HP Printer Not Printing Dark Enough [Reasons & Solutions]

Is your HP printer not printing dark enough? Read this article to find out the reasons responsible and solutions to this issue.

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HP Printer Not Printing Dark Enough [Whys & Fixes]

If your HP printer is not printing dark enough, it could be due to the following reasons:

1. Cartridge is empty or damaged

An empty cartridge will cause your HP printer to print lightly. Hence, you need to check if the cartridge is empty or low. To do that, click this link: HP Printer Black Ink – How to Check HP Printer Estimated Ink Levels under the “How to Check HP Printer Estimated Ink Levels” section.

If you notice that the cartridge is empty or low, ensure that you replace it with a genuine HP cartridge. Using a generic cartridge might not provide the best print quality. Besides, such cartridges are known to cause all kinds of printing problems which is why HP recommends that you use only genuine HP cartridges.

Apart from having an empty cartridge, a defective or damaged cartridge will also affect your print quality. Therefore, you need to inspect your cartridges for any damage. Once you find a defect, ensure that you replace the cartridge.

2. The Printhead is Dirty

The printhead of your printer is likely to get dirty and clogged if you haven’t used your printer for a long time. As a result of the dirt buildup, the ink or toner in your cartridge is not properly released onto the loaded paper. Hence, the print quality ends up not being dark enough.

To fix this, you have to clean the printhead. To clean the printhead of your HP printer, click HP Printer Printing Blank Pages – The Printhead is Dirty and then follow the instructions under the “The Printhead is Dirty” section.

3. Issues with the Transfer Roller

The transfer roller is found in Laser and LaserJet printers that transfer the toner in your cartridge drum onto your paper using an electrical charge. If this printer part is not installed correctly or dirty, the toner transfer will not be performed properly. This is one of the reasons why your HP printer is not printing dark enough.

Therefore, you need to clean the transfer roller of your printer to improve the print quality.

How to clean your Printer’s Transfer Roller

To clean your printer’s transfer roller, do the following steps:

Step 1: Turn your HP printer off.

Step 2: Unplug the printer’s power cord from the electric wall outlet.

Step 3: Take out the cartridge from your printer.

Step 4: Clean the transfer roller with a soft lint-free cloth.

When cleaning the transfer roller, follow these guidelines:

i. Don’t scratch the roller’s black surface.

ii. Don’t exert excess pressure while you clean.

iii. Don’t clean the roller with any type of liquid. Doing so can alter the roller’s electrical property.

iv. Don’t touch the roller itself with your fingers; only touch the ends of the roller.

v. The roller doesn’t have to be taken out of your printer before you can clean it. While it is in your printer, use your hands to rotate the transfer roller at both ends.

Step 5: Reinstall the cartridge into your printer.

Step 6: Reconnect the printer’s power cord into the wall outlet.

Step 7: Turn on your HP printer.

Step 8: Print a document.

If the document print is dark enough, then the issue has been resolved.

If the print is not dark enough, then you might have to change the transfer roller.

4. Low Toner Density Setting

When the toner density setting of your printer is low, it can cause your HP printer not to print dark enough. Therefore, you need to change the setting.

How to Change Toner Density of HP Printer on Windows

To change the toner density of your HP printer on Windows, do the steps below:

Step 1: Open the file you want to print.

Step 2: Click on “File”.

Step 3: Click on “Print”.

Step 4: Choose your HP printer.

Step 5: Click on “Preferences” or “Properties” depending on the program you are printing from.

Step 6: Click on the “Quality”.

Step 7: Choose “Settings”.

Step 8: Adjust the slider under the “Toner Density” option by moving it to your desired setting to change the ink/toner density.

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How to Change Toner Density of HP Printer on Windows

To change the toner density of your HP printer on Windows, do the steps below:

 Step 1: Open the file you want to print.

Step 2: Click on “File”.

Step 3: Click on “Print”. Alternatively, you can press the “command” and “P” keys on your keyboard.

Step 4: Choose your HP printer.

Step 5: Click on the middle dropdown menu.

Step 6: Choose “Settings”.

Step 7: Enable the “Toner Density Adjustment” option. Or in the “Toner Density” option, click “OK”.

5. The Toner Save Mode is Set “ON”

When toner save mode is on, it reduces the amount of toner that is consumed by adding less toner to the printed area. Although this doesn’t have much influence on how dark a text is, rather its effect is evident when images are printed.

Therefore, if you are printing pictures and you discover that the print is not dark enough, it could be due to the toner save mode being set “ON”. Hence, you need to turn off the mode to restore your printer’s normal print quality.

How to Turn Off the HP Printer Toner Save Mode via Windows Computer

To turn off the toner save mode on your HP printer using your Windows computer, do the steps below:

Step 1: Click on the “Start” button.

Step 2: Go to “Control Panel”.

Step 3: Choose “Hardware and Sound”.

Step 4: Click on “Devices and Printers”.

Step 5: Choose your HP printer.

Step 6: Click on “Preferences” or “Properties”.

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

Step 8: Click on the checkbox beside “Toner Save Mode” to check off and turn off the mode.

Step 9: Click on “OK”.

How to Turn Off the HP Printer Toner Save Mode via Mac Computer

To turn off the toner save mode on your HP printer using your Mac computer, do the steps below:

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

Step 2: Click on “File”.

Step 3: Click on “Print”. Alternatively, you can press the “command” and “P” keys on your keyboard.

Step 4: Choose your HP printer.

Step 5: Click on the middle dropdown menu.

Step 6: For Mac OS 10.4.x or 10.3.9: Choose “Print Settings”, and then choose “Basic”. After that, click on the checkbox beside “Toner Save Mode” to check off and turn off the mode.

For Mac OS 10.5.x or newer versions: Choose “Print Settings”, then “Advanced”, and finally “Toner Save Mode”. After that, click on the checkbox beside “Toner Save Mode” to check off and turn off the mode.

This article: HP Printer Not Printing [Issues & Solutions] will provide you with solutions to different HP printer not printing issues.

7. Low or High Humidity

The humidity of the area where you keep your printer and paper affects the print quality. If the humidity is higher than the suitable range for your printer and even paper, the paper in use can curl or wrap which makes it difficult for your printer to distribute the toner on the paper evenly.

On the other hand, if the humidity is lower than the suitable range, the air could lead to clogging inside your printer which prevents the printer from releasing ink or toner effectively.

Therefore, you need to be mindful of the location where your printer and paper are kept. Ensure that these items are kept within room temperature and 40% – 60% relative humidity. While that is the standard range for most printers, you should consult your user manual to find out the perfect humidity range for your printer.

You can use a hygrometer to measure the room humidity. If the humidity is higher than the range your printer and paper can handle, use an air conditioner to lower the humidity. If the humidity is lower than the range your printer and paper can handle, increase the room’s humidity using a humidifier.