to replace the cartridge or not.

How to Check HP Printer Estimated Ink Levels

Do the following steps to confirm your HP printer’s estimated ink levels:

Step 1: Load the main paper tray with paper.

Step 2: Press the button that is labeled with the minus (-) sign.

You can find this button beside the icon for setup which is at the control panel’s bottom left corner.

Step 3: Select “Tools” by pressing the right navigation button.

Step 4: Press “OK”.

Step 5: Choose “Estimated Ink Levels” by pressing the right navigation button.

Step 6: Press “OK”.

The estimated level of the ink will then be shown.

If the ink level of any of the cartridges is low, then you have to replace the ink cartridge. We’ll show you how to do that briefly.

If your HP printer’s black ink is full but is not printing, then try the next solution.

How to Replace HP Printer Cartridge

Follow the steps below to replace an empty cartridge on your HP printer:

Step 1: Load the main paper tray with paper.

Step 2: Turn on your HP printer by pressing the power button.

Step 3: Open your printer’s cartridge door.

Then wait till your printer is silent and idle before moving to the next step.

Step 4: Release the cartridge by pressing it down lightly.

Step 5: Take out the cartridge from the slot by pulling it out gently.

Step 6: Unpack the new ink cartridge.

Step 7: Take away the plastic seal tape that covers the cartridge.

Ensure that you don’t touch the ink nozzles or the contacts. You should not re-tape the removed cartridges. Doing any of this could cause clogs, bad electrical connections, and ink failure.

Step 8: Place the cartridge into the black ink slot.

The ink cartridge should be held by the sides while ensuring that the part that faces the printer is the nozzle.

Step 9: Push in the cartridge until it is kept firmly in place.

Step 10: Close the printer’s cartridge door.

The remaining steps are applicable to some models.

Step 11: Follow any on-screen prompts that appear.

Step 12: Wait for at least 30 seconds to allow the automatic printing of the alignment page.

After replacing the cartridge, you will have to align your HP printer cartridge.

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How to Align HP Printer Cartridge

If your HP printer black ink does not work, do the following steps to align the HP printer cartridge to fix the problem:

Step 1: Ensure that paper is loaded into the main tray.

Step: Confirm that your HP printer is powered on.

Step 3: Press the button that is labeled with the minus (-) sign.

You can find this button beside the icon for setup which is at the control panel’s bottom left corner.

Step 3: Select “Tools” by pressing the right navigation button.

Step 4: Press “OK”.

Step 5: Choose “Align Printer” by pressing the right navigation button.

Step 6: Press “OK”.

This action will cause the alignment page to be printed.

Step 7: Lift your HP printer scanner’s lid.

Step 8: Take the alignment page and place it at the scanner’s right-front angle. Ensure that the side that has the printed alignment page is facing down.

Step 9: Close your HP printer scanner’s lid.

Step 10: Press “OK” or the button for Scan.

The alignment of the cartridge will be completed with this action.

Step 11: Wait until the alignment page is scanned by your printer for the completion of the process.

Watch the video above for a visual explanation of how to align HP print cartridges (HP Deskjet D1600 is used as an example).

3. Clogged Printhead

If your HP printer is not printing with black ink, then it might be that there is a clog in the printhead.

Therefore, to fix this problem, you have to clean the printhead with an automated tool. You can either do this via the printer itself or via the printer software on the computer.

How to Clean HP Printer Printhead via the Printer’s Automated Tool

Follow the steps below to clean the printhead of your HP printer via the printer’s automated tool:

Step 1: Load the main paper tray with paper.

Step 2: Press the button that is labeled with the minus (-) sign.

You can find this button beside the icon for setup which is at the control panel’s bottom left corner.

Step 3: Select “Tools” by pressing the right navigation button.

Step 4: Press “OK”.

Step 5: Choose “Clean Printhead” by pressing the right navigation button.

Step 6: Press “OK”.

Your HP printer will then begin to clean the printhead.

Don’t worry about the noises you hear in the process; it is all normal.

Once the cleaning is complete, a test page will be printed out.

