Printer missing prints & colors can happen due to a couple of issues with the cartridges. One is to check the printer settings on the document or image you’re trying to print. Make sure that the print setup is not set to print in grayscale for it will only print in black and white, change this setting default so it will print in color. If all settings are correct then your cartridge will just need to be primed. Most printers come with a built-in cartridge cleaning function that comes with the printer software to fix this issue. Before proceeding with the cleaning, print first a test or diagnostic page to check what colors are having the issue. If there are missing lines or patterns move on to the cleaning function.
For Brother printers:
1. Print a Print Quality Check Sheet (PQCS)
- Press the ink key.
- Select Test Print
- Select Print Quality
- Press Color Start
The machine will now generate the Print Quality Check Sheet (PQCS). Four colors are represented by a slanted square pattern made up of 96 individual blocks on the sheet. The colors should appear in the following order from left to right: Black - Yellow - Cyan - Magenta. Cyan is the light blue color and Magenta is the pinkish color.
2. The LCD will display: IS QUALITY OK? 1. YES 2. NO. Do NOT press 1 or 2. Press STOP/EXIT to return to the Date and Time display.
3. Examine the Print Quality Check Sheet (PQCS) if there are any issues with the print pattern. If all four colors are printed with no missing patterns then all things are good, if there are missing patterns from any of the colors proceed to Step 4.
4. Check if the cartridges are properly installed by uninstalling and reinstalling the ink cartridge.
5. Do the following to clean the printhead.
- Press Ink key on the printer
- Press Down Arrow and look for Cleaning
- Press OK
- Press Down Arrow to select Black, Color or All cartridges to clean
- Press OK to start the cleaning process.
6. Print a new Print Quality Check Sheet (PQCS) and review the results. If there is an improvement to the print pattern of the colors, repeat Step 5. The recommendation is to repeat the process 4 times every 10 minutes to ensure that the print head is clean.
For HP printers:
1. Turn the printer on and make sure there’s a loaded clean white paper.
2. Print a diagnostic page.
- Press & hold the Power button, then press Cancel button once then release both at once. The printer will automatically print a diagnostic page.
- Check the ink levels
- Look for errors on the print patterns, make sure no missing lines to all colors.
- Not matching colors.
- Missing colors.
- Go to Control Panel by searching on the Start Menu
- Select Printer and Faxes
- Right click on the printer icon and choose Preferences
- Choose the Services tab and click Services this Device
- The printer toolbox will appear, go to the Device Services tab, click Clean the Print Cartridges. Follow the instructions to start the cleaning process.
- A diagnostic page will be printed after.
5. Check the diagnostic page. If there is an improvement to the print pattern of the colors, repeat Step 4. The recommendation is to repeat the process 4 times every 10 minutes to ensure that the print head is clean.
For Epson Workforce Pro printers:
- On the printer display select the Maintenance menu.
- Choose Print Nozzle Check
- Load clean paper to the printer then select Print for the printer to print a diagnostic page
- If there are missing lines or spots on the diagnostic page, press X on the printer display to run a printhead cleaning.
- Print a diagnostic page again and if there is an improvement to the print pattern of the colors, repeat Step 4. The recommendation is to repeat the process 4 times every 10 minutes to ensure that the print head is clean.
If there are still some imperfections after 4 repeated cleaning processes then you need to clean the ink cartridges manually.1. Gather cleaning supplies:
- Clean distilled, filtered, or bottled water. Tap water may contain contaminants which could damage the cartridge.
- Clean cotton swabs or any soft, lint-free material that will not stick to the cartridges.
- Sheets of paper or paper towel to rest the cartridges on during cleaning.
3. Check the area around the nozzle plate. If there are any debris or ink buildup, clean the cartridge as follows:
- Lightly moisten the lint-free cleaning material with clean water.
- Use the swab to wipe clean the faces and edges around the nozzle plate. The area to be cleaned is cross-hatched in the picture below. Replace the cleaning material if it gets dirty.
- Avoid touching the nozzle plate and copper colored contacts
4. Reinstall the cartridges back to the printer and do a printhead cleaning once again and check the diagnostic page. If there are still errors, then the ink cartridge might be damaged and needs to be replaced with a new one.