A few things can lead to frustration a lot quicker than when an HP printer connected but not printing.
If you need to print something in a pinch, and your printer doesn’t want to cooperate, you shouldn’t be too worried because it’s something very easy to fix.
Your HP printer isn’t printing albeit being connected probably because it’s run out of printing essentials like ink, toner or cartridges. It may also be due to outdated printing drivers, a bad connection,s or a large queue of printing jobs.
Specific guide and troubleshooting solutions will always vary depending on the HP printer model you’re using.
Once you know your HP printer model the common troubleshooting solutions in this article will quickly help fix your printer so you can get back to productive work.
Reasons Why HP Printer is Connected But not Printing
When you own an HP printer, there are many times you’ll have to stop what you’re doing and put that troubleshooting hat on.
But it helps to know what makes your printer not to print.
Here are some of the possible reasons:
1. Lousy Connection
Even with the right software set up that USB connection or cable you just pulled out of the drawer might look right in place, but it could be the reason why your printer isn’t working.
2. Printer Queue
HP printers enable you to queue tasks. If you’ve got a lot of jobs in your print queue, and the printer is overwhelmed, it won’t produce any print at all.
3. Software Issues
HP printer drivers often cause problems for users either because the wrong driver was installed, an outdated version or both.
When consumables such as paper and ink run out, your HP printer will certainly not print even if it’s connected.
HP Printer Connected But Not Printing – Solutions
Once you know your diagnostic checklist and the possible causes of the printer problems, you can now work your way to fixing the problem. Here are some of the best solutions for your HP printer:
Solution #1 Check Printer Essentials
Whenever there is a significant issue with an HP printer, it’s advisable to check if your printer has hardware issues.
Basically, ensure your printer “supplies” like ink, toner, and cartridge are all adequate and in place.
Here is your checklist for HP printer essentials:
- Ensure you have enough paper.
- Replace your printer cartridge with a new one.
- Replace ink.
- Ensure there is no paper stuck or paper jam.
- Replace any damaged or worn-out parts of your HP printer.
In some cases, when you remove and replace certain parts from your HP printer, it will stop working correctly.
This often means the printer is still not used to the newly installed components. If this happens, reinstall the original HP printer hardware and see if the problem resolves.
TIP: HP printers have many alerts. Whenever you see a paper tray alert, blinking ink, or low toner message on your HP printer, you should replace such supplies.
Solution #2 Check Printer Connection Then Restart
Printer connection is as important as the printer itself. If there are cable or WiFi issues, all kinds of faults may arise.
When an HP printer is connected to WiFi but not printing the WiFi connection could be the main issue.
Weak signal, router firmware or Internet Service Provider issues may also lead to printing problems.
Here’s how to fix connection faults:
- Ensure your HP printer is connected to your computer.
- Check WiFi signal strength
- Check the cables and replace any damaged wires.
- Turn off the printer and unplug the power chord.
- After a few minutes, plug it back on.
- Power the printer and try printing again.
You may have to reset the router to get a good connection and get the printer working again.
Follow your router manual for a reset guide then reconnect it to your HP printer. This should fix the problem.
TIP: When the HP printer is blinking blue successively it means the WiFi connection isn’t adequate.
Solution #3 Cancel Printing Jobs
A print queue may experience problems, causing the machine to print slowly or not at all.
Canceling all the printing jobs in the queue not only solves the printing problem but also makes your printer work faster.
Here’s how to cancel printing jobs in the queue to get your HP printer to work again:
- Go to Control Panel, then Devices and Printers.
- Right, Click on your HP printer.
- Select See what’s printing.
- On the menu, choose Open As Administrator.
- Select Cancel All Documents.
On Windows, open Control Panel, Administrative Tools, then Services window. Run the Services program.
Scroll down to find Windows Print Spooler, right-click on it, and select Restart, so you won’t have to clear cancel printing jobs.
Note: If your printer is often connected to more than one computer (say office and home computer), and you’re trying to print from one of those computers, Windows may send files to the wrong printer.
Solution #4 Update HP Printer Drivers
HP printers are distinguishable because they’re compatible with all mainstream operating systems.
However, regardless of the operating system, you use you have to update printer drivers to keep them up to date.
Here’s how to update your HP printer drivers:
- Press Windows Key, then go to Device Manager.
- Select your HP printer from the list of devices.
- Right-click on the printer, then choose Update driver software.
- Choose Search automatically for Update Driver Software.
- Follow the instructions to update your driver.
The HP Support page has several options and software to download, including; Software-ePrint, firmware, driver packages and Utility-Diagnostic Tools.
You can also enable automatic updates, so you don’t have to do it all the time your HP printer doesn’t print.
Note: You can also update the printer drivers manually from HP Support. Ensure you have your HP printer name and model ID, then download the driver update for your exact printer.
Solution #5 Set HP Printer as Default
Whenever you perform specific tasks on your computer, it will automatically assign these tasks to default programs unless you choose another one on purpose.
Printing is no different, and even though your printer is perfectly connected, it might not be the set default printer. Therefore, it may not print copies.
Here’s how to change the settings:
- Go to Control Panel.
- Go to Devices and Printers.
- Right-click on the HP printer you’re using.
- Select Set as Default Printer, then click Yes.
When you set your HP printer as default, your print job will automatically be sent to it unless otherwise specified. This saves time since you won’t have to set it each time you’re printing.
NOTE: You can set Windows to manage the printer for you such that the default printer will be the one that’s recently used.
Select “Let Windows manage my default printer” from Devices and Printers.
Read Next: Why Is The WiFi Light Blinking On My HP Printer?
The first two things to do whenever there is a printer fault is to restock the ink, toner and other essentials, then check if your printer connection is okay. If these don’t fix the problem, try updating the printer drivers, cancel any printing jobs in the queue then set your HP printer as default.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to fix the printer issue by using the above methods.
Knowing where to start when your HP printer is connected but not printing can allow you to spend less time being angry and more productive.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.