HP Printer Not Printing All Colors [Reasons & Solutions]

In this article, we will tell you the reasons responsible for your HP printer not printing all colors problem and how you can fix the problem.

HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 Series All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer Home Office, Blue- Print Scan Copy Fax- 20 ppm, 4800x1200 dpi, Auto Duplex Printing, 35-Sheet ADF, Ethernet, Cbmou External Webcam

HP Printer Not Printing All Colors [Whys & Fixes]

1. The Affected Color Cartridge Is Low or Empty

For instance, if your HP printer is not printing cyan, it could be due to the cartridge being low on ink or even empty. Once this happens, you are bound to encounter this problem.

The solution to fix this is to replace the low or empty cartridge. We have discussed how to change your HP printer cartridge in this article already. Therefore, click this: HP Printer Not Printing Color – How to Replace Ink Cartridges, and follow the instructions under the “How to Replace Ink Cartridges” section above.

If you don’t know how to confirm the level of toner or ink in your HP printer, check out the instructions below.

How to Check HP Color Laser Printers Toner Levels

How to check toner Level on HP Color Laser Printers with Touchscreen Control Panel

To check the toner level of your HP color Laser printer with a touchscreen control panel, do the steps below:

Step 1: Touch the button for “Reports” on your HP printer.

Step 2: Select “Supplies Status”.

Your printer will display the toner level on the screen.

How to check toner Level on HP Color Laser Printers with LCD Control Panel

To check the toner level of your HP color Laser printer with an LCD control panel, do the steps below:

Step 1: Press the button for “Setup” on your HP printer.

Step 2: Navigate to “Reports”.

Step 3: Go to “Supplies Status”.

Step 4: Select “Print Supplies Status page”.

Step 5: Press “OK”.

Your printer will print out a Supplies Status page that contains the details on your printer’s toner levels.

How to Check HP Inkjet Printers Ink Levels

To check the ink level on your HP Inkjet printer, simply press your printer’s ink icon. This action will cause the ink levels to be displayed.

Read this article: HP Printer Not Printing [Issues & Solutions] to learn how to fix other HP printer not printing issues.

2. Dirty Printheads and Cartridges

If your HP printer is not printing one color; let’s say your HP printer is not printing blue; it could be due to a dirty printhead or cartridge. 

Hence, you need to examine the printhead and the affected cartridge for dirt and debris. If dirt has accumulated on any of the above, you should clean them thoroughly. We recommend that you click here: HP Printer Not Printing Color – Clean the Cartridges, and follow the links we shared in the “Clean the Cartridges” section.

Another way to clean the cartridge is to print a cleaning page on HP Laser printers.

How to Print a Cleaning Page on HP Laser Printers

How to Print a Cleaning Page on HP Laser Printers with Touchscreen Control Panel

To print a cleaning page on an HP Laser printer with a touchscreen control panel, do the following:

i. Touch “Setup”.

ii. Open “Service”.

iii. Select “Cleaning Page”.

iv. When you get a prompt, load your printer’s print tray with regular plain paper.

v. Press “OK”.

How to Print a Cleaning Page on HP Laser Printers with LCD Control Panel

To print a cleaning page on an HP Laser printer with an LCD control panel, do the following:

i. Press the button for “Setup” on your HP printer.

ii. Navigate to “Service”.

iii. Select “Cleaning”.

iv. Press “OK”.

After doing the above, check if the HP printer not printing all colors issue is resolved.

If it is not, check the reason and solution.

HP PageWide Pro 477dw Color Multifunction Business Printer with Wireless & Duplex Printing (D3Q20A)

3. The Cartridge is not compatible with your Printer

The fact that the cartridge is a genuine HP cartridge doesn’t mean that it is compatible with your HP printer. Therefore, if your HP printer is not printing yellow, one of the reasons could be that the cartridge isn’t compatible with your printer. Hence, you need to confirm if the cartridge is compatible with your HP printer before buying it.  

4. Faulty Cartridge

Your HP printer not printing green problem might be due to a faulty green cartridge. Any form of defect or fault on the printer can lead to this kind of problem.

To solve this problem, take out the cartridge from your HP printer and examine it for any physical damage. Once you find such damage, replace the cartridge immediately.

Another way you can find determine if a cartridge is faulty is by printing a Print Quality Report for HP Laser printers or a Quality Diagnostic Report for HP Inkjet printers.

