HP Printer Is Printing Too Light [Solved]

If your HP printer is printing too light, this article will guide you on how to fix this issue.

HP LaserJet Enterprise M608n Monochrome Printer with built-in Ethernet (K0Q17A)

Why is my HP Printer Printing Faded? [Answered]

The following are the common reasons why your HP printer is printing faded:

1. Low or empty ink or toner

2. Low toner or ink density settings

3. Clogged inkjet printhead

4. Toner stuck on the fuser roller of your HP LaserJet Printer

5. Transfer roller issues

6. High or low humidity

As we continue, the solutions we will share with you will deal with these common causes of this HP printer issue.

My HP Printer Is Printing Too Light [Solutions]

Do the solutions below to fix the problem if your HP printer is printing too light.

Note: Not all the solutions apply to all HP printer types; some apply to HP LaserJet printers and others to HP Inkjet printers. For each solution, we will indicate the printer type it applies to.

1. Use Only Genuine HP Cartridges

One of the reasons why you might experience the HP LaserJet printer printing too light issue is that you are not using genuine HP toner cartridges. This is equally the case for owners of HP Inkjet printers that fail to use genuine HP ink cartridges.

Therefore, the first solution is to ensure that you are using genuine HP cartridges. If you try to skip to other solutions without replacing the cartridge with a genuine one, the rest of the solutions might not work.

If you are not sure of the genuineness of your cartridge, you should go to http://www.hp.com/go/anticounterfeit to confirm.

Once you are certain that the cartridge is genuine, try to print a document.

If your HP printer is printing too light after installing genuine cartridges, do the next solution.

2. Examine the Paper in Use

Sometimes, the reason for your HP Inkjet printer printing too light problem is that the paper in use isn’t appropriate. This reason also applies to all printer types.

It could be that the paper isn’t designed for your printer model and type. For instance, if you own an HP LaserJet printer and you are trying to use a paper that is meant to be used for HP Inkjet printer, the possibility of having an HP laser printer printing too light problem is very high.

Therefore, you need to ensure that you are using the right paper type designed for your printer type. Also, you should only use smooth paper. If the sheet or stack of paper is rough, do not load it into your HP printer.

Apart from using the paper type designed for your printer model, you should also ensure that you are using genuine HP paper. If you discover that you keep experiencing the HP Envy printer printing too light problem, replace the paper with genuine HP paper if you aren’t using one in the first place.

Once you have gotten the appropriate and genuine HP paper, load it into the print tray of your HP printer, and then print a document.

If your HP printer is printing too light after this, do the solution below.

3. Ensure that the Humidity Around your Printer is not too high or too low

Many folks do not know that your printer’s performance can be affected by the humidity around it. The cartridges and even your paper require a certain humidity range to function optimally. Anything outside of this range can lead to all kinds of problems.

Therefore, you need to find out what the humidity range of your printer is and then maintain that level around your printer. If necessary, move your printer to another location that has optimal humidity.

If your HP printer is printing too light even when the humidity is not too high or low, do the next solution.  

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4. Hard Reset your Printer

To hard reset your HP printer, click this link: How to Reset HP Printer – How to Do Hard Reset on HP Printer, and then follow the instructions that apply to your printer type.  

After resetting your printer, check if your HP printer is printing too light.

If it is, try the solution below.

5. Check the Program Settings you are printing from

If you are wondering why your HP printer is printing very light, it could be a result of certain settings in the program you are trying to print from. For instance, users who complained that their HP printers were printing very light from Adobe Acrobat were able to fix the issue after changing some settings in the print preferences.

In this case, you will need to open the program’s print dialog, go to “Preferences”, and then “Advanced Settings”. At this point, you should enable the “Print All Text as Black” option. After doing that, select “Color Settings” before selecting “Advanced Color Settings”, then increase the brightness.

For Adobe Reader, following those steps should fix the problem.

