You can fix problems with your HP printer if you follow a few steps and pay close attention to printer diagnostic lights and Windows error messages in your task manager. If you have installed the printer using the CD that came with it, you should have all of the maintenance software.
You may need to download the latest printer drivers if you find the printer is not functioning properly. Follow the suggestions below to troubleshoot an HP printer and fix printing problems in Windows 7.
HP Printer Will Not Print
There could be several reason why your printer will not print. One possible reason could be the print spooler service is stopped. To check the printer spooler, do the following:
- Go to Start>Control Panel>System and Security>Administrative Tools.
- Double-click Services
- Right-click Printer Spooler, then select Properties.
- Make sure the print spooler is set to Automatically start and that it is currently started. You can toggle it off, then back on–this will sometimes fix problems with the spooler.
You should also clear your printing queue. A queue can become jammed with a single print job that blocks everything else behind it.
To clear the print queue in Windows 7 go to Start, then click Devices and Printers. Click on your printer and if there are jobs stuck in the queue, click the Printer menu and then click Cancel all documents. If there are still jobs in the queue, restart the computer and try printing again.
HP Printer Diagnostic Lights
Newer printer will have diagnostic lights. These will use a combination of the power button and other LEDs to flash or blink in different patterns to help you troubleshoot the printer error. Below are a few common diagnostic lights and the problems associated with them:
Slowly Blinking Power Button – If your HP printer has a slowly blinking power button, this means it is in the process of printing a job or doing some type of maintenance, such as aligning the print cartridges.
Power Button Fades On And Off -If the power button fades on and off very slowly, this simply means the printer is in sleep mode. Press the power button to wake the printer up.
Power Button And Cartridge Lights Flashing – This means there is a severe jam in the carriage area and it needs to be cleared before printing can resume. Power down and unplug the printer, unplug the USB cable and open the printer to reveal the print cartridges. Once the power is off, the cartridges should move freely. If you do not see any obstructions here. Turn the printer around and open the access panel at the back to see if there is paper jammed there. Note: Some printers will have an access panel at the bottom.
If you do not see any paper, try removing and replacing the printer cartridges.
Cartridge Lights Are On – This could either mean you are not using genuine HP print cartridges or your cartridges are low on ink.
Cartridge Lights Are Blinking Slowly – If either the black or the color cartridge lights are blinking, this could either mean the cartridge is missing or the tape on the new cartridge has not been removed before installation.
WiFi Light Is Blinking – If your WiFi light is blinking, this means the printer is searching for a wireless signal.
All Printer Lights Blinking Rapidly – There is a fatal error with the printer. Try powering off the printer. If that doesn’t work, try unplugging the printer.
If none of these solutions work, be sure to visit the HP website and look-up your printer. There should be troubleshooting guides specific to your model. Software issues can usually be fixed by completely uninstalling and removing all references to the printer, and then reinstalling using the current software and drivers from the HP website. Hardware issues may require a trip to the repair shop or a replacement of the printer itself.