How to Fix HP Printer Not Printing Color Correctly

HP is among the top printer manufacturers that offer highly durable and high-speed printers. However, like any other equipment, issues cannot still be avoided no matter how reliable a printer is. So, if you are having issues such as HP printer ink system failure, printer not printing in color, and wondering how to fix the color problems, you are in the right place!

Today, we are going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to resolve the issues associated with HP printer not printing color correctly on laser and inkjet printers. But first, let us discuss why you are encountering this problem to at least give you an idea of how to fix it.

Reasons Why HP Printer Not Printing in Color

HP printer cartridges are empty/running low
Dirty cartridges and printheads
Faulty or incompatible cartridges and papers
Wrong printer settings
Color printing is disabled
The printer driver is not working properly

Methods to Fix HP Printer Not Printing Color Correctly

Now, let us proceed to the solutions you can do when your HP printer is not printing the right colors.


1. Check Remaining Ink / Toner Levels & Replace Cartridge if Necessary

Before you do anything complicated, make sure that your printer is not running out of ink or toner. You can visually inspect the remaining cartridge levels on your printer. If they are full but you still cannot print properly, check the cartridge’s expiry date. Expired ink cartridges often dry up which causes problems in the print results.

You can also check the remaining ink or toner levels on your printer using the following steps:

For HP Color Laser Printers

Print your printer’s supplies status page by:

  • Touchscreen Control Panels
  1. Touch your printer’s Reports button.
  2. Choose Supplies Status.
  • LCD Control Panels
  1. Press your printer’s Setup button.
  2. Go to Reports and then Supplies status.
  3. Choose Print Supplies status page.
  4. Press OK.
HP LaserJet Pro M452DN
HP 410X Toner Cartridge

For HP Inkjet Printers

Just press the Ink icon. This will display your printer’s ink levels.

If the ink or toner levels are low, replace the cartridges. Below are video tutorials you can follow to replace HP toner cartridges and HP ink cartridges:

HP DeskJet 3755

How To Replace Toner Cartridges On HP LaserJet Printers

How To Replace Ink Cartridges On HP DeskJet Printers

2. Adjust the Color Theme & Color Options

Another reason why your HP printer is not printing color properly is because of incorrect print settings. You can follow the steps below:

For HP Color Laser Printers (Windows)

Do these first two steps for setting the color theme and color options of your printer:

  1. Choose Print from the program.
  2. Choose your printer and select Preferences or Properties.

(a) Set the Color Theme

  1. Click Advanced and look for the Color Themes drop-down list.
  2. Choose from the following themes:
  • None
  • Photo (sRGB): Colors are deeper and more saturated. Thus, it is ideal for printing photos.
    • Photo (Adobe RGB 1998): Used to print digital photos using AdobeRGB colors instead of sRGB. You have to disable color management for your printer if you choose this.
  • Default (sRGB): Prints RGB colors in raw device mode.
  • Vivid (sRGB): Ideal for business graphics printing because it increases the saturation of midtones. 

(b) Set Color Options

  1. Go to Paper/Quality.
  2. Choose Color from the Color field.

For HP Inkjet Printers

(a) On Windows OS

  1. On the Print window, open Properties, Preferences, Printer, Printer Setup, or Options (this depends on your software application).
  2. You can adjust the Print Quality. You can choose Draft, Normal, or Best to increase print quality. Make sure that the grayscale option is not selected.

(b) On macOS

  1. From the Print window, Choose Media & Quality or Paper Type/Quality
  2. You can increase print quality on the Quality field.
HP DeskJet 3632
HP OfficeJet 4620

3. Check Any Damage on Your Printer’s Toner Cartridge (For Laser Printers)

  1. Remove your printer’s toner cartridges and make sure that you removed their sealing tape.
  2. Rock the cartridges gently to distribute the powder toner.
  3. Check any damage on the toner’s memory chips.
  4. Examine the toner cartridges’ roller surfaces but do NOT touch the roller.
  5.  If the roller has any damage, fingerprints, or scratches, replace the cartridge.
  6. If the rollers of your cartridges are not damaged, rock your cartridges gently before reinstalling them. Try a few prints and see if this resolves your problem.

