How to Fix an HP Printer not Printing (6 Easy Ways)


HP printers are some of the best printers on the market. However, If you work in an office or an environment where you are constantly interacting with printers, then you may have come across certain errors with HP printers that won’t let you print even though everything seems to be well connected and the printer is in a “ready state.”

This is a common error that appears in HP printers and the first thing to try is a classic “Turn it off and back on again.” Failing that, we will assist you in overcoming these errors with a number of solutions you can manage to do to solve an HP printer not printing when it should.

Check also our selection of the Best Printers with the Cheapest Ink.

How to Fix HP Printer not Printing

You should first do this checkup on the HP printer before running the Windows troubleshooter. Follow this set of instructions:

  • Check all connections and cables from your computer to the HP printer.
  • Make sure that your printer is being detected by your computer.
  • Restart your printer.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Check whether the proper HP drivers are installed for the correct model of your HP printer.

If, even after this, your HP printer is not printing correctly, then try out our other methods below.

Causes for HP Printer not Working

A printer not printing is a common problem in HP printers (although not exclusive to this brand) and can be caused by a variety of hardware and software malfunctions. Even the best printers on the market can be susceptible to such errors.

Some of the causes include the printer being offline, paper jams, corrupted printer drivers, ink issues, and faulty computer-printer connection.

These are some of the issues that may cause your HP printer not to print. The solutions we recommend below will cover every factor that may be affecting your HP printer, causing it not to print. Here is an outline of what we will cover in detail below:

  • Checking printer status
  • Basic HP printer troubleshooting
  • Setting your HP printer as the default printer
  • Updating HP printer drivers
  • Canceling all print jobs
  • Repairing system files

Step by Step Guide for Methods to Fix HP Printer That Won’t Print

1. Checking Printer Status

The first thing we would recommend you do is to check the status of the printer. This basically means checking the printer’s hardware and making sure everything is in good condition.

The hardware components vary in placement according to your model of HP printer. If your HP printer is connected to wifi but not printing:

  • Check whether the printer cartridge is in good condition.
  • Check whether the paper tray is firmly attached.
  • Check whether there is enough ink, paper, and toner.
  • Check all connections and cables from your computer to the HP printer

Once you have checked all the hardware components on your HP printer and everything is well connected and in good condition, try printing, and if the printer is not printing anything, move on to the second step below.

2. Basic HP Printer Troubleshooting

The Windows operating system comes with easy access to troubleshooting menus. Troubleshooting is simply the systematic process that is used to locate the main cause of a fault in a computer system and correct the relevant software and hardware issues.

If the printer still encounters the same problem, then you can run the Windows troubleshooter by following these steps.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click on Devices.
Click on Devices.
  1.  Click on Printers and Scanners.
Click on Printers and Scanners to find the HP printer not printing
  1. Click on Run the troubleshooter, which is on the right side.
  2. Let the troubleshooter do its thing.
Screenshot for troubleshooter running

After the troubleshooter is done, it will recommend fixes to apply if it detects a problem, and all you need to do is click on “Apply This Fix,” and it will automatically solve the issue. However, when the problem still persists, move on to solution number 3 below.

3. Setting Your HP Printer as the Default Printer

When constantly using the same printer, it is important to set it as the default printer to save you, the user, the hassle of selecting a printer every time for each document you create or print from an already installed application. Many times HP printers will misbehave if not set as the default printer, and setting it as a default printer is easy. Just use the following steps indicated below:

  1. Open control panel
  2. Click on view devices and printers.
Click on view devices and printers.
  1. Right-click on your printer and select Set as the default printer.
Right-click on your printer and select Set as the default printer.

Once you have set the HP printer as the default printer, try printing, and if the problem still persists, move on to the method below.

4. Updating the HP Printer Drivers

HP printer drivers are usually the leading cause of this issue when the printer is connected, and everything seems to be in good condition; however, the printer won’t print when prompted to. Each HP printer model has its own drivers, and making sure that you have the right ones installed for your printer is crucial in printing.