If your HP printer is printing too light after you’ve checked that the program settings are in order, do the solution below.

6. Check EconoMode Settings

This solution applies to certain HP LaserJet printers. EconoMode allows you to use less toner to print documents. However, the downside is that this setting can reduce your print quality and might be the reason why your HP printer is printing too light.

HP doesn’t recommend that you use EconoMode full-time. Using this mode should only be done once in a while because using it full time can cause the supply of the toner to last longer than the cartridge’s mechanical parts.

Therefore, if your HP printer is printing too light, disable EconoMode.

How to Disable EconoMode on HP Printer

To disable EconoMode on your HP printer, do the following steps:

Note: The steps below are only for Windows PCL 6 HP print driver. If this isn’t your driver, go to the Embedded Web Server of your HP printer and disable EconoMode.

Step 1: Open the file you want to print and then click on the option that allows you to print on that program.

Step 2: When the print window opens, right-click on your HP printer.

Step 3: Click the “Properties”, “Preferences”, “Printer”, “Printer Setup”, or “Options” button as it applies to the program you are printing from.

Step 4: Click on the tab labeled “Paper/Quality”.

Step 5: Find the section for “Print Quality”.

Step 6: Choose “FastRes 1200”.

Step 7: Click on the checkbox beside “EconoMode” to disable this feature.

Step 8: Click “OK”.

Step 9: Click “OK”. This action will print the document.

Check if your HP printer is printing too light.

If it is, do the solution below.

2BU5905 - HP LaserJet P3010 P3015X Laser Printer - Monochrome - 1200 x 1200 dpi Print - Plain Paper Print - Desktop

7. Check your Print Settings

How to Check Windows Print Settings

Do these steps to check Windows print settings:

Step 1: From the program you are printing from, click on “File”.

Step 2: Click “Print”. This will open the window that allows you to print.

Step 3: Open the dialog box for your print properties.

The button that executes this command varies and depends on the program you are using. It might be “Printer”, “Properties”, “Preferences”, “Printer Setup”, or “Preferences”.

Step 4: Change these settings depending on the print job at hand:

  • Paper Type: For photo paper, ensure that you choose photo paper under the paper type option.
  • Paper Quality: Select “Best” as the option for print quality if your HP printer is printing too light. Bear in mind that when you select “Best”, the print speed will be slower.
  • Paper Size: Choose the paper size that corresponds to the paper size you are using.
  • Black and White: Choose the option “Grayscale” when you are printing only in black & white.

Step 5: After you are done with the above selection, click “OK”. This will apply the new settings.

Step 6: Click “Print”.

How to Check Mac Print Settings

To check Mac print settings, do these steps:

Step 1: Open the document you want to print.

Step 2: Click “File”.

Step 3: Click “Print”.

Step 4: Click on “Show Details”.

Step 5: Click the program’s name.

Step 6: Choose the menu for “Media & Quality” or “Paper Type/Quality”.

Step 7: Review the options below and make the changes required:

  • Paper Type: Choose the paper type option that matches the paper you are loading into the printer.
  • Quality: Increase the quality to fix the light printing issue.

Note: If you want these settings to be used in the future, go to the menu for “Presets” and select “Save”. After that, give the preset a new name. If there are multiple printers installed on the computer, open your Mac’s “System Preferences”. Click “Print & Scan” or “Printers & Scanners” dependent on the operating system of your computer. Now, select “Last Printer Used” instead of “Default Printer”.

If your HP printer is printing too light after doing the above, do the solution below.

8. Check your HP Printer’s Toner Level

For HP LaserJet printers, a low toner level might be the reason your HP printer is printing too light. Therefore, you need to check if your printer’s toner level is low. To do this, you need to print a Supplies Status page. Alternatively, if your printer supports Embedded Web Server, you can use it to check the Supplies Status.

How to check your HP Printer’s Toner Level on Windows

Do the steps below to check your HP printer’s toner level on Windows:

Step 1: Put a plain, white stack of paper in your printer’s input tray.