Step 6: Review the test page print quality.

If your HP printer has black ink but still won’t print, then you should run the cleaning again. If it is still not printing, then try the next solution.

How to Clean HP Printer Printhead via the Printer Software Automated Tool on Windows

To clean your HP printer’s printhead via the printer software automated tool on Windows, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open your Windows computer’s HP printer software.

Follow the instructions below to open the printer software according to your Windows software:

Windows 10

i. Click on the search bar on the taskbar.

ii. Type “Printers & Scanners”.

iii. Click on “Printers & Scanners” from the displayed search result.

iv. Double-click on your HP printer icon.

Windows 8

i. Open the computer’s menu by right-clicking the screen’s bottom-left corner.

ii. Click on “Control Panel”.

iii. Click on “Devices and Printers”.

iv. Double-click on your printer icon.

Windows 7 & Vista

i.Click on the icon for “Windows”.

ii. Click on “All Programs”.

iii. Click on “HP”.

iv. Click your HP printer’s folder.

v. Click on your printer icon.

Windows XP

i. Click on “Start”.

ii. Click on “All Programs”.

iii. Click on “HP”.

iv. Click your HP printer’s folder.

v. Click on your printer icon.

Step 2: Click on “Print and Scan”.

Step 3: Click on “Maintain Your Printer”.

This will cause the HP Toolbox to open.

Step 4: Click on the tab labeled “Device Services”.

Step 5: Click on “Clean Ink Cartridges”.

Step 6: Follow the instructions on the screen.

Step 7: Click on “Print”.

After you do that, a test page will be printed for you to confirm if the problem has been fixed.

If your HP printer’s black ink won’t print after the first cleaning, then you can repeat the process for a second cleaning.

If after the second cleaning, the black ink still isn’t printing, then you should move on to the next solution.

How to Clean HP Printer Printhead via the Printer Software Automated Tool on Mac

To clean the printhead of your HP printer via the printer software automated tool on Mac, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Go to the dock and click on the icon for “Finder”.

Step 2: Click on the drive that has the HP printer software.

Step 3: Click on the file for “Applications”.

Step 4: Click on the folder for “Hewlett-Packard” or “HP”.

Step 5: Double-click on the icon for “HP Utility”.

Step 6: Click on “Clean Printheads”.

Step 7: Click on “Clean”.

Your HP printer will then begin to clean the printheads at this point.

Your printer will print out a test page for you to confirm if the problem has been fixed.

If your HP is not printing black ink after the first cleaning, then you can repeat the process for a second cleaning.

If after the second cleaning, the black ink still isn’t printing, then you should move on to the next solution.

4. Damaged Cartridge

Another reason why the black ink is not printing on your HP printer even though it is full is that the black cartridge is damaged. You can easily identify this as the problem when you notice defects on the test page.

To fix this issue, all you need to do is to replace the cartridge. You can do this by following the steps we shared earlier on “How to replace HP printer cartridge”. After replacing the cartridge, ensure that you align your HP printer as well.

If your HP printer black ink cartridge is not working after replacing the damaged cartridge, then you are left with just one option…

5. Technical Hardware Issue

A technical hardware issue might be the reason why your HP printer is not printing black ink. If this is the case, you are left with only one option which is to service your HP printer.

This is the last stop when it comes to fixing the issue of your HP printer not printing black ink. Since you cannot service your HP printer yourself, you will have to reach out to HP Customer Support. They will then schedule a day to repair the product. The repair will be free of charge if the product is still under warranty. You could also get a replacement if the printer is still under warranty. 

Ensure that you keep the test page you printed earlier as the agent who will be sent will request for it. If your HP printer is eventually returned and replaced with a new one, it is expected that the test page will be sent back along with the product. Therefore, package the test page in the printer’s output tray as you send it back.

The above solutions will work for the following HP printer models if they aren’t printing blank ink: HP 6520, HP Deskjet 1010, HP 5520, HP 7520, HP printer 3630, HP 6968, HP 1510, HP 4620, HP printer 3520, and HP 6500.