Without well-maintained drivers, the printer won’t print documents when prompted to by the computer.

The HP printer drivers can be downloaded online if there is a steady internet connection, or one could buy a CD that contains the drivers compatible with the printer model. Most printers come with the right CD that contains their drivers.

To update the printer drivers, one must follow the steps indicated below:

  1. Open Device Manager
  2. Expand printers category
  3. Right-click on the HP printer you use
  4. Choose Update drivers.
  5. Click on “Search automatically for updated driver software

When Windows finds one, follow the instructions to complete the installation of the new updated drivers. If Windows can’t find one, that’s when you will need to resort to downloading the latest and updated drivers for your printer and installing them.

You can also opt to reinstall your drivers if they were already up to date since they might be faulty instead.

After you have updated and installed the updated drivers restart your computer and try printing if the problem is still not solved and the printer is still not printing, then move on to method number 5 below.

You can also download drivers directly from the HP website. These often have print software that can you can run an extra troubleshooter too.

5. Canceling All Print Jobs

When dealing with HP printers, jobs will often get stuck in the print queue. This is not a difficult issue to solve and is one of the common issues that will stop your HP printer from printing.

Jobs will get stuck when one job in the print queue encounters an error and fails to print, causing all other jobs not to print until the error is fixed. This is fixable by canceling all the jobs in the print queue. These are the steps to follow to cancel all jobs in the print queue.

  1. Open Control panel
  2. Click on Devices and printers
  3. Right-click on your HP printer
  4. Select See what’s printing
  5. Open printer menu
  6. Select Open as administrator.
  7. Open the printer menu again and finally click on “Cancel all documents

Once you have canceled all the print jobs, make sure your printer preferences are ok and try printing once again. If your printer still doesn’t print, we suggest following the instructions in the last solution below.

6. Repairing System Files

If you have tried all the methods above and your printer still won’t print, then there might be a problem with your Windows operating system, so you might want to run Windows repair, which will repair problematic system files that are interfering with the normal performance of your Windows operating system.

The way one repairs system files is by running SFC (system file checker) in Windows.

Follow these steps to run SFC

  1. Open Start
  2. Search for Command Prompt.
  3. Right-click and run it as administrator
  4. Type sfc/scannow and press Enter.
  5. It takes a while for it to detect and replace corrupted files, but once it’s done, restart your pc and make sure your HP printer is connected and try printing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Printer Running but Not Printing?

Your HP printer may be running but not printing due to reasons like:

  • Faulty drivers
  • Faulty cable connection from the computer to the printer
  • Jobs may be stuck in the print queue
  • Paper jam is also a common issue that many people overlook.
  • The printer may be out of paper
  • The paper tray may not be closed properly.

Sometimes the problem may be that you don’t know how to print, especially if you’re trying to print from a device like your iPhone.

How Do I Reset My HP Printer?

Depending on your HP printer model, accessing the reset settings may be straightforward compared to others. You can reset your HP printer using the factory reset setting or by doing it manually.

To reset your printer manually (this method works for most printer models):

  1. Turn off your printer.
  2. Disconnect the power cable from the printer and the wall.
  3. Wait for around 60 seconds and plug in the power cable back to the printer
  4. The printer will undergo a hard reset.
  5. Wait for the cartridges to align and center, then try printing a test page or document.

Most printers have the option to restore their settings to default, this is called factory resetting, and the option is usually in the “tools” section in most HP printer models.

We’d suggest you consult your printer’s user guide to find this option if you are having difficulty locating it because they have specific instructions for your HP printer model.

Wrapping Up

HP printers may have issues that might seem unfixable, but once you try one of the solutions listed above, you will find it easy to resolve these issues and start understanding why a certain error occurred, and have the knowledge to fix other future problems the printer might have.

The most recommended solution for a printer not printing, is to update or reinstall the printer drivers. This solves around 90 percent of HP printer problems, including “printer not printing.” If you found this article useful, you can also check out our related content below.


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