Step 2: Ensure that your printer’s ready LED indicator is on.

Step 3: Type “Devices” in the Windows search bar.

Step 4: Click on “Devices and Printers” from the search results.

Step 5: Right-click on your HP printer.

Step 6: Click “Preferences”, “Properties”, “Printer”, “Printer Setup” or “Options” according to the design of the program you are printing from.

Step 7: Click on the tab labeled “Services”.

Step 8: Click on the drop-down arrow for “Print Information Pages” and choose “Supplies Status Page”.

Step 9: Click on “Print”.

Apple iMac (21.5-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)

 How to check your HP Printer’s Toner Level on Mac

Do the steps below, to check your HP printer’s toner level on Mac:

Step 1: Search for “Print” on your Mac.

Step 2: Click on “Printers & Scanners” or “Print & Scan” depending on your operating system version.

Step 3: Go to the section for “Printers”, and then click on your HP printer.

Step 4: Click on “Options & Supplies”.

Step 5: Click on “Utility”.

Step 6: Click on “Open Printer Utility”.

Step 7: Click “OK”. This action will cause your printer’s utility window to open.

Step 8: Click on the checkbox beside “Print Information Pages” to enable this option.

Step 9: Click on the checkbox beside “Supply Status Page” to enable this option.

Step 10: Click on “OK”. This action will print a Supply Status Page.

How to check your HP Printer’s Toner Level via EWS

To check your HP printer’s toner level via the Embedded Web Server, do these steps:

Reminder: This option is not available to all HP printer models; therefore, you need to confirm that your printer has this feature before you try to use this method to check the toner level.

Step 1: Find out the IP address of your HP printer by printing a Device Configuration/Self Test page.

We recommend that you consult your user manual to learn how to print this page if you don’t know how to print a Device Configuration/ Self Test page on your HP printer.

Step 2: Press down your printer’s “Cancel” button: Do this until you see the Ready LED indicator blink.

Step 3: When you see the Ready LED indicator blink, let go of your printer’s “Cancel” button.

This action will print the Device Configuration/Self Test page.

Step 4: Locate your printer’s IP address on the page you just printed.

Step 5: Open a web browser on your computer.

Step 6: Type your printer’s IP address in your browser’s address bar.

Step 7: Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard. This will open the Embedded Web Server.

Step 8: Click the tab labeled “Information” in the Embedded Web Server.

Step 9: Choose “Supplies Status”.

If your printer’s toner level is empty or low, then you need to replace it. Check the next solution to learn how to replace your cartridge.

If your HP printer is printing too light and the toner level isn’t empty or low, jump to solution 7.

9. Replace Empty or Low Cartridge

Once you discover that the cartridge is empty or low, you need to replace it.

How to Replace HP LaserJet Toner Cartridge

To replace the toner cartridge of your HP LaserJet printer, do the following steps:

Note: The process varies depending on your printer model, but the steps below will provide you with a general guide that applies to all HP LaserJet printers. You should consult your user manual for more detailed and specific instructions.

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

Step 2: Take the cartridge out of your printer.

Step 3: Place the old cartridge in a bag and then box it for recycling.

Step 4: Take out the new cartridge from its packaging.

Caution: To ensure that you don’t damage the cartridge, hold it at both ends. You should avoid touching the roller’s surface or shutter of the cartridge.

Step 5: Grasp the cartridge on both sides and then rock it gently. This step is done to evenly distribute the cartridge’s toner.

Step 6: Bend the left tab until it breaks loose.

Step 7: Pull the loose tab until the tape that is within the cartridge is completely removed.

Step 8: Put the tape and the tab in the packaging box and return them for recycling.

Step 9: Install the new cartridge into your HP printer.

Step 10: Close your HP printer’s cartridge access door.

Turn on your HP printer and then print a document.