HP Printer Not Printing Black Ink after Refill [Solved]

If your HP printer is not printing black after refill, then it means the printer recognizes that a non-HP cartridge or a refill cartridge is installed.  

Newer HP printers are designed to read the microchips that are placed on cartridges. Hence, when the ink is empty, the printer has registered that such a cartridge is out of ink. As a result, when you still go ahead to refill the cartridge, the original information which your HP printer has read concerning the cartridge is still registered in its memory.

Therefore, the best solution to fix this issue is to make use of a genuine HP cartridge. The alternative will be to trick your HP printer to think that you are installing a new cartridge instead of a refill.

This alternative solution should be done at your own risk because when you make use of refilled cartridges, you make your warranty void.

But if you choose to go ahead with using the refill instead of a new HP ink cartridge, we’ll show you how to make your HP printer recognize a refilled ink cartridge.

How to Make your HP Printer to Recognize a Refilled Ink Cartridge

Follow the steps below to learn how to make your HP printer recognize a refilled ink cartridge:

Step 1: Remove the black ink cartridge from your HP printer.

Step 2: Locate the copper contacts on the cartridge by turning it over.

Step 3: Attach a small transparent tape on the 7th copper contact that is at the 2nd row on the left.

Step 4: Insert the cartridge back into your HP printer.

Step 5: Align the printer.

We discussed how to do this earlier in the article. Therefore, follow those instructions which we share earlier to do this.

Step 7: Remove the cartridge from the printer after it completes the alignment procedure.

Step 8: Stick another tape on the remaining copper contacts.

Step 9: Insert the cartridge back into your HP printer.

Step 10: Align your HP printer again.

Step 11: Remove the cartridge from your printer after it completes the alignment procedure.

Step 12: Remove the tapes that you placed on the contacts.

Ensure that the contacts don’t have any sticky residue on them.

Step 13: Insert the cartridge back into your HP printer.

After this, the HP printer should be able to recognize the refilled cartridge.

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HP Printer Won’t Recognize Black Ink Cartridge [Reasons & Solutions]

Your HP printer will not recognize black ink cartridge due to the following reasons:

1. The Internal Memory of your HP Printer is full

Your printer has an internal memory system that allows it to detect full ink as well as new ones. When this memory becomes full, your HP printer won’t read black ink even if your insert a new cartridge.

Therefore, to fix this you need to reset the printer’s internal memory.

How to Reset HP Printer Internal Memory

Follow the steps below to reset HP printer internal memory to fix the problem if your HP printer is not reading black ink:

Step 1: Take out the new cartridge from your HP printer.

Step 2: Reinsert the old cartridge into your HP printer.

Step 3: Wait for at least 10 minutes.

Step 4: Take out the old cartridge from your printer.

Step 5: Reinsert the new cartridge.

With these steps, your printer should recognize the new cartridge.

If your HP printer is still not recognizing the black ink cartridge, then do the following:

i. Take out the new cartridge from your HP printer.

ii. Power off the printer.

iii. Unplug the power cable for at least 10 minutes.

iv. Plug back the power cable into the printer, but leave the printer turned off.

v. Reinsert the new cartridge into your HP printer.

vi. Turn on the printer.

2. The Metal Contacts are Dirty or Damaged

Most ink cartridges including HP cartridges have metal contacts that aid the transmission of electronic signals from the cartridge to the HP printer. Such connection is what enables the HP printer to command the ink cartridge to apply ink when the print command is sent.

When these contacts get dirty or dented, the communication flow is thereby affected. This can lead to all kinds of errors. Hence, if your HP printer black cartridge is not detected, then it could be due to this.

If the contacts are dirty, then you need to clean them. We will show you how to do that briefly.

On the other hand, if the contacts are damaged, then you will have to replace the cartridge with a new one.

How to Clean the Metal contacts of an HP Ink Cartridge

To clean the metal contacts of an HP ink cartridge, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Turn the HP printer off.

Step 2: Unplug the printer’s power cable.

Step 3: Take out the new ink cartridge from your HP printer.

Step 4: Locate the metal contacts on the cartridge.

