A number of reasons can mean that your printer no longer prints black areas or that the font looks pale and gray when printed . Most of the causes of such a printer error, in which a color is not printed or printed poorly, can be eliminated with simple means. We have put together some useful tips and solutions for the problem of printer not printing black .

1: Are the print settings causing the black missing?

If you are a bargain hunter, you surely want to save on ink and toner. The easiest way to do this is to activate draft mode or toner save mode while printing . Alternatively, you can lower the resolution, for example, for pure text documents. This means that less ink is printed on the paper and the printer cartridge is conserved.

Did you do just that? Then you should first change these printer settings or increase the resolution of the file and then start a test printout before looking for further sources of error.

2: Should your printer not print black at all?

You also have to take a close look at your documents if your printer does not print black. Is your computer used by more than one person? Then it may be that someone has changed the text color and set gray as the default text color, for example . If the standard color has been adopted for your file, the print jobs will not be printed in black either.

So take a closer look at these settings to check the color for the text . In the latest Word, you will find these settings under the “Start” tab in the section where you can also select the font size and font. If you click on the “A” at the bottom right in the menu bar, a window opens in which the font color set as the default is displayed. You can also change this there.

It is best to check the settings before every print job to avoid such problems if you are not using your PC alone. You can avoid misprints and protect the printer cartridges and toner.

3: Did you set the color saturation too low?

If your printer does not print areas in graphics or photos black , the color saturation settings may be the cause. To solve this, you can change this via image correction. If the specified values ​​for color saturation are too low , your printer will output gray instead of black areas. As a test, set the color saturation for your file higher and start the printout again.

4: Have you changed the contrast settings?

The contrast and brightness settings can also prevent your printer from printing in black. If the contrast is set too low , the black areas are printed out as shades of gray. You should also see that with your document, because these settings also change what is shown on the display. The same goes for the brightness settings . If you set the values ​​too high here, the black will also turn into gray both in the screen display and in the printouts. To solve this, you have to check the contrast and brightness settings of your file and adjust them if necessary.

5: Does your printer not print black for copies?

If this happens to printers with scanners and copiers (multifunction printers), the error is often in the settings that you can make on the scanner or the scan module of your multifunction device. The solution is to increase the scan resolution for the copy . For b / w documents you should also make sure that you have activated the black and white scan option . When scanning with the “Color scan” and ” Grayscale scan” settings, most devices deliver dark gray instead of a rich black.

At the same time, you should take a look at the quality of the scan template , as this can also cause problems with the color black. If it is already faint, you should create the copy in several steps by first scanning it and then correcting the contrast and brightness with a suitable program before printing. Many printer scanners have built-in software that allows you to adjust contrast and brightness.

6: Have you swapped the cartridges in the printer?

If your printer suddenly stops printing black after replacing a cartridge or toner, it could be that you inserted the cartridges or toner incorrectly. Your printer cannot detect this error with cartridges and cartridges without a chip, but such problems are not possible with some printers because the printer software indicates incorrectly inserted cartridges.

This error occurs particularly often with photo printers that work with two black cartridges and additional gray cartridges . If you accidentally swapped photo black and text black, the black areas in your photo prints will be dark gray.

So check whether you have inserted each ink and toner cartridge in the right place for the corresponding color, if your printer does not rule out the possibility of swapped cartridges from the outset.

7: Is the printing unit getting enough black toner or black ink?

Most printers and multifunction devices today have a level indicator . The cartridge chip communicates with the printer driver and warns you when the cartridges are low. However , many devices lack the level indicator, especially those from the lower price category. The LED warning light on the device only comes on when the cartridges and cartridges are completely empty.

Warning notices for low filling levels without automatic display: With the inkjet printer there are small interruptions in the printing process in the form of white spots or stripes shortly before the end of the ink supply. When the toner supply is running low, a laser printer will provide you with pale printouts that may also have stripes and light spots. Black looks gray.

So before the next print job, if black and gray appears and your device does not offer a level indicator, check whether it still contains ink and toner. You will notice this when you remove the toner and ink cartridges and gently shake them.

8: Have the toner or ink cartridges been recognized correctly?

If the cartridges and toner are not properly locked into place, not every printer will give you an error message. So if you changed the black cartridge or the black toner before the problem with the missing black areas first occurred, you should check that the cartridges are correctly seated .

Take the opportunity to check with an inkjet printer to see if you may have removed all of the protective strips before installing. In the case of ink cartridges, the mini protective strips on the ventilation openings are usually forgotten. This prevents air from being sucked in and consequently no ink from the tank to the nozzles on the printhead.