If your HP printer is printing too light even after changing the cartridge, do the next solution.

HP 202X | CF501X, CF502X, CF503X | 3 Toner-Cartridges | Cyan, Magenta, Yellow | Works with HP LaserJet Pro M254, M281cdw, M281dw, M281fdw | High Yield

 How to Replace HP Ink Cartridge

To replace the ink cartridge of your HP InkJet printer, do the following steps:

Note: The process varies depending on your printer model, but the steps below will provide you with a general guide that applies to all HP Inkjet printers. You should consult your user manual for more detailed and specific instructions.

Step 1: Load your HP printer with clean, white paper.

Step 2: Turn on your HP printer if it is turned off.

Step 3: Open your printer’s cartridge door.

Step 4: Wait until the carriage is in the middle of your HP printer.

Step 5: Release the cartridge from its slot.

Step 6: Take the cartridge out of your printer.

Step 7: Open the packaging and take out the new cartridge.

Step 8: Remove the protective tape on the cartridge. Ensure that you remove it completely.

Caution: Avoid touching the copper contacts on the nozzles on the cartridge. If these parts are touched, it could lead to poor electrical connections, clogs, and ink failure. You shouldn’t re-tape your ink cartridges as this can also lead to the aforementioned issues.

Step 9: Insert the new ink cartridge into the correct slot. Ensure that it is firmly in place.

If you need to replace any other cartridge, do the steps above.

Step 10: Close your printer’s cartridge access door.

After you are done with the above steps, you need to align the cartridge by printing an alignment page. You can click this link: HP Printer Alignment – How to Print HP Alignment Page to learn how to do this. If your HP printer has a scanner, you can align your printer using the scanner feature. Click this link: HP Printer Alignment – How to Do HP Printer Alignment via Scan to learn how to align your HP printer via scan.

Once the alignment is complete, try to print a document.

If your HP printer is printing too light even after changing the cartridge, do the solution below.

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10. Print out a Cleaning Page

Your HP printer is designed to clean itself to prevent issues with print quality. At the end of this process, a cleaning page will be printed.

The duration of the cleaning varies depending on the model; however, it doesn’t exceed 2 minutes. Once the process is initiated, do not power off your printer until the cleaning is complete. You shouldn’t turn off your printer even when you notice that the cleaning page is stopping periodically; this happening is normal.

Also, note that you might have to perform this process severally to clean your HP printer thoroughly. That means you can do it as many times as you want until you get your desired result. However, you shouldn’t repeat the process if you don’t see any significant improvement in the print quality after each cleaning.

How to Print a Cleaning Page via Windows Computer

To print your HP printer’s cleaning page via Windows computer, do these steps:

Step 1: Press your HP printer’s power button to turn it on.   

Step 2: Put regular white paper into your printer’s print tray.

Step 3: Go to your Windows search.

Step 4: Type “Device” in the search bar.

Step 5: From the search results, click on “Devices and Printers”.

Step 6: Locate and right-click on your HP printer.

Step 7: Click on “Properties” or “Printing Preferences”. This action will open the dialog box for your printer properties.

Step 8: Click on the tab labeled “Device Settings”.

Step 9: Click on “Cleaning Page”. Your HP printer will print a cleaning page.

How to Print a Cleaning Page via Mac Computer

To print your HP printer’s cleaning page via Mac computer, do these steps:

Step 1: Press your HP printer’s power button to turn it on.  

Step 2: Put regular white paper into your printer’s print tray.

Step 3: Run a search for “Print” on your Mac.

Step 4: Click “Printers & Scanners” or “Print & Scan”.

Step 5: Go to the section for “Printers”, and then click on your HP printer.

Step 6: Click on “Options & Supplies”.

Step 7: Click on “Options and Supplies”.

Step 8: Click on “Open Printer Utility”.

Step 9: Click on “OK”. This will open the Utility Window.

Step 10: Click on the checkbox beside “Print Information Pages” to enable it.