Learn More:

HP 201X Toner Cartridge
HP 85A Black Toner Cartridge

4. Check Your Printer’s Print Quality Report (For Laser Printers)

You can check your printer’s print quality report to determine which toner cartridge is causing the problem:

Step 1. Print a Quality Report Page

  • Touchscreen Control Panels
  1. Touch Setup and open Reports.
  2. Choose Print Quality Page and then OK.
  • LCD Control Panels
  1. Press your printer’s Setup button.
  2. Go to System Setup and then Reports.
  3. Choose Print Quality Report and then OK.

Step 2. Interpret the Results

On the print quality report page, you will see 4 groups with 5 color bands that look like this:

Below are some solutions you can do, depending on the problem:


Streaks or dots appear in one group

Replace the cartridge corresponding to that group

Dots in 2 or more groups

Print a cleaning page by following Method 6. If the dots in all of the bands in a group have the same colors, replace the cartridge corresponding to that color.

Streaks in multiple bands

We recommend contacting your printer provider. The problem may not be just because of the cartridge.

5. Examine Your Printer’s Quality Diagnostic Report (For Inkjet Printers)

Step 1. Print a Quality Report

  1. Load your printer with plain paper.
  2. Go to your printer’s Setup menu and choose Tools.
  3. Choose Print Quality Report. It will look like this.

Step 2. Examine the Results of the Print Quality Report

The blocks in Test Pattern 2 in the given sample should not be missing or faded and do not have white lines. If they do, follow Step 2A. Otherwise, proceed to Step 2B.

  • Step 2A. Examine the Green Color Blocks and Alignment Lines

Check Test Pattern 1 and make sure that they are connected and straight. Test Pattern 3 should not have white gaps or dark lines. If you do not see any defects, your printer and cartridges are working properly.

If your printouts are still unsatisfactory, make sure that the image you’re printing has a high resolution. Enlarged images will come out blurry or fuzzy.

  • Step 2B. Clean Your Ink Cartridges
  1. Go to your printer’s Setup menu and choose Tools.
  2. Choose Clean Cartridges. A Print Quality Diagnostic report will be printed.
  3. Click No if the report is acceptable. Otherwise, click Yes. Clicking Yes will clean your cartridges.

You can also manually clean your printer’s ink nozzles and ink cartridges with a soft cloth.

HP 65 XL

6. Print a Cleaning Page (For Laser Printers)

  • Touchscreen Control Panels

  1. Touch Setup and open Service.
  2. Choose Cleaning Page.
  3. When prompted, load a plain paper on the tray.
  4. Press OK.
  • LCD Control Panels

  1. Press your printer’s Setup button.
  2. Go to Service.
  3. Choose Cleaning and press OK.

7. Calibrate Your Printer to Align Colors (For Laser Printers)

If your printouts have poorly colored areas, blurry graphics, or colored shadow, calibrating your printer would be your best option.

  • Touchscreen Control Panels

  1. Touch Setup and open System System.
  2. Choose Print Quality and then Color Calibration.
  3. Choose Calibrate Now and press OK.
  • LCD Control Panels

  1. Press your printer’s Setup button.
  2. Go to System Setup.
  3. Choose Print Quality and then Calibrate Color.
  4. Choose Calibrate Now and press OK.

Wrapping It Up

Getting problematic prints from your HP printer can be very irritating, especially if you have tight deadlines and need to print a lot of documents. However, you can quickly solve these issues using the solutions we mentioned here.

Sometimes, the main reason why you are encountering this problem is because of incompatible HP ink or toner cartridges, so make sure that you only use compatible supplies. YoyoInk offers high-quality and affordable ink and toner cartridges compatible with various printers including HP.

Learn More:

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