You can find them at the back or side of the cartridge. They look like a piece of flat metal, copper. Sometimes, they resemble circuit boards.

Step 5: Look for the connection point in your HP printer’s carriage. 

The connection point is the area where the contacts connect when you insert the cartridge into your HP printer.

Step 6: Take a clean dry cloth and wipe the contacts as well as the connection point gently.

Step 7: Ensure that all the residue are dirt are properly cleaned.

Step 8: Reinsert the new cartridge into your HP printer.

Step 9: Turn the printer on.

Step 10: Print a test page to determine if your printer can detect the cartridge.

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3. The Cartridge’s Protective Strip or Tape wasn’t removed

Ink cartridges come with a protective covering. Hence, if your HP printer cannot detect the black ink cartridge, then it could be because the covering wasn’t removed.

Therefore, to fix this, simply confirm if the tape is still on the ink cartridge. If it is, then remove it. This should cause your printer to detect the ink cartridge.

4. HP Cartridge Protection is enabled

The firmware installed in many HP printers allows these printers to function optimally and smoothly. Nevertheless, this can also pose a bit of a problem especially if you make use of remanufactured or compatible cartridges.

The printer firmware can enable a “cartridge protection lock” to stop these cartridges from being detected. Hence, if you choose to use such printers, then the HP cartridge protection has to be disabled.

How to Disable HP Cartridge Protection

To disable HP cartridge protection, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Navigate to Printers Folder on your computer.

Step 2: From the device list, locate your HP printer and right-click it.

Step 3: Choose “Properties”

Step 4: Click on the tab labeled “Software”.

Step 5: Uncheck the option “automatically update”.

5. The Ink Cartridge is Faulty or Wrong

If your HP printer is not reading black ink cartridge, then it might be that the cartridge is either faulty or wrong. Hence, you need to replace the cartridge.

If you got it from the HP store, then you should contact them to ask for a replacement. Also, if you got it from another store, ensure that the store is a reputable one. 

6. The Cartridge was not Installed Properly

If the cartridge wasn’t installed properly, your HP printer will be unable to detect it. It could be that the cartridge’s metal contacts didn’t touch the connection point.

Another reason could simply be that the cartridge didn’t fit properly into the slot. Furthermore, installing the black ink cartridge in the wrong slot can cause this problem.

Hence, to resolve the problem, all you need to do is to remove the cartridge and then reinsert it properly in the right slot. Make sure that the contacts touch the connection point.

How to Fix HP Printer Black Ink Light Blinking

If your HP printer black ink light is blinking, use the following troubleshooting options to fix it:

1. Ensure that your HP Printer is Compatible with the Installed Ink Cartridges

One of the reasons the black light ink is blinking on your HP printer is that you used a cartridge that is not compatible. HP recommends the use of only genuine HP ink cartridges for HP printers.

Therefore, you need to ensure that the cartridge you are using is compatible and genuine from HP. For example, HP 704 black ink cartridge compatible printers will work with this particular cartridge.

If the HP printer black cartridge is not compatible, then you need to replace the ink cartridge with one that is.  

If after confirming the compatibility and genuineness of the cartridge and the ink light keeps blinking; don’t lose heart, you can try the next troubleshooting option.

2.  Reinstall the Cartridge Properly

The black ink alert light on your HP printer will blink if the cartridge wasn’t properly installed. Once the cartridge isn’t installed properly, the printer is then unable to detect the black ink cartridge which is then registered as an error. It is this error detected that causes the light to start blinking.

To fix this issue, simply take out the black ink cartridge, and then carefully inspect it. If you find any damage to the item; hence, you will have to replace the item. However, if there are no visible damages, then you should properly install the black ink cartridge back into the printer.

If your HP printer’s black ink is still flashing after this, then you can check the next solution.

3. Clean the Metal Contacts on the Cartridge

Another reason why the HP printer’s ink light is blinking is that the metal contacts on the HP printer are dirty.

We explained why dirty contacts can cause your HP printer to recognize the cartridge. In the same way, the printer’s inability to detect the cartridge will cause it to register the issue as a problem which is shown to the user via the bilking ink light.