Step 11: Choose “Cleaning Page”.

Step 12: Click “OK”. Your HP printer will print a cleaning page.

If your HP printer is printing too light even after printing the cleaning page, do the solution below.

11. Clean the Printhead Manually

Air bubbles, dirt, or clogs in the printhead of your HP InkJet printer can cause your printer to print too light. The way to fix this problem is to clean the printhead manually.

To manually clean the printhead of your HP InkJet printer, click this: HP Printer Printing Blank Pages – How to Clean the HP Printhead via Hand, and follow the instructions under the “Clean the HP Printhead via Hand” section.

If your HP printer is printing too light after manually cleaning the printhead, do the solution below.

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12. Check for Damage on your Toner Cartridge

How to Check for Damage on your Toner Cartridge

To check for damage on your toner cartridge, do these steps:

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

Step 2: Verify that the protective tape was removed during installation. If it wasn’t, remove it.

Step 3: Hold the cartridge at both ends and then rock it gently. This is done to evenly distribute the cartridge’s toner.

Step 4: Check if the memory chip is damaged. Look for scratches, wear, etc.

Step 5: Reveal the imaging drum by sliding back the cartridge cover.

Caution: Avoid touching the imaging drum (roller) as fingerprints on it can reduce your printer’s print quality.

Step 6: Inspect the imaging drum’s surface for fingerprints, scratches, or other damages.

If you find any of the above, replace the cartridge.

If there is no damage, close the cartridge cover. After that, reinstall the cartridge into your HP printer.

Do the next solution if the cartridge doesn’t have any damage.

How to Check for Damage on your Ink Cartridge

To check for damage on your toner cartridge, do these steps:

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

Step 2: Verify that the protective tape was removed during installation. If it wasn’t, remove it.

Step 3: Check if the memory chip is damaged. Look for scratches, wear, etc.

Step 4: Check for damage on the contacts and nozzles.

Caution: Avoid touching the copper contacts on the nozzles on the cartridge. If these parts are touched, it could lead to bad electrical connections, ink failure, and clogs. You should not re-tape the ink cartridges as this can also lead to the aforementioned issues.

If you find any of the above, replace the cartridge.

If there is no damage, reinstall the cartridge into your HP printer.

Do the next solution if the cartridge doesn’t have any damage and your HP printer is printing too light.

13. Examine the Fuser Roller & Transfer Roller

You should check the fuser roller for toner that got stuck. If you find such, then you need to remove the fuser roller, and then replace it with a new one.

You should also check the transfer roller and ensure that it is positioned correctly within your HP printer. If it is out of position, take it out and then reinsert it into your printer. While you do this, ensure that you do not allow your fingers to contact the surface of the roller. If you want to clean it, use a dry lint-free cloth. Alternatively, you can clean it using compressed air in a can

If your HP printer is printing too light after changing the fuser roller and cleaning the transfer roller, do the solution below.

14. Uninstall your HP Printer Driver from the Root Level and then reinstall it

To uninstall your HP printer driver from the root level and then reinstall it, click HP Printer Assistant Error Opening External Application – How to Uninstall your HP Printer Driver from the Root Level and then Reinstall it, and then follow the steps we shared.

If your HP printer is printing too light after doing the steps in that link, move to the next solution.

15. Service your HP Printer

This is the final resort if your HP printer is printing too light. At this point, you need to contact HP to service your HP printer.

To do this, visit http://www.hp.com/go/contacthp and then schedule a repair for your HP printer. You should know that this service is free for printers that are still under warranty. If your printer’s warranty is expired or void, you will pay for the repair. If the printer cannot be repaired, you will be given a replacement free of charge if your printer’s warranty is still valid.

The solutions we shared in this article will also help if you are wondering how to get HP printer to print darker. You can also read this article: HP Printer Not Printing Dark Enough [Reasons & Solutions] for further information and solutions.