My HP Printer Won't Print With New Cartridges

Updated July 20, 2017

HP inkjet printers rely on a number of ink cartridges to print documents from a computer. The design of these cartridges allows you to easily insert them into the printer. However, you can find instances when an HP printer won't print when you install brand-new ink cartridges, even though nothing is wrong with the ink cartridges themselves. You can correct the problem using a number of troubleshooting methods.

Open your HP printer by pushing up on the printer lid. Locate the printer's ink cartridges, housed in a grey bay in the middle of the printer. Remove the ink cartridges from their bays by pulling up on the black tab that secures them and gently pulling towards you out of the printer. Remove any pink packaging tape that you find on the contacts of the printer cartridge. If you leave this tape on, it will block the cartridges from making proper contact with the printer. Replace the ink cartridges back inside the printer and reprint your document.

Download a software update for your specific printer model from HP that corrects an issue with HP printers that renders new cartridges useless and causes your printer to stop functioning (see Resources). Input your printer's model number in the "Locate Your Product To Get Support" box. Click on your computer's operating system and download the appropriate software patch to your desktop. Double-click on the downloaded file to begin the driver installation. Follow the on-screen prompts and restart your computer when the installation is complete. Print a test document.

Power off your HP printer and remove the printer's ink cartridges from the printer to clean them. During the process of installing new ink cartridges, dirt and dust can get in the way of the metal contacts of the cartridge and cause the cartridges to not function. Place the cartridges on a clean paper towel to prevent the ink from leaking. Pour a very little amount of distilled water onto a cotton ball to dampen it. Gently wipe the contacts of the ink cartridges with the damp cotton ball. Allow the cartridges to dry, place the cartridges back inside the printer and power the device back on. Print a test document to ensure that the printer is functioning properly.


Avoid leaving your ink cartridges outside the HP printer for more than thirty minutes to keep them from drying out.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton ball
  • Paper towels
  • Distilled water
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About the Author

Phil Hoops, a student at the Rutgers Business School in Newark, N.J., has been a freelance journalist since 2008. Throughout his career his work has appeared in many online publications, including He is perhaps best known for his coverage of New Jersey sports on the lifestyle website, GlocallyNewark.