How to Fix Printer Not Printing in Color

Printer not printing in color hinders your work progress, especially when you need vibrant documents or images. In this blog, we’ll explore common reasons your printer won’t print in color and troubleshoot the issue.

I.Why Is My Printer Not Printing in Color

My printer is not printing in color; why? Color printers cannot print in color mainly due to the following factors. This includes printer settings, exhausted ink/toner cartridges, clogged print heads, and printer driver failures.

Color Settings in Printing Preferences

The direct reason for the color printer not printing in color is incorrect print settings. The printer settings are set to print in grayscale, so the documents print in black and white.

Out of Color Ink/Toner

Running out of color ink or toner will undoubtedly lead to monochrome printing. Sometimes, the ink cartridge is low on ink, which may also cause the printer to fail to print in color.

Cartridge Clogged

For inkjet printers, in addition to empty ink cartridges, clogged ink cartridges can also cause the printer not to print colors. Because ink residue or poor-quality ink has accumulated on the cartridge’s print head. Even if there is enough ink, a clogged ink cartridge will prevent the normal ink flow.

Printer Driver Issues

Printer drivers connect the printer to your operating device, such as your computer. If the printer driver is outdated or has bugs, it may cause print quality errors.

II.How to Fix Printer Not Printing in Color?

The printer not printing color can be resolved with these troubleshooting tips. The following methods apply to Canon printer not printing in color, Epson printer not printing in color, and HP printer not printing in color.

1.Check Printer Color Settings

First, check the printer settings for printing the file. If your page is configured for “grayscale” printing, it will only produce black and white prints. To enable color printing, turn off the “Print in Grayscale” option or change the setting to “Color.” This adjustment will allow your printer to generate color prints.

Open the “Settings” menu on your computer, click “Devices” and select “Printers and Scanners.”

Select the printer you want to set up, then click “Manage.”

Choose “Printer Preferences,” the specific printer display may vary depending on the printer brand and model. You need to look for options like “Color Settings” or “Select Color,” “Color,” “Grayscale,” or “Monochrome.”

For HP printer: Go to “Paper/Quality.” Choose “Color” instead of “Black and White.”

For Canon printer: Go to “Quick Setup” and uncheck “Grayscale Printing,” or you can go to the “Main” page and uncheck it.

For Epson printer: Go to the “Main” page and select “Color.”

2.Replace Toner/Ink Cartridges

Open your printer’s panel and check the ink levels or toner levels to see if they are low or empty. If the ink/toner levels are low, replace the cartridges with new ones or refill them.

For laser printers, replacing the toner cartridge with a new one can easily resolve low or empty toner levels. Likewise, for printer users who use ink, replacing or refilling the ink cartridges can help your printer restore its color printing capabilities. Before replacing or refilling, ensure the printer cartridge is compatible with your printer model.

True Image offers high-quality compatible printer cartridges, e.g., Canon 280 281, Epson 232/232XL, HP printer cartridges HP 910XL, and HP 962XL. Affordable price & free shipping on orders over $30!

3.Check Printer Nozzles

For inkjet printer users, after confirming in the previous step that your ink level is sufficient and no need to replace it with new ones, you need to check the printer nozzles next. It is a crucial troubleshooting step. If you cannot print in color when there is sufficient ink, the nozzles are likely clogged. Try doing a printer nozzle check to see what’s wrong.

Access “Maintenance” on your printer display and select “Print Head Nozzle Check.”

Then select “Print,” and the printer will generate a diagnostic page.

You can also perform this step via a computer:

Click on “Devices and Printers” when you go to the “Control Panel.”

Right-click the printer you want to select and choose “Printer Preferences.”

Then, enter the “Maintenance” page, select “Nozzle Check,” and finally click “Print.”

After you get the diagnostic page, check to see if the lines of a specific color are speckled or missing. If so, it indicates that there is a problem with a certain color ink cartridge.

You can then select the red “X” (on the printer screen) or select “Clean” (on the computer) to confirm the print quality problem. Your printer will run a print head cleaning.

4.Clean Your Print Heads

Let’s clean the print head to solve the problem of print head clogging. This will help your printer print colors successfully. 

Performing automatic printhead cleaning several times will usually clear the clog. Here are some steps to clean the printhead from the printer panel and computer:

On the Printer Panel:

Visit “Settings,” enter the “Maintenance” page, then select “Print Head Check” and click “Proceed” or “Yes.”

Sometimes, some color printers may ask you to select specific colors, such as “All Colors,” “All Except Black,” and “Black Only.” Select the color you are having printing problems with.

On the Computer:

Find “Control Panel” and then select “Devices and Printers.”

Right-click on the printer you are using and select “Printer Preferences.”

Select the “Maintenance” page, and finally click “Print Head Cleaning.”

If automatic cleaning doesn’t work as expected, consider deep cleaning or even manual cleaning to get the ink flowing smoothly. Please read our blog, How to Clean HP Printer Heads, to learn more.

5.Reset Your Printer

When all else fails, resetting the printer to its default settings can eliminate potential problems with the printer not printing in color. This step returns your printer to its initial stage and starts a new print.

We have introduced hard reset in detail in our blog How to Reset HP Printer. Similarly, Canon printers and Epson printers can also use this method to complete initialization. The specific steps may be different.

Typically, select “Settings” on the printer screen to access the “Device Settings” or “Restore” options. You will find “Reset” related content here, such as “Reset Setting,” “Restore Factory Settings,” and so on. Additionally, some printers without a touch screen require key combinations and sequences to return the printer to its default settings.

6.Update or Re-download Printer Driver

Still can’t print in color after resetting your printer? The printer driver may have disconnected from your device. Printer drivers play an important role in bridging the communication between the printer and the device, such as a computer. Outdated or damaged printer software and drivers can affect color printing.

First, we suggest updating your printer driver to the latest version. If the issue persists, consider uninstalling the existing drivers and re-downloading them for a clean installation.

7.Perform a Test Print

After completing all the troubleshooting steps, print a test page to check if the problem with the printer not printing in color has been resolved.


Color printer not printing in color can be solved using the troubleshooting methods above. We recommend contacting a professional technical support team if the problem persists despite your best efforts.

Trouble shooting

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