Hence, the way to solve this issue is to clean these contacts after confirming that they are dirty. We recommend that you follow the steps we shared under theHow to Clean the Metal contacts of an HP Ink Cartridge section to learn how to clean the cartridge’s metal contacts.

4. Reset your HP Printer

Sometimes, resetting your HP printer can stop the printer’s ink light from blinking. 

How to Reset HP Printer

To reset your HP printer, do the following:

i. Turn on your HP printer.

ii. Remove the power cable from your printer.

iii. Disconnect the power cable from the outlet.

iv. Wait for about 60 seconds.

v. Connect the power cable back to the outlet.

vi. Plug the power cable back into your printer.

vii. Turn on your printer.

If this doesn’t fix the issue, do the next option.

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5. Replace the Black Ink Cartridge

If after trying the above and the black ink light is still blinking, then your last resort will be to replace the black ink cartridge. It could be that the cartridge is faulty and you don’t know it.

To replace the cartridge, follow the instructions we shared earlier in the article under the “How to Replace HP Printer Cartridge” section.

6. Service your HP Printer

If the issue is not resolved even after replacing the ink cartridge, then the solution is beyond you. At this point, you’ll have to service the printer.

If you bought it from HP, you can contact them to schedule a repair date. If the product is damaged and it is still under warranty, then you will get a replacement from HP. You will have to pay repair fees if your printer is no longer under warranty.

If the printer was purchased from a third-party store other than HP, then you’ll need to check their terms and conditions concerning faulty products. 

HP Printer Black Ink is Grey [Quick Fix]

If your HP printer black ink is grey, use the following troubleshooting options to fix it:

1. Clean the Cartridge

If your cartridge is dirty, your HP printer’s black ink might print grey rather than black. You can fix this by cleaning the cartridge.

To clean your HP printer cartridge, you can use:

i. The control panel of your HP Printer

To use this automatic cleaning method, you will have to follow the instructions we shared here: HP Printer Black Ink Blurry – How to Clean HP Printer Cartridge via Control Panel.

ii. The Clean Print Cartridge Utility

To use this automatic cleaning method, you will have to follow the instructions here: How to Fix HP Printer Black Ink Smearing – How to Run HP Clean Print Cartridge Utility.

2. Clean Your HP Printer’s Printhead

Your HP printer’s printhead might be dirty which could cause it to print grey rather than black. Therefore, cleaning the printhead might fix the issue.

To clean the printhead of your HP printer, follow the instructions we shared earlier in this article, under the “Clogged Printhead” section.

3. Clean the Metal Contacts on the Cartridge

If your HP printer’s black ink is printing grey, then it could be because the metal contacts on the cartridge might be dirty. Hence, the solution will be to clean the contacts.

To clean the metal contacts on your HP black ink cartridge, follow the instructions we shared earlier in this article under the “How to Clean the Metal contacts of an HP Ink Cartridge” section.

If your HP printer’s black ink is skipping, then you can fix it with these troubleshooting options as well.

How to Fix HP Printer Black Ink Clogged

If your HP printer’s black ink is blocked, then you can unclog it with the steps below.

How to Unclog HP Printer Black Ink Cartridge

Follow the steps below to unclog HP printer black ink cartridge:

Step 1: Put on rubber gloves.

This will prevent your hands from getting stained in the process of unclogging the cartridge.

Step 2: Take out the black cartridge from your HP printer.

Follow the instructions on how to do this for your printer model.

Step 3: Place the cartridge on a paper towel.

This will ensure that the ink doesn’t stain the surface you place it on.

Step 4: Mix rubbing alcohol and hot water in a plastic container or bowl.

When you do this, ensure that both liquids have the same amount. Also, ensure the solution is at least 1 inch deep.

Step 5: Place the cartridge into the solution with the printhead down in the solution.

Leave it there for about 30 minutes to ensure the dried ink is loosened.

Step 6: Take out the cartridge after 30 minutes of being immersed in the solution.

