How To Print Darker on HP Printer 

When your printer isn’t printing dark enough, you may think there’s nothing you can do other than refill the ink and try printing again. However, your printer settings may hold the key to darkening documents from your HP printer. If you’re wondering how to print darker on an HP printer, we’ve got the answers to this question and more below.

For an HP printer, there are several ways to darken printing. If you want to adjust the lighter/darker setting for a current document, there are certain settings that apply. You can also adjust lighter/darker settings for all jobs. If all else fails, you can replenish the ink.

If you are trying to print from your HP printer and you aren’t satisfied with the level of darkness of your print job, you may feel as though there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Thankfully, this is a common problem with printing and HP printers have built-in settings that make it super easy to fix. Read on to learn simple steps to darken–or lighten–a document on an HP printer.

How to Print Darker on HP Printer

The first method for printing on an HP printer is adjusting the settings to print darker. 

This process may vary slightly depending what HP printer you have. For this example, we’ll be looking at the HP LasterJet M1005 printer. If you’re using a different HP printer visit HP’s website, select your printer and you can follow these steps to adjust the darkness/lightness settings in a printer.

To print darker on your HP printer navigate to the printer’s control panel, hit “Lighter/Darker” to view the present contrast setting. Then, press the < or > button to tweak the setting. By shifting the slider to the left, you can make copies lighter than the initial copy. If you slide the slider to the right, the copy will turn out darker. Hit “Start Copy” to save your choice and begin the copy job. You can also select “Menu/Enter” to save it without initiating a job.

HP notes that this adjustment stays active for roughly two minutes after the printing job has finished. Since the device’s control display says “Settings=Custom” while this change takes place, you can easily tell when the printer has returned to normal darkness settings.

How to Print Darker on All Jobs in an HP Printer

If you want your HP printer to print darkly on all jobs, you will have to make some extra changes to settings. Darkening the printer on all print jobs can increase the contrast and make them bolder or easier to read. If you fix this setting in all jobs, you won’t need to keep fiddling with it to improve the contrast in all future printing and copying.

Press the Menu/Enter button on your device’s control panel. Then, utilize the < or > buttons to choose Copy setup. Once you have selected Copy setup, press Menu/Enter again. After that, navigate the < or > button to choose Def. Light/Dark and press Menu/Enter again to proceed. Finally, tweak the setting using the < or > buttons. If you shift the slider to the left, you will make all copies lighter than the original. On the other hand, shifting the slider to the right darkens them. 

You can repeat all of the above steps if the documents turn out lighter or darker than your preference.

Naturally, you may also need to replace the printer cartridge. If you see a message on your printer screen such as “An E0 message” displaying with the Attention light blinking on the printer control panel on HP LaserJet Pro MFP M26a printers or a “Cartridge is Low” or “Cartridge is Very Low” message displayed on HP LaserJet Pro Printer and related printers, it’s safe to say that low toner density is your main issue.

To fix the issue of low toner density, replace the toner cartridge by lifting the scanner assembly as well as the top cover, taking out the empty toner cartridge, and putting the new cartridge into the slot.

After replacing the toner cartridge, the lights and warnings should stop presenting themselves. Before printing anything important, print a test document to ensure that the toner cartridge swap solves the problem.

Why Is My HP Printer Not Printing Dark Enough?

If you’re struggling to get your printer to print copies dark enough to suit your needs, you may wonder what the root cause is. The source of this problem may stem from a variety of issues or settings

The most common reasons for an HP Printer not printing dark enough include low toner density, non-optimal printer settings related to contrast and brightness, and verging on low ink or toner. If you’re running low on toner, you may notice documents printing lighter than they used to before the warning message appears on the control screen.

In this case, you may want to replace the toner cartridge if changing the settings to print darker doesn’t work. You can also check other print settings to see if any of them may be interfering with the printer’s darkness. These are common causes of the problem.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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