How to Fix Common HP Inkjet Printer & Printer Cartridge Problems

We have all been faced with this scenario: we need to print something for work or school only to find our HP inkjet printer isn’t cooperating. The good news is many of the common problems that may be preventing your print job from going through can be easily corrected. Below are some tips that can help you next time you’re facing this type of scenario.

Paper Jams

By far, the most common problem affecting any type of printer is paper jams. These can happen for any number of reasons but are often just a consequence of the construction of the machine. Different HP inkjet printers have the rollers in different locations so you may have an easy or difficult time reaching them in order to remove the offending trapped paper. No matter where the rollers can be found in the machine you should always remember to pull out the paper in the same direction as the normal printing path. Pulling it backwards could do damage to the printer.

Unable to Find Correct Printer Driver

If you want to be able to use all of the functionality of your HP printer, be sure to have installed the appropriate printer driver for the machine. Otherwise, some features might not work correctly. You may find some drivers are more difficult to find online than others but doing a search for the brand and model is one way to track down the printer driver you need. An easier way is to go to a site such as, which will email you the driver you want for free.
Faded Ink after a few Print Jobs

What if you’ve printed several jobs after changing the hp ink cartridge then the ink starts to look faded and too light only have a handful of pages have gone through. If you have this problem, first clean the heads of your HP printer. Check the manual for the specific details on how to do this for your machine. If the improvement from this is only temporary, you should return the cartridge. The problem occurs when the cartridge is not providing a steady supply of ink. This can happen because the cartridge has been on the shelves for a long time.

Refusing to Print

If you try to print and get an error message each time, you should always check the simple problems first before assuming there is a problem with your HP printer. Check to make sure your printer is probably connected and is turned on. Also check your printer settings on your computer to be certain that you have selected your printer from the menu. This is not always done automatically.

If your HP printer is connected to your system via a network, you should make sure those connections are working as well. Finally, take note of the error message or number then do a search at the HP site or via Google for information on what the problems means so you can fix it.


  • Hello I`m having a problem with my HP Photosmart A320 printer When I turn on the printer to start to print my photos it is flashing red light next to the cartridge door is flashing red and the light on top is also flashing red and the message on my camera is that there is no ink cartridge installed which is wrong it is in place and was working when it was used 1 month ago. I have put 2 packs of photos through the printer and have been very happy with the performance untill now. Can you help me with this please?

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  • I am having the problem of my printer does not recognize that I just replaced all except one cartridge. The printer still says that they are empty. All refurbished, but full.

  • I have a hp officejet 4500 printer and its not working. . I just replaced both cartridges (so I know they are full) There is a flashing red light and the screen is stating it is a print cartridge problem with the black and it refers me to the device documentation for trobleshooting and I am unable to pull up that infor. Can you help?

  • I have a new Hp 4500 and the tri color is saying incompatiable. I have only printed once with the new cartridge. I have unplug the printer and removed the cartridge. The print is giving me the reading and I’m not able to print in color only in black

  • I keep getting the following error message, even though I have installed a tricolor printer cartridge and did the alignment test.

    “Borderless printing cannot occur w/only the black print cartridge installed. To print a borderless photo, install either a tricolor print cartridge, or a photo print cartridge.”

    Any suggestions?

  • I have a Kodak ESP3250. All of my prints come out very light. I have cleaned the print head and replaced the ink cartridges and run through the maintenance procedures. Still the prints are light. What do I need to do?

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