hp printer not printing color

How do I Fix HP Printer Not Printing Color?

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HP is praised all across the globe for fine-quality color printouts and low maintenance. Such qualities make HP an easy-to-go for academic projects and official presentations. However, a bit of ignorance towards it may cause HP printer not printing color correctly or not at all. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as replacing the color cartridge, while sometimes it requires a user to perform print quality diagnostic, and cleaning of the cartridge or printhead. Though replacing the cartridge can be easy, but applying other troubleshooting tactics may need step-by-step guidance from experts.

So, before you implement any strategy to fix the HP printer not printing in color, you must know all causes, symptoms, and technicalities behind it. First, we need to examine if your printer won’t print in color only or if it doesn’t even print in black as well. The second step should be inspecting the cartridges for clogged or empty ink. Similarly, we should check outdated drivers, clogged printheads, and other components. Are you also a victim of a printer not printing color and facing it for the very first time? No worries! We are here to help. Just be confident, follow the instructions in this manual, and get your HP printer to print in color.

Why Is My HP Printer Not Printing Color? 

Lots of reasons may cause your HP printer to not print in color correctly. You need to pay attention to each of them, manually examine those causes in your HP device, and follow the troubleshooting steps given in the next section. Let’s first see the leading reasons for HP printer not printing color printouts.

  • Disabled color printing feature or enabled grayscale in printer preferences – Make sure you have disabled the grayscale feature in printer preferences as enabling it will allow your printer to print black only.
  • Clogged printheads – Sometimes, HP printer won’t print color due to clogged printheads because of round-the-clock operation and low maintenance. A simple solution would be cleaning up the printheads and associated components.
  • Empty ink cartridges – Alongside, you should also check ink in the cartridges and refill if needed. Make sure to get genuine HP components for long printer life.
  • Outdated HP printer drivers – Over time, the printer needs new software to work effectively. The best way to grab them is from the official HP website. Never install or click any link on self-acclaimed websites offering HP printer drivers.

How to Fix HP Printer not Printing Color Problems

Here are the steps worth implementing to resolve the HP printer not printing color. These steps work well for all HP printer models – HP Officejet, HP DeskJet, HP Envy, etc. You just have to follow the way we have presented below.

Step 1. Enable the color printing in Printer Preferences 

You may have accidentally set your printer to print at grayscale mode/black color only. Hence you must set it to print in color by following some basic instructions.

  1. Tap the search button at the bottom bar on your computer.
  2. Type settings and select Settings on the list.
  3. The settings menu opens, click Devices.
  4. Now tap on Printers & Scanners on the left panel.
  5. Select your HP printer, click Manage.
  6. Click Printing Preferences.
  7. A new popup appears, click the Paper/Quality tab, select Color, click Ok and exit the page.
  8. Another way to fix the color printing issue is to make sure that the grayscale mode in Printer Preferences of HP Envy printer not printing color is disabled.

Step 2. Clean the Printheads 

As we pointed out in the reasons why printer won’t print in color, the clogged printheads are one of the leading causes for color printing issues. We need to clean them using the print quality diagnostic tool or through manual methods. Here is how you can fix the clogged printhead.

  1. To clean the printhead, press and hold the power button on your printer and at the same time press and release the resume button six times.
  2. Now you can release the power button, and the printer should start cleaning the printhead automatically with a mild wash.
  3. Print a test page. If the color printing is satisfactory, you must stop troubleshooting.
  4. However, if still your HP printer not printing colors correctly, you can continue with the troubleshooting.
  5. Again press and hold the power button, at the same time, press and release the resume button five times for a moderate cleaning process.
  6. If still, the printer won’t print color, repeat the same process, but this time you should press and release the resume button seven times for deep cleaning.
  7. Print the test document again, and the color printing issue should resolve.

Step 3. Examine the Color ink Cartridge

It may sound silly, but sometimes a minor problem causes a major HP printer not printing color issue for most users. In such situations, the low ink level and clogged color ink cartridges were found to be the culprit that prevented HP printers from printing color. Follow the below steps to thoroughly examine the ink cartridge.

  1. Turn off your HP printer and open the front cover.
  2. Locate the color ink cartridge and remove it from the slot.
  3. Hold the ink cartridge between two fingers and move it upside down 2 to 3 times and see if the ink is moving inside or not.
  4. If you observe no ink movement, you should consider replacing it with a new genuine HP cartridge.
  5. Unwrap the new ink cartridge and check the instruction manual on the box to install it on your printer.
  6. Make sure not to leave the naked ink cartridge in the atmosphere as it is highly reactive to the open air and may get clumped or dry.
  7. As soon as you unwrap the ink cartridge, install it in the printer and print a test page to check the quality.

If you are not sure why won’t my printer print in color, you must contact the printer expert at printer fixing error for an immediate solution.

Step 4. Install the Drivers Manually to Fix Color Printing 

Those who are still finding an answer to why is my printer not printing in color, can implement another advanced solution. Users facing color printing issues with Windows 10 PC should implement this solution.

  1. Go to the Settings and click Printers and Scanners.
  2. Select your HP printer and click Remove.
  3. Now you must uninstall the HP printer drivers entirely from the Control Panel of your Windows 10 OS.
  4. Now press Windows + R keys together to open the run command.
  5. Put exe/s in the run command and hit Enter.
  6. A new window opens; click the Drivers
  7. Under the drivers window, if you find any HP printer driver, delete it and click Ok to exit.
  8. Now go to the Control Panel, and click Add a Device under Hardware and Sound.
  9. Your system will start scanning for the connected devices; the Choose a Device or Printer window will pop up. Select The printer I want isn’t listed.
  10. Now select Add a printer using a TCP/IP address.
  11. Locate the IP Address field, and enter the IP address of your HP Printer. It should appear like 192.168.x.y or 10.0.0.z.
  12. Click Next.
  13. Great! You have just installed a fresh set of HP printer drivers on your system. This clever move should help you start getting color printouts.


These four steps should fix the root cause of the HP printer not printing color. In case you don’t get any relief, contact, the technical support team for printer fixing errors. We have been dealing with problems like printers not printing color for our customers for a long time, and we hold a good experience with it. Drop us a call and get instant technical assistance from us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why is my HP printer not printing color ink?

If your HP printer is not printing color ink, check if the cartridges have enough ink. After that, go to the ‘Printers and Scanners‘ page. Tap ‘Printing Preferences‘ and hit the ‘Paper/Quality‘ tab. Choose ‘Color.’

2. Why is my HP printer not printing in color even though it has ink?

If your printer isn’t printing in color, even with ink, it is likely set not to utilize the color ink. In ‘Printer Settings, ‘ disable the settings that relate to printing in white or grayscale.

3. How do I get my HP printer to print in color again?

If your HP printer doesn’t print in color, enable the Color Printing feature. Do it from the ‘Printer Properties section. Apart from that, clean the printhead using tissue paper or the HP utility.

4. Why is my HP printer printing in black and white instead of color?

If your HP printer is not printing in color, modify the printer settings. Choose the appropriate paper type, increase the print quality, and select the correct paper size. Also, deselect the ‘Grayscale‘ option.

5. Why is my HP printer not printing the correct colors?

Your printer may not print the correct colors because of an empty ink cartridge. So, ensure that the ink levels are full. After that, clean the printhead as it may have debris stuck on it.

6. Why is my HP printer printing pink instead of blue?

If your HP printer is printing pink instead of blue, it can be because of non-HP media incompatible with HP inks. You can also align the printhead to resolve the problem.

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