Step 7: Break up any ink deposit on the cartridge with a cotton swab.

Step 8: Place the cartridge on another paper towel so that it can get dry.

Allow it enough time to dry.

Step 9: Install the cartridge into your HP printer after the cartridge is completely dry.

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How to Fix HP Printer Black Ink Printing Blue

Follow the steps below to fix HP printer black ink printing blue issue:

Step 1: Open the document or file you want to print.

Step 2: Click on “File”.

Step 3: Click “Print”.

Step 4: Click on “Printer Properties”.

Step 5: Select “Fast/Economical Printing”.

This will cause the printer to print in grayscale. Also, select the “black ink only” option.

How to Fix HP Printer Black Dots

Follow the steps below to fix HP printer black dots:

Step 1: Get the distance between the 1st and 2nd black dot.

If the distance is a difference of 25.5mm, it is an indication that the developer roller has some alien particles on it.

Step 2: Run the Clean Page utility.

To do this, on your computer, go to “HP Printer Assistant”, then “HP Device Tool Box”, and then run the clean page utility.

Once you have done that, print a supply page to confirm if the dots are cleared.

If they are then the issue is fixed.

If the dots remain, continue with the steps below.

Step 3: Print out a test page.

Step 4: Take the printed-out page and place it on a flat surface.

Step 5: Place your toner cartridge on the page.

Step 6: Inspect the point where the dot is on the developer roller.

Careful examination will cause you to discover the alien material that is attached to the roller.

Step 7: Use a soft lint-free cloth to wipe the spot where the alien material is.

Step 8: Reinstall the toner cartridge into your HP printer.

Step 9: Print out a supply test page.

The black dots should no longer appear on the page.

If they do, then you need to reach out to HP support for further assistance.

Why Are There Two Black Ink Cartridges in My HP Printer? [Answered]

There are two black ink cartridges in your HP printer because these cartridges perform different functions. In other words, they are used for different purposes.

The ink of the first and usually larger black cartridge is pigment-based. This cartridge is used for the production of very sharp text. On the other hand, the ink of the second smaller black cartridge is dye-based. This cartridge is mostly used for image or photo printing.

With the use of both black cartridges, your HP printer can produce sharp, dark text as well as produce high-quality photos using the smaller cartridge when printing pictures.

Apart from this vital reason why there are two black ink cartridges in your HP printer; HP installs two cartridges for marketing purposes.

Can I Put Two Black Ink Cartridges in My Hp Printer? [Answered]

You can put two black ink cartridges into your HP printer if your printer is designed to support the use of two black ink cartridges. Therefore, if your printer doesn’t have this design, you cannot use another black cartridge in the slot for the color cartridge. If you do that, you could end up damaging your printer.

Most HP printers that support this function are but not exclusive to picture printers. Hence, you need to confirm that your printer can make use of two black ink cartridges before installing them into your printer.

Can I Use My Hp Printer with Only Black Ink? [Answered]

Your HP printer is not designed to work with black ink only. The reason is that the ink from each cartridge is used for certain servicing tasks the printer performs periodically. These servicing tasks ensure that the printer is functioning optimally.

However, if one of your color cartridges is empty, your printer will show a prompt and ask “Use Black Ink Only?” When it does this, you can select this option. When you do that, your HP printer will then print in either grayscale or composite black.

You are not to print for long in this mode as it could lead to printer damages. Instead, this option allows you to complete a print job you are currently handling. When you are done, you are expected to replace the empty cartridges as soon as possible.

This message prompt might not be displayed; this is determined by how often you print.

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How to Use HP Printer to Work with Black Ink Only

To set your HP printer to use black ink only, you will have to set the HP printer software print settings to print in grayscale. This can only be done if your color cartridges are not empty but just low on ink.

Before you can make this setting change, your printer’s full software features must have been installed on your PC.

If you lack the full feature software, do the following:

i. Turn on your HP printer.

ii. If a USB cable is connected to your printer, disconnect it.

