No Black Printer Ink? No Problem.

Printer not printing black? No problem. If your HP printer is out of black ink there’s a good chance you can still print with it.  The same goes for other brands of printers.  I’ll show you how. But first let’s eat a cookie.

I ate 9 cookies this week. That might not sound like a terrible amount when you first hear it, but that’s because I haven’t yet disclosed the fact that each chocolate chip cookie was the size of a dinner plate at the Olive Garden. And it wasn’t a full week. It was 3 days.

Stress brings out my back fat. So from here on in I’m going to have to work at not eating clown sized cookies and walking even more than normal.  I assume your situation has been similar so in an effort to minimize the stress you’re dealing with I have a tip on a big stressor everyone has experienced at least once in their life. 

I want you to search far back into the depths of your memory for a time when – your printer actually printed. When you could click “print”, tapdance your way over to the printer and it would spit out a a beautiful white page filled with black text.

Wasn’t it nice back in the olden days when your printer worked? 

If your printer is working and is printing, I suggest you read this post anyway as a form of preparation for the inevitable day that will come.

Printer Not Printing Black?

You can fix that. Here’s how.


Opening outer door that paper spits out onto of HP inkjet 3050 printer.

  1. Turn the printer on and open up the door so you can get to the ink cartridges.

Opening inner door of printer to access printer cartridges.2. You found the ink cartridges. Good.

Hand removing black printer cartridge in inkjet printer.

3. REMOVE THE BLACK INK CARTRIDGE. Now you can print black.  Honestly!


    As long as your printer also has a colour cartridge, all the colours from the colour cartridge will print together to make … BLACK.

    You’re not going to want to keep it this way forever. Eventually you’re going to have to break down and go to the store to have your black cartridge refilled or start selling body parts for profit so you can buy a new one.

    I figured this little trick out when I was preparing for a screen printing course that I was taking at my local art school. (you can learn how to screen print at home here)

    I was supposed to bring a half tone screen printing image to the class. But an hour before the class when I printed my image a sad kind of faded blue image printed out. I needed BLACK for the screen printing process to work properly. 

    Probably something just got screwed up. So I tried printing it again and again until eventually nothing printed out onto the page. Not even the sad, faded blue.

    Not to be deterred (I am the one who brought you How to remove sharpie from your walls, after all) I kept trying. 

    I tried the thing where you fill up your old ink with even older ink you bought at Costco 10 years ago but … it didn’t work.  (you can learn how to refill your old  ink cartridges here)

    So there I was.  An important almost-graduate from a highly esteemed small town night course about to walk into class without her assignment done.  In high school I could have talked my way out of it, but at night school??  No, no night school is serious stuff  I’d never get away with it.

    So I did what any desperate girl looking for a way out would.  I ate a cookie. And then I got to work figuring it out.

    →Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←



    1. Alex Smith says:

      Thank you!

      Worked fine with my HP printer

    2. Fede says:

      Thanks, you saved my day! Worked perfectly on my HP 3630

    3. Sophie says:

      You just saved my visa application! Thank you!!

    4. enivaldo bonelli says:

      Thank you! Worked fine with my HP F2050!
      Greetings from Natal, Brazil!

    5. Patrick says:

      I had something I HAD to print before my new ink cartridges were to arrive. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to do so on my HP1112 DeskJet printer with the black cartridge empty. Other sites mentioned about going into printer properties and changing to grayscale and while that may work for some other HP printers, it didn’t for mine. Your simple solution worked perfectly and enabled me to print. Thanks so much!!

    6. Satyajay Mandal says:

      That is awesome

    7. Milena says:

      Holy shiiii this actually worked!! Thank you! <3 <3 <3

    8. Sarah Scalzo says:

      Does not work with HP 5500 :(

    9. Chloe says:

      Lifesaver! Thank you so much :)

    10. Liam says:

      I was alittle skeptical at first. A too good to be true scenario played out in my head. I have a HP printer. So I gave it ago. I was absolutely amazed when in fact it did work. Thank you so much for this. I never knew!

    11. yohan says:

      thank you so much brother… it worked

      *from indonesia

    12. i hate hp says:

      you are a life saver!!!!!!
      it worked
      I had already cursed out my printer multiple times
      thank you :)))))))

    13. Christopher Gomez says:

      Thank you! it worked

    14. Ann says:

      Article never did say what to do

    15. Steve says:

      After doing a lot of research and reading articles found this great piece of content which solves my issue. Love how you explain each point in detail. Thank you

      • Steve says:

        Just want to add a little more solution so we can save our color cartridge for color printing.

        1. If you are not using an aftermarket cartridge, you can check your printer ink level from the settings to confirm if the ink is finish.
        2. if the vent of your cartridge is clogged, clean it by a pin and reuse it.
        3. if your cartridge is new or you refill it with ink, make sure that the tape is removed from the vent.
        4. make sure your ink cartridge is proper installed in their place.
        5. If you have a new black ink cartridge, try to use it to determine if the old one is faulty.

        Found these from

    16. Gloria Ayemere says:

      Thank you so much!!!!! It worked like magic!

    17. B says:

      Doesnt work on Canon Pixma… wont let you print at all if no black cartridge is inserted.

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