HP Printer Problems and FAQ with Answers – How to Troubleshoot Them?

When discussing printers, HP (Hewlett-Packard) tops the list for their features like reliability and efficiency even in the most demanding work environments. But we all know there is something about printers since they give up at some of the most inappropriate times. Whether it is the ubiquitous problem of a paper jam or that irking 50.4 error, they can be both times consuming and frustrating for anyone using the printer, especially for an IT professional whom must know how to fix these common problems that are associated with the printers. The article discusses top 5 such HP Printer Problems that are very common and how to troubleshoot them.

5 Common HP Printer Problems – What You Can Do to Fix Them?

Paper Jams:

This is one of the most common problems with the printers, irrespective of the make. There can be several reasons for the problem of paper jam like the printer might be dirty; a wrong type of paper was used with it or the rollers used on the printer might be worn out. While it has some easy solutions to it like cleaning the printer on a regular basis and ensuring the use of correct paper type, there are others like the roller replacement that are not too easy. Whatever the cause of the jam might be, it is always advisable to pull the paper in the direction of the paper path. There are certain HP printers that are more prone to this problem than the others. For instance, there are several users that complain about the paper pickup rollers of the HP 4000 series printers.

Faded Printing on the Page:

Another common problem with not just the HP printer but with any printer for that matter is having faded printing on the page. There are can be three reasons to this problem-the toner is low, the print density is set to a low setting or the option of Economode printing is set. A simple solution to the last two problems is to change your printer settings, set the print density to a higher level and turn the Economode setting off. However, if the printer is getting low on toner, you need to simply remove the cartridge and shake it to redistribute the toner more evenly.


With ghosting, while the image prints clearly on the page, the problem is that a lighter image gets printed elsewhere too. One of the reason can be a problem can be with the power outlet that provides power to the printer. To confirm the problem, try plugging another printer in the same outlet and check if it shows the same problem. Another reason for the problem can be the consumable printer parts like the drum or the imaging kit might be getting worn out. Once these consumable parts reach their rated number of pages, it is advisable to change them to avoid problems like ghosting.

Toner Smears:

If the printed images and words on the page come off easily and get smeared, there can be a few reasons for the problem. First, the fuser assembly might be worn out already or else might be nearing its end. The clear solution is to repair the fuser assembly and NOT repair it. It is not recommended to repair it as it is a consumable part and is not worth the time and the effort required repairing it. Second, there might be a defect in the toner cartridge because of which it lets out too much of toner at a time. Third, it is also possible that some of the toner might have spilled in the printer itself. This will need to be cleaned out.

Printer Displays 50.4 Error Messages:

One of the most frustrating problems with a printer is when it displays 50.4 error messages. Such problem, when encountered on the new HP LaserJet Printers, indicates a problem with the power supply. If the printer is connected to a UPS or a power strip, disconnect it and connect it to a wall outlet directly. However, if this does not seem to work, you must also check that all the components of the printer are seated properly. A laser printer should never be plugged into a UPS as it can damage the UPS.

Frequently Asked Questions on HP Printer Problems:

  1. What Do I do If I have Problem Printing PDFs?

There can be a few reasons for the problem like:

  • You might have been trying to print several pages on a sheet and double sided. Choose either of the options to print.
  • Print the PDF in economy mode.
  • If you are trying to print a file opened on a web browser, first try saving it on the desktop and then print.
  • If you are printing a PDF file that is embedded in any browser window, remember to print from the printer icon that is available in the toolbar of PDF files and not from the browser.
  1. How Can I Get a Colored Print-Out?

The option of color MFDs is available in the library. The cost of colored printing is 10p for A4 or 20p for A3 sheets. It is required to be connected to a different print queue before a job is sent.

  1. What is the Procedure to Print Out 2 Different Pages on One Side of a Paper?

This varies from program to program so it will depend primarily on the program in which the file of the user is open. The settings of a printer can be easily changed by going to the FILE menu and choosing the PRINT option there. From there, choose the option from the settings that are available.

  1. Why Do I Get Blank Pages When I Print a PDF From a Webpage?

Always remember to first save the PDF file on the desktop temporarily and then print out from that saved version. The procedure to save the file remains the same as for others. Go to the FILE menu and then click on SAVE AS to save the document.

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