During the software installation, you will be prompted to connect the USB cable if it is required.

iii. Go to the HP Support website.

iv. Click “Printer” if a “Let’s identify your product to get started” page is displayed.

v. Then type your HP printer model.

vi. Click on “Submit”

vii. If there is a need to change the version’s operating system, click on “Change”.

viii. Choose your version.

ix. Click on “Change”.

x. Click on “Download” under “Driver” to download the full software package.

After installing the driver, then go to change the settings depending on your computer operating system.

How to Set Grayscale Print Properties on Windows

Do the following to set grayscale print properties on Windows computer to get your HP printer to only use black ink:

i. Click “Print” in the application you want to print from.

ii. Choose your HP printer from the printer list.

iii. Click on “Printer Properties”, “Printer”, “Printer Setup”, “Preferences”, or “Options”, depending on the software you are using.

iv. Click on the tab labeled “Features”.

v. Click on the drop-down menu for “Grayscale”.

vi. Click on “Black Ink Only”.

Choose the “Draft” setting if you want the ink usage to be less.

vii. Click on “OK”.

viii. Click on “Print”.

How to Set Grayscale Print Properties on Mac OS X

Do the following to set grayscale print properties on Mac OS X computer:

i. Click “Print” in the application you want to print from.

ii. Choose your HP printer from the printer list.

iii. Click on the menu for “Paper Type/Quality”.

iv. Click on the triangle beside “Color Options”.

v. From the menu for “Color”, choose “Grayscale” or “Black & White”.

Choose the “Draft” setting if you want the ink usage to be less.

vi. Choose “Black Print Ink Cartridge Only”.

vii. Click on “Print”.  

The above solution will help you print black ink only on the following HP printer models: HP 8600, HP envy 4500, and HP 8710.

Why Is My HP Printer Leaking Black Ink? [Reasons & Solution]

If your HP printer’s black ink is leaking, then it could be due to damage to the ink cartridge. Hence, replacing the cartridge should fix the issue. You should examine the cartridge to confirm if there is any physical damage so that you don’t replace your cartridge unnecessarily. 

Another reason that could be responsible for this issue is a hardware issue. In other words, your HP printer might be damaged. In this case, you need to service your printer.

HP LaserJet Printer – “Install Black Cartridge” Displays [How to Fix]

To fix the HP printer “install black cartridge” error, do the following:

1. Ensure you are Using Genuine HP Toner Cartridges

When you use non-genuine HP toner cartridges or refilled toner cartridges, it could cause this error message to be displayed on your printer when you try to print.

Therefore, confirm that the toner cartridge you are using is genuine. If it is not, then you have to replace it with a genuine toner cartridge.

If replacing the toner cartridge with a genuine HP toner does not clear the error message, the move to the next item.

Original HP 201A Black Toner Cartridge | Works with HP Color LaserJet Pro M252, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277 Series | CF400A

2. Confirm if Packing Materials are Responsible

Sometimes, the packing material that came with your HP printer and toner cartridge might be responsible for the error message. These materials and paper could be blocking some sensitive parts of the printer or toner.

Therefore, you need to confirm if the materials are responsible for your printer displaying this error message.

How to confirm if Packing Materials are Responsible for HP LaserJet “Install Black Cartridge” Error

Follow the steps below to confirm if packing materials are responsible for your HP LaserJet Printer “Install Black Cartridge” error message:

Step 1: Turn off your HP printer.

Step 2: Remove the power cable from your HP printer.

Step 3: Open the printer’s cartridge door.

Step 4: Check if there is any packing material within such as paper debris, tape, or cardboard. If you find any, remove them.

Step 5: Take out the toner cartridge from the printer.

Step 6: Check the cartridge area to see if there is any packing material within. If you find any, remove them. 

Step 7: Check the body of the toner cartridge for an orange tab. When you find it, remove it.

Step 8: Check the body of the toner cartridge for the protective tape. When you find it, remove it by pulling it out gently.

Step 9: Shake the cartridge from the front to the back gently to evenly distribute the toner within.

Step 10: Install the cartridge back into your HP printer.

Step 11: Close the printer’s cartridge door.

Step 12: Connect the power cable to your HP printer.