How to determine if a Toner Cartridge is Faulty via Print Quality Report (HP Laser Printers)

To determine if your printer’s toner cartridge is faulty via a Print Quality Report, do the steps below:

Print a Print Quality Report Page – Step 1

How to Print a Print Quality Report on HP Laser Printers with Touchscreen Control Panel

To print a Print Quality Report on an HP Laser printer with a touchscreen control panel, do the following:

i. Touch “Setup”.

ii. Open “Reports”.

iii. Select “Print Quality Page”.

iv. Touch “OK”.

How to Print a Print Quality Report on HP Laser Printers with LCD Control Panel

To print a Print Quality Report on an HP Laser printer with an LCD control panel, do the following:

i. Press the button for “Setup” on your HP printer.

ii. Navigate to “System Setup”.

iii. Go to “Reports”.

iv. Select “Print Quality Report”.

v. Choose “OK”.

Interpret the Page – Step 2

Once you check the page, you should see some groups of color bands. Being able to interpret what they mean will enable you to fix the problem if your HP printer is not printing color correctly.

Hence, we will guide you on how to interpret the page below:

Dots or Streaks in a Group

If you see dots or streaks in any of the groups, then you need to change the cartridge that corresponds to that dotted or streaked group.

Dots in More than 1 Group

If you see dots in more than 1 group, you can solve the problem by printing a cleaning page. We discussed how to do that above under the “Dirty Printheads and Cartridges” section.

In case the dots found in the bands of a particular group are of the same color, you need to change the cartridge that corresponds to that group.

Streaks in Several Bands

If you see this, you need to contact HP Customer Support right away as this problem is beyond a cartridge problem.

How to determine if an Ink Cartridge is Faulty via Quality Diagnostic Report (HP Inkjet Printers)

To determine if your printer’s ink cartridge is faulty via a Quality Diagnostic Report, do the steps below:

Print a Quality Diagnostic Report – Step 1

How to Print a Quality Diagnostic Report on an HP Inkjet Printer

To print a quality diagnostic report on an HP Inkjet printer, do the steps below:

i. Load your HP printer’s input tray with regular plain paper.

ii. Navigate to the menu for “Setup”.

iii. Select “Tools”.

iv. Select “Print Quality Report”.

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Examine the Printed Report – Step 2

Examine the report and check the blocks. If the blocks are faded or missing and have white streaks or lines, it means the cartridge needs to be cleaned. To do this, refer to the instructions here: HP Printer Not Printing Color – Clean the Cartridges, and follow the links we shared in the “Clean the Cartridges” section.

If the block isn’t faded, missing, or has white streaks or lines, you need to check the printer’s alignment lines.

The Print Quality Diagnostic Report also contains information regarding the printer’s alignment. Therefore, you need to check the lines and the green block. Ensure that the alignment lines aren’t crooked but straight and joined to one another. Also, verify that no white gaps or dark lines are visible within the green block.

If you don’t find any of the defects which we just mentioned in the report, then it means the cartridges, as well as the printer’s print mechanism, are in perfect working conditions.

If your HP printer is not printing blue or green, magenta, or yellow correctly, ensure that you are complying with the following guidelines:

i. Ensure that the image to be printed has a high resolution. Enlarged images tend to be fuzzy or blurry.

ii. Don’t leave your cartridges out of your printer and exposed for a long period.

iii. Ensure that you turn off your HP printer using the printer’s power button. This will prevent the cartridges from being exposed to air.

If you found any of the defects we mentioned, then you need to align your HP printer.

How to Align your HP Inkjet Printer

Do the following to align your HP Inkjet printer:

i. Ensure that you load your HP printer’s input tray with normal white paper.

ii. Swipe left on the display of your printer’s control panel.

iii. Touch “setup”.

iv. Touch “Tools”.

v. Swipe up your printer’s display.

vi. Tap “Align Printer”. This action will cause an alignment page to be printed.

vii. Wait until your printer fully ejects the page before you continue.

viii. Raise your printer’s scanner lid.

ix: Put the alignment page on your printer’s scanner glass. Ensure that the print side faces down and that you follow the scanner’s engraved guides on how to position the paper.

x: Close your printer’s scanner lid.

xi: Touch “OK”. This action will cause your printer to align the cartridges.

x. Try to print another document or photo.