9: How can a full toner keep your printer from printing black?

A full toner cartridge can also cause blackouts and faint prints. There are two possible reasons for this:

You may have bought toner with a grain size for refilling the toner particles that your printer cannot process optimally. Unfortunately you will need a new cartridge or a new filling. By the way: our SUPER CARTRIDGE toner cartridges are optimally designed for the respective printer model and you can avoid such a printer problem. In addition, they protect the environment and your wallet.

Is there a possibility that your toner has gotten damp in storage or in the printer ? This leads to clumping, through which the toner powder can no longer be conveyed from the cartridge onto the paper. This may look like your printer is no longer printing black. In this case, only replacing the toner cartridge will help.

10: Could your printer’s tech be out of dust?

Faded colors and a lack of black in the printouts also indicate a specific problem that only occurs with laser printers. The cause is a dirty heating unit . It is responsible for fixing the toner particles on the paper. If you find loose toner powder on the printout or inside the printer, first clean the heating unit. A small slider made of colored plastic is located on the top of the imaging drum especially for this purpose . Gently slide it from left to right several times. This mechanically removes dirt particles and toner residues on the heating unit.

11: Can the imaging drum cause your prints to be missing black?

Most laser printers use disposable or semi-permanent image drums. They are also called drums and only have a certain lifespan, which differs significantly between the individual models.

As the imaging drum approaches the end of its life, the printouts become increasingly faint . As a result, your printer can no longer print black. The first signs of this are lighter areas that usually start on the left side of your printouts, because text documents are usually left-justified and printed out.

Have you noticed any such signs? Then it’s time to give your printer a new imaging drum . You can get away with this particularly inexpensively if you use the environmentally friendly rebuilt drums that are now available for most printers and multifunctional devices.

12: Printhead checked on an inkjet printer that does not print black?

Have you optimized all the settings and checked the correct use of the cartridges and their fill level and your printer still does not print black? Then it’s time to take a closer look at the printhead .

Some printers and multifunction devices have permanent print heads that are built into the device itself. These printheads are accessible via the maintenance flaps. In other models, the printheads sit on top of the ink cartridges, they are also called printhead cartridges . Missing black areas in your printouts can indicate clogged nozzles in both variants. If your device comes with a cleaning program in the printer software (printer driver), you should start it several times. If the black areas remain gray or white afterwards, manual cleaning of the print heads is an alternative .

Please always use only lint-free cloths and no “hard” solvents. You can dissolve dried ink with a little alcohol or a few drops of distilled water. We advise against the use of the cotton swabs recommended in many places. They can leave fibers on the printhead; the consequences are smeared printouts. Therefore, you should only use the cotton swabs as an aid to access the printheads built into the printer. It is best to cover the cotton swab with a linen cloth or a discarded cotton undershirt that has been converted into a cloth.

Extra tip: Instead of the cleaning program, which you can start using the printer driver or the menu buttons on the device itself, we recommend first cleaning the print head manually , which we have described in detail with instructions in the linked article. This is because a lot of ink is flushed through the printing system during automatic cleaning by the printer and is lost. So you would have to get new printer cartridges much sooner. That would contradict the idea of ​​environmental protection – and of course you would have to spend more money than necessary.

13: Did you install the correct driver?

If your printer does not print black, there could also be a printer driver problem that is preventing print jobs. Has your printer been put into operation via Plug & Play and the problem occurs immediately afterwards?

Then open the position “Printers and scanners” in the system settings. Windows will show you there which driver is being used. If it is not the original driver, there may be misinformation between your operating system and the printer controller.

Printer driver problems can also occur after updates to your operating system. The best thing to do is to get the latest driver from your printer manufacturer’s support site and install it manually. This can be done quickly and easily with the Windows device manager

14: Did you refill ink or toner yourself?

If your printer does not print black, there is another possible cause. Many cartridges and cartridges today have a security chip . The manufacturers of the original cartridges and original toner want to prevent you from refilling them yourself. Many of these cartridge chips work with a counter. It counts the number of prints you make with it. If the maximum number specified by the manufacturer is reached, the cartridges and cartridges go on strike until you have reset the counter. So-called chip resetters are required for this, but you cannot buy them for all cartridge models yet.

Conclusion: There are hardly any real technical defects if your printer does not print black. In the vast majority of cases, errors in settings or negligence in installing the cartridges or driver problems are the cause. You can fix almost all causes yourself by trying our tips one after the other. That takes a little time, but you save the costs that you would have to pay for troubleshooting in the specialist workshop.


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