Text is something you want to see on the pages you print. Oftentimes, images are good, too. What you don’t want to see is a blank page. No text, no pictures, nothing. Just a blank white piece of paper.
We’ve already covered what to do when your HP printer is not printing, but the HP printer printing blank pages is a somewhat different issue. In fact, it’s quite a bit different. Whereas the first problem is closer to the printer straight up not turning on, the second actually has the device working as it should (for the most part).
The printer thinks everything is okay, and you’re unlikely to run into anything from the HP printer error code list. This can make solving this issue especially troublesome. Not to worry, as there are many different steps you can take if you’re turning up blank left and right.
Start by checking the ink levels
When it comes to HP printer troubleshooting, we like to start with the easy and non-invasive solutions and then work our way up (or down) to the things you don’t want to hear, like something being broken on the hardware side.
So, if you’re wondering why my HP printer is printing blank pages, it could just be a case of low or empty ink levels. Simple, huh? There are several ways you can check ink levels, and we went really in-depth regarding that in our how to check ink levels on HP printer guide.
If you don’t want to get fancy, it’s enough to know that HP software on both Windows and Mac allows you to check for ink levels. Using Window’s Search or Mac’s Dock, type in your printer’s model and go to its settings. On any of the operating system, look for a section that says “Supplies” or, alternatively, “Estimated ink levels”. Our guide also tells you how to check HP printer ink cartridges from the printer’s LCD screen, although we’ve found the computer option easier.
PrinterHeadlines Tip: In almost all cases, this will be the reason that the HP printer is printing blank pages. From there, it will be a simple matter of replenishing your ink levels, whether with original or remanufactured HP ink cartridges. If you’d like an easier way of getting your ink levels back up, you can also check our “Read this before signing up for the HP Instant Ink Free Plan”, which outlines the various pros and cons, as well as the plans, of this program.
New cartridges? Make sure you’ve placed them in properly
If you’ve just bought the printer or a set of new cartridges, there’s also a chance that they haven’t been physically inserted into the printer as they should be. As we like to remind our readers, ink cartridges shouldn’t just be tended to during the initial HP Printer Setup, but also after every subsequent replacement.
To try and fix your printer printing blank pages HP, double-check that the cartridges in the printer are correctly inserted, the protective tape is removed and that there is nothing clogging the holes on the toner or ink cartridge. You can also try gently pushing the cartridge into alignment after the printer is turned on if you suspect it’s having trouble receiving them.
After that, it’s time to do the same thing on the software side. HP printers come with software that has a “Service this device” option in the printer’s settings (which can be accessed through the steps outlined above). You’ll have three calibration options to choose from here, and you should go through each of them. If you’re having trouble finding the calibration part, the not-printing article we mentioned has an entire section dedicated to it.
Is this your first time using remanufactured ink? Maybe it’s to blame
It’s not always easy to get a hold of original printer cartridges, so many printer users opt for the remanufactured route instead. If this is your first time using non-original ink cartridges, there might be an issue with the supplier.
Unsurprisingly, HP printer manuals don’t mention this part. If you’re looking for more information on this, our in-depth “What is remanufactured ink and should you buy it?” guide will tell you everything you need to know, including how to tell good suppliers from bad ones. The bottom line is this: many remanufacturers produce low-quality secondary-market cartridges that often cause issues ranging from the printer not being able to recognize them all the way to the ink spilling into the printer. To know if this is what’s wrong, try and obtain some original cartridges for your printer and see if anything’s changed.
There is also a chance that you got the wrong cartridges for your printer. Printer manufacturers are infamously strict when it comes to cartridge designation, and a single wrong number could mean that the cartridge is unusable by the printer in question.
As a last-ditch effort, reinstall all the software and accompany it with a hard reset of the printer
Don’t go grabbing your head and mumbling “Why is my HP printer printing blank pages?” just yet. Save that for the next section. (Just kidding!)
Before considering a malfunction, remove all the drivers and accompanying software from your computer, power down the printer and remove the power cable from it. This will also clear the print queue: while a full internal memory rarely causes the blank-page issue without errors, there’s still the odd occurrence (in How to quickly clear the internal memory of an HP Printer, we explain the importance of printer memory and how it can sometimes cause weird problems).
Software versions tend to mismatch with various operating systems and/or different software, so a clean restart is always a good option to try. While it will force you to set everything up to your liking again, it might save you from sending a perfectly-working printer to the repair shop. After a minute, plug the printer’s power cable back on, turn on the printer, connect it to the computer and download the latest drivers. Do a test page print and see if anything comes up.
Still nothing? It’s time for repairs
Unfortunately, by this point, you’ve exhausted all the easy options and there is almost certainly a problem with your printer. If you’ve tried all the steps above (including getting new cartridges), there is nothing left to do but send the printer to the repair shop.
You can contact HP customer support for assistance with this or reach out to your local licensed repairman. Before doing this, however, use the HP Product Warranty Check to see if the repair costs are going to be covered by the warranty. If not, you’re probably looking at upwards of $100 in costs, so you might want to go over our best buy printers section in case you have a budget or mid-range model that you feel is better replaced.
While all PrinterHeadlines contributors are printer specialists with many years of experience in the tech industry, we will sometimes refer to other articles and websites. This gives our users a chance to both verify the information they’re getting and gives them a chance to explore additional venues of knowledge.
To cite this article, please use:
Bazmarov, Anya in “HP Printer printing blank pages” on PrinterHeadlines.com, Published 11/08/2019, Last Accessed 18/10/2019, https://printerheadlines.com/hp-printer-printing-blank-pages/
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