If all the colors are printed correctly, then the HP printer not printing all colors problem has been resolved.

5. Incompatible Paper

Not all papers can be used for all printers; hence, you need to be sure that the printer works with the kind of paper that you want to use.

You should consult your printer’s user manual to find out the kind of paper that is compatible with your HP printer. If you don’t have the manual, you can search the internet for an online version.

Once you are certain of the paper that is compatible with your printer, ensure that you use such paper only. If you find out that the paper you tried using isn’t compatible, then you need to replace it with a compatible one.

6. Damaged Paper

If your HP printer is not printing magenta, the paper in use might be the problem. Paper that is torn, dirty, curled, wrinkled, etc. can lead to a lot of printing problems.

Therefore, you need to examine the sheets of paper that you are loading into the printer’s paper tray and confirm that they are in good condition. If you find any paper that is damaged in any way, remove such paper.

7. Wrong Print Settings

If your print settings are wrong, it could be the reason why your HP printer is not printing the right colors. Hence, we recommend that you follow the steps we shared here: HP Printer Not Printing Color – Check your Print Settings under the “Check your Print Settings” section.

The steps contained in the section we just mentioned apply only to HP Inkjet printers. Therefore, if you own an HP Color Laser printer, do the instructions below.

If your HP printer is not printing the correct size, we recommend that you use the instructions we referred to in the section above to fix the problem. 

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M652dn Printer with Duplex Printing (J7Z99A)

How to Set Print Settings for HP Color Laser Printers on Windows

Follow the steps below to set the print settings for your HP Color Laser printer on Windows:

Step 1: Open the program you want to print from.

Step 2: Click on “File”.

Step 3: Click on “Print”.

Step 4: Select your HP printer.

Step 5: Click on “Properties” or “Preferences”.

Step 6: Set the color theme.

i. Click on “Advanced”.

ii. Click on the drop-down arrow for “Color Themes”.

iii. Select from the options below:

a. None

b. Photo (sRGB): With this option, the colors are more saturated and deeper. Hence, it is perfect for printing pictures (photos).

  • Photo (Adobe RGB 1998): This is perfect for printing digital pictures when AdobeRGB colors are used instead of regular sRGB. To use this option, you will have to disable your printer’s color management.

c. Default (sRGB): If you choose this option, you will be able to print RGB colors using raw device mode.

d. Vivid (sRGB): This is perfect for printing business graphics since it enhances mid-tone saturation.

Step 6: Set the color options.

i. Navigate to Quality/Paper.

ii. Select “Color” from the field for “Color”.

Another thing you can do if your HP printer is not printing true colors is to calibrate the printer. This process will align the colors and enable the printer to print true colors correctly.

How to Calibrate HP Laser Printer

How to Calibrate HP Laser Printers with Touchscreen Control Panel

To calibrate an HP Laser printer with a touchscreen control panel, do the following steps:

Step 1: Tap “Setup”.

Step 2: Open “System Setup”.

Step 3: Select “Print Quality”.

Step 4: Choose “Color Calibration”.

Step 5: Select “Calibrate Now”.

Step 6: Press “OK”.

How to Calibrate HP Laser Printers with LCD Control Panel

To calibrate an HP Laser printer with an LCD control panel, do the following steps:

Step 1: Press the button for “Setup” on your HP printer.

Step 2: Navigate to and open “System Setup”.

Step 3: Select “Print Quality”.

Step 5: Choose “Calibrate Color”.

Step 6: Select “Calibrate Now”.

Step 7: Press “OK”. 

8. Faulty Printer Driver

If your HP printer is not printing true colors, a faulty printer driver might be responsible. In this case, you have to uninstall and then reinstall the driver.

To reinstall your HP printer, click this link: HP Printer Errors and Solutions – Reinstall your Printer Drivers, and then follow the instructions under the “Reinstall your Printer Drivers” section.

9. Service your HP Printer

If none of the solutions we have provided so far resolves the problem of your HP printer not printing all colors, you have to service your HP printer.

To do this, you need to contact HP Customer Support. If this service is available in your region, a repair date will be scheduled and a technician will be sent over to work on your printer. If your device is still under warranty, you won’t pay for the repair or replacement if your product requires replacing.

If your HP 6978 printer is not printing cyan, we recommend that you try the solutions we just shared to fix the problem.