Check if the error message is cleared. If it isn’t, then move on to the next item.

3. Check if there is any Jammed Paper

If there is a paper jam in your HP LaserJet printer, then it could cause this error message to be displayed. Hence, apart from checking the cartridge area, check other areas for a paper jam.

If you can’t find any paper jam, then move to the next item.

4. Clean the Cartridge’s Electric Contacts

The connection between your toner cartridge and your HP printer might be faulty which could be due to dirt on the cartridge’s electric contacts. This is another reason why you might encounter the “install black cartridge “error message. Therefore, to fix this error, you need to clean the cartridge’s electric contacts.

How to clean your HP Toner Cartridge’s Electric Contacts

Follow the steps below to clean your HP toner cartridge’s electric contacts:

Step 1: Open your HP printer’s cartridge door.

Step 2: Take out the toner cartridge from your printer.

Step 3: Locate the contacts on the toner cartridge. They are usually at the upper left of the cartridge.

Step 4: Wipe the contact gently with a lint-free cloth.

Step 5: Install the cartridge back into your HP printer.

Step 6: Close your HP printer’s cartridge door.

If this solution doesn’t clear the error message, then try the next solution.

5. Reset your HP LaserJet Printer

How to Reset your HP LaserJet Printer

To reset your HP LaserJet Printer, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Ensure your HP printer is turned on.

Step 2: Remove the power cable from your HP printer.

Step 3: Unplug the printer’s power cable from the electric outlet.

Step 4: Wait for about 60 seconds.

Step 5: Connect the power cable to the electric outlet.

Step 6: Connect the cable to your HP printer.

Move to the next solution if this doesn’t resolve the issue.

6. Replace the Cartridge

If the above solutions do not work, then you have to replace your HP toner cartridge using a genuine HP toner cartridge.

However, if it doesn’t fix the issue, then do the final solution.

HP 202A | CF500A | Toner-Cartridge | Black | Works with HP LaserJet Pro M254, M281cdw, M281dw, M281fdw

7. Service your HP Printer

Once you have done all the above and the error message is not cleared, then you need to service the HP printer. Hence, you need to reach out to HP customer support who will then schedule a repair or even replacement if necessary.

If your product is out of warranty, you will have to pay repair fees for the repair.

How to Make HP Printer Print Without Black Ink

The steps below will guide you on how to get an HP printer to print without black ink:

Step 1: On your computer, go to your Printers Folder.

Step 2: Right-click your HP printer.

Step 3: Click on “Properties”.

Step 4: The color option is found in “Ink Set”.

Step 5: Select “color set” since your HP printer is out of black ink print to allow you to print in color.

Step 6: Click on “Apply”.

Another way to get your HP printer to print without black is to change the print settings to grayscale. To do this, follow the instructions we shared earlier in this article under the “How to Set Grayscale Print Properties on Windows” section.

HP 704 Black ink Cartridge is for What Printer? [Solved]

The HP 704 black ink cartridge is compatible with the following printers:

i. HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 2010 Printer K010

ii. HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 2060 All-in-One Printer K110

Watch the video below to learn how to refill ink cartridge HP 704 black.

Other HP Printer Black Ink Issues

We didn’t discuss all the HP printer black issues that users experience/encounter in this article; some of them are discussed in different articles on this site. Below are the links to some of those other detailed articles.

HP Printer Black Ink Blurry [Quick Fix]

If your HP printer’s black ink is blurry on paper, we recommend that you read this article: HP Printer Black Ink Blurry [Quick Fix]. In that article, we provide 13 troubleshooting solutions to this issue.

How to Fix HP Printer Black Ink Smearing [Quick Guide]

Follow the instructions in this article: How to Fix HP Printer Black Ink Smearing [Quick Guide] to learn how to fix your HP printer black ink smearing issue within minutes.

HP Printer has Full Black Ink but Prints Blank Pages [Solved]

If your HP printer has full black ink but prints blank pages, click this: HP Printer has Full Black Ink but Prints Blank Pages [Solved], and try the troubleshooting solutions discussed.