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Print Cartridge Lights are Blinking

  • PrintPrint

Problem

Figure 1: Both lights may be blinking
Figure 2: Or only the left light
Figure 3: Or only the right light
After you install a print cartridge, one or both of the print cartridge lights begins to blink. The printer will not print. One of the following messages may appear on your computer screen:
  • Incorrect Print Cartridge
  • Incompatible Print Cartridge
  • Problem with the [Left/Right] Print Cartridge

Solution

Work through the sections below in order. When the print cartridge light stops blinking, you have solved the problem.
NOTE:In the procedures below, the "problem" cartridge is identified by the blinking light. The light on the left blinks when the left cartridge is the problem, the light on the right blinks when the right cartridge is the problem, and both lights blink when both cartridges are the problem.

Step 1: Remove, inspect, and reseat the problem cartridge

The print cartridge may not have full electrical contact with the product. Removing and reinstalling the cartridge might help.
NOTE:HP cannot guarantee the quality of remanufactured or refilled cartridges. Use genuine HP print cartridges to ensure good quality.
  1. Make sure the product is on. Press the Power button if it is not lit.
  2. Open the product cover, then wait until the print carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Press down lightly on the end of the problem cartridge to release it.
    Figure 4: Releasing the problem cartridge
  4. Slide the cartridge out, and inspect it.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 5: Electrical contacts and nozzles
    1 - Copper electrical contacts
    2 - Nozzles
    Check the electrical contacts for debris. If any debris is evident, proceed to step two.
    Make sure all the clear nozzle protective tape has been removed.
    CAUTION:Do not attempt to remove the copper electrical strip.
    Figure 6: Removing the clear nozzle protective tape
    Look at the number on the print cartridge label, and make sure it is compatible with the product. Compatible print cartridges are listed in the Printer Reference Guide supplied with the product.
  5. If the cartridge is compatible, reinstall it.
    • Cartridges marked with a triangle, go into the left carriage slot.
    • Cartridges marked with a square or pentagon, go into the right carriage slot.
    Figure 7: Sliding the cartridge into the carriage
    Figure 8: Pushing the cartridge into place
  6. Close the product cover.
  7. Try to print again. If the issue persists, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Clean the problem cartridge contacts

  1. Gather the following items to clean the cartridge and carriage:
    • Clean distilled water. Use bottled or filtered water if distilled water is not available. Tap water can contain contaminants that damage the cartridge.
    • Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the cartridges (coffee filters work well).
    • Sheets of paper or a paper towel to rest the cartridge on during cleaning.
  2. Open the cartridge access door and wait until the carriage is idle and silent.
  3. Disconnect the power cord from the back of the printer.
  4. Remove the cartridge and place it on a piece of paper with the nozzle plate facing up.
    NOTE:Do not leave the cartridges outside of the printer for more than 30 minutes. If the cartridge is outside of the printer for too long, the ink can dry and clog the nozzles.
  5. Dip a clean foam-rubber swab or lint-free cloth into distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.
  6. Clean only the copper-colored contacts
    Figure 9: Clean the contacts
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Ink nozzles (do not clean)
  7. Repeat these steps for the other cartridge.
  8. Lightly moisten another cotton swab with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from the swab.
  9. Use the swab to clean the electrical contacts in the carriage, located inside the printer on the carriage slots.
    Figure 10: The electrical contacts in the cartridge slots
    Image: The electrical contacts in the cartridge slots
  10. Wait 10 minutes to allow the cartridge and carriage electrical contacts to dry.
  11. Reinstall the cartridges.
  12. Close the cartridge access door.
  13. Reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer.
  14. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  15. Try to print a page.
  16. If you are still unable to print, repeat these steps to clean and reseat the cartridges. Multiple cleanings might be necessary to restore printing.

Step 3: Repeat reseating and cleaning steps

If the problem is not solved, repeat the reseating and cleaning procedures above.

Step 4: Contact HP

If a cartridge replacement was not tried previously to solve this problem, replace the problem cartridge now. Click here (c00206040) (in English) to see if the cartridge is covered under warranty.

Step 5: Print in backup mode

If you do not have a replacement cartridge, you can still print in ink backup mode. Simply remove the problem cartridge, and print with the remaining cartridge.
  • If you remove the tri-color cartridge, printouts will be in grayscale.
  • If you remove the black or photo cartridge, the product prints slowly and the colors in the printouts might differ.