Fix: Printer Not Printing Black on Windows PC

The printer is one of the most necessary peripherals you need with your computer for printing any type of document. However, the printer can sometimes be out of order, especially when you need it the most. One known issue with the printer is when it doesn’t print black, but everything else. What if you are running late for an important work presentation and need the paper documents immediately? This guide will help you fix the situation where the printer is not printing black on Windows PC

Basic Check and Troubleshooting

Before diving right away into the advanced solutions to your faulty printer, you need to do some basic troubleshooting. At times, it’s a temporary issue and can be fixed easily. You can try the following basic check and troubleshooting measures to resolve the problem of your printer not printing black.

  • Restart the Printer and print a black and white page
  • Check ink level using the software or printer interface
  • Reinsert Black cartridge

Make sure to try to print after each of them.

Fix Printer Not Printing Black on Windows PC

Fix: Printer Not Printing Black on Windows PC

Once you have completed the basic steps for checking and troubleshooting the problem of the printer not printing black on a Windows 11/10, you must follow the solutions. Here are some proven solutions for your unique printer issue on a Windows computer.

  1. Run Printer Troubleshooter
  2. Align Printhead
  3. Check the Printhead and Cartridges
  4. Switch to Manufacturer’s Cartridges
  5. Change your paper settings to Glossy photo paper.
  6. Update Corrupted or outdated Printer Driver

You will need admin permission and a clear understanding of managing printers to use these steps.

1] Run Printer Troubleshooter

The Printer troubleshooter is a built-in tool for solving the problems when a printer does not print black due to any particular error. You can run the Printer troubleshooter as the best method for dealing with common printer problems. The troubleshooter would run an automatic scan for any issues with the printer and solve them effortlessly. Here are the simple steps to use the printer troubleshooter to make your printer print black again.

  • Open the Windows Settings (Win + I) and scroll down to select the Troubleshoot tab.
  • Select the Other-troubleshooters option in the tab and identify the Printer option on the list.
  • Click on the Run button beside the Printer option.
  • Check whether the troubleshooter solved the problem.

2] Align the Print Head

The alignment of the printhead can also be one of the common causes. If the black cartridge alignment has an issue, it may not print. If it’s a temporary issue, it can be fixed using the Printer software.

3] Check & Clean the Printhead and Cartridges

clean printhead printer

You must check the printhead and cartridges for any problems that might be responsible for your printer not printing black. The printer’s printhead helps in housing cartridges and must be clean and free of any blockages. You must also check the ink level in the cartridge and replace it with a new one if you encounter any issues. Interestingly, you can clean the printhead with two simple methods :

  • Automatic Printhead Cleaning: You can opt for an automatic printhead cleaning feature for troubleshooting clogged printheads. The inbuilt cleaning function is accessible through the printer display screen with the maintenance menu. It is also available through the Printer software.

Note: Remember that the printhead cleaning would consume ink, thereby depleting your cartridge ink levels. If the method does not work once, you can try automatic printhead cleaning up to three times. However, you must be careful about repeating the cleaning procedure beyond the third time.

  • Manual Printhead Cleaning: The manual printhead cleaning method is also a promising solution for resolving the problem of your printer, not printing black. You can use the manual cleaning method in printers that use ink cartridges and an integrated printhead. The common method for manual printhead cleaning is the paper towel method, which helps fix clogged printheads within minutes.

4] Switch to Manufacturer’s Cartridges

Use Manufacturers Cartridges

Many printer companies such as HP and Epson recommend using their cartridges. However, many people perceive the same as a marketing gimmick only to end up with problems like the printer, not printing black.

Third-party cartridges might showcase limitations in compatibility with the printer. If your cartridge does not print black, even if they have the required ink level, you might have to dig deeper into the issue.

On the other hand, you can always replace your printer cartridge to solve the problem. However, you must choose the Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM cartridges if you are switching cartridges.

5] Change Your Paper Settings To Glossy Photo Paper

Another solution for your printer not printing black would involve modifications in your printer driver settings. All you need to do is change your printer driver settings by choosing the glossy photo paper option.

The glossy photo paper option would trigger your printer to begin the printing process again.

However, you can apply this method only if your printer features two black cartridges, one pigment-based and the other featuring one dye.

Keep in mind that the selected paper type would determine the type of black ink used by the printer. For example, dye works out with glossy paper while pigment black fits matte paper perfectly.

The transition from one paper type to another can help trigger or jump-start one of the black cartridges.

5] Update Corrupted or Outdated Printer Driver

If your printer is not printing black, corrupt or outdated driver for the printer could also be one of the issues. Therefore, updating the printer driver can help resolve the problem effectively.

Interestingly, you can find multiple ways to update your printer drivers, such as third-party driver updating software or downloading from the manufacturer’s website. One more way to update the driver is using Windows Update > Advanced Options > Optional Updates > Printer Driver > Install.

Update Drivers From Optional Updates Menu

Final Words

The multiple issues with your printer responsible for its failure in printing black would point to the different possible ways to solve the problem. The good thing is that you don’t have to panic when your printer does not print black, especially when you need it the most.

Simple troubleshooting measures such as checking the printheads and cartridges alongside proven solutions such as the Printer Troubleshooter option can serve the best answers to the printer problem.

Why Is My Printer Printing Black Blank Pages?

The common causes for which your printer might be printing black blank pages include improper cartridge installation, congested nozzles, or empty cartridges. In some cases, driver and software issues also result in the printer printing black pages.

How Can You Tell if a Printhead Is Clogged?

The common signs of a clogged printhead refer to the creation of even stripes across a page or uneven superbubbles. Any type of blurry documents or faded images would indicate that a printhead is clogged.


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