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Why Won’t My HP Deskjet Printer Print Black?

Last Updated May 19, 2022
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Black is the most basic printer color that is available with most printers. However, sometimes you will find that your HP Deskjet printer is not printing black. This could be that the output is missing the color black despite the printer working fine or that the page has very little ink. This is an inconvenience that leads people online in search of solutions.

There are a couple of reasons why an HP Deskjet printer is likely not printing in black. It could be the ink level or a problem with paper settings, cartridges, drivers, and/or printhead. To solve these issues, the most basic solution is basic troubleshooting. This requires turning off the printer, unplugging it from the power source, and reconnecting it after a few moments. Proceed to print a quality diagnostic report or test page to ensure the issue is resolved.

Troubleshooting your HP Deskjet printer is bound to reset it and restore proper functioning. However, this might not be the case, and further action is needed. Since several issues might affect the printing, it is crucial to first know the exact problem to find the best solution for it.

Why an HP Deskjet printer won’t print in black

Usually, HP Deskjet printers are known for their seamless functions, but they can sometimes encounter issues that hinder normal function. The most prevalent is when the HP printer fails to print black. So, your HP printer might not be printing in black due to any of the following issues.

Ink level

Your ink cartridges might be empty or running low on ink, which is why the printer is failing to print black or printing in very faint ink. In this case, ensure to replace the empty cartridges with new ones. It is recommended that you use HP cartridges for better function.

Cartridge problems

If the cartridges are not correctly snapped into place, they could cause printing issues. Therefore, check to ensure that the ink cartridges are installed correctly. During installation, ensure to remove the tape over the vent. If the cartridges are not empty, check if the vent might be clogged and unclog it using a pin.

Also, try using a different ink cartridge for the black to ascertain that the printer can recognize cartridges.

Printhead problems

In most cases, when your HP printer won’t print black, it is likely an issue with the printhead. This means you need to deep clean the printhead to fix the issue since it might be clogged and not firing ink onto the paper. To fix this, you can use any of the methods below:

Manual Cleaning

Here, you need to conduct a deep cleaning of the printhead using paper towels and a pin to unclog the printer nozzles. This takes a few minutes, and done right will fix the issue. However, it is essential to note that you might need to repeat this process several times.

Automatic cleaning

You can also automatically clean your HP Deskjet printer that won’t print in black. Automatic printhead cleaning is easy but consumes a lot of ink. Again, with this method, you might need to run the automatic cleaning more than once to clear the clogs.


Your printhead might require a realignment to function correctly. This usually gets the paper feed and the printhead inside the printer aligned, fixing any existing issues. To do this on your HP printer, select Setup and then tools on the printer display screen.

How to get my HP Deskjet printer to print black 

There is hope for a solution for printers that fail to print black. These solutions might help you get your printer working and printing in black in no time.

Using HP Scan Doctor

When experiencing printing issues with an HP printer, you can use the HP scan doctor to identify and solve these issues. This also works when an HP printer won’t print black. The scan doctor works like a troubleshoot.

Use the official automatic diagnostic tools available on the official HP page. Go to diagnostics, click on the HP print and scan doctor. This redirects you to install the HP Scan Doctor. Once downloaded and installed, click on the ‘fix printing’ option to resolve the existing issues.

Service your HP deskjet printer

If you have tried all the fixes outlined above and your printer still won’t print black, it might be time to service your HP Printer. You can schedule a product repair directly from the official HP page or work with a recognized, licensed technician.

If everything fails, it might be time to consider retiring your printer and replacing it with a new one.


HP Deskjet printers experience common problems that can be quickly fixed in a few steps. Printers are bound to experience printhead clogs, cartridge problems, and other minor problems that might hinder them from printing black. With the detailed fixes above, you can get your HP printer up and running in no time.

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