How to Set HP Deskjet C4400 Series to Single Cartridge Mode

Written by irene a. blake
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How to Set HP Deskjet C4400 Series to Single Cartridge Mode
(Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The HP C4400 printer's ink cartridge carriage can house one of two ink cartridge combinations at a time: black and tricolour for standard printouts or optional photo and tricolour for richer colour printouts. In the event that a cartridge breaks or ink levels become low or spent, the printer automatically goes into an ink-backup mode to allow the user to continue to print until a replacement cartridge becomes available. To activate this mode, also referred to as the single cartridge mode, you only need to help the printer recognise that it has only one working cartridge.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Turn on your HP Photosmart C4400 printer.

  2. 2

    Open the ink cartridge access door.

  3. 3

    Remove the broken, low or spent cartridge from the ink cartridge carriage.

  4. 4

    Close the ink cartridge access door without replacing the cartridge that you removed. If done correctly, an ink-backup mode message should appear on the screen. Ignore this message and initiate a print job from your computer to print with a single cartridge.

Tips and warnings

  • Ink-backup mode also turns on if you have two cartridges in the printer, but only if one has the plastic tape and pink pull tab still attached.
  • The HP Photosmart C4400 printer won't print from a copy/scan or the control panel when in single cartridge ink-backup mode. Additionally, your printer will print slower than usual.
  • Single cartridge ink-backup mode results in poor quality printouts. Photos will print in grayscale instead of colour.
  • Hewlett-Packard doesn't recommend using the photo ink cartridge at all in the single cartridge ink-backup mode.

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