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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Technician
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 11697
Experience:  25+ Years Experience Computers, Electronics, and Printers - HP, Canon, Xerox, Ricoh, Lexmark, Oki, Ghestner, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Sharp
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My printer will print the top of a document only. the header

Customer Question

my printer will print the top of a document only. the header and maybe a little more.
i have reset
replaced cartridgeSS
tried on single cartridge mode
cleaned rollers and around them
taken the cartridges out and cleaned behind them 4-5 times. It still just prints the header and nothing more
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

Hello, Welcome to Just Answer...My name is ***** ***** I can help you with your printer problem.

In order to help you better with this issue, Im going to need more information about the printer.

- Can you please provide full model number and manufacturer's name.

- Are the cartridges new?

- Have you tried printing a Printer Self-Test Page?

Please let me know the answers to those questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Model # ***** Office Jet 4500
Color NO Black YES the Black ink cartridge I replaced twice, it didn't work with either cartridge
The test page prints about 3/4 of an inch, then stops
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i can take the color out and run it on single cartridge mode and it still prints the top only???
the color ink is low but no warning about it.
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

this could be a problem with the printheads being clogged. What I would suggest doing is running an automatic cleaning of the printhead through the maintenance part of the software. If that doesn't help, then you may have to do a manual cleaning. You can do a manual cleaning easiest by taking a damp paper towel and leaving it under the printhead and allowing it to absorb and soften any dried ink. You may have to do that several times if there is a lot of ink dried in the printhead.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok i cleaned the heads twice, i learned in the process that it will print a full page, it did at the end of the "cartridge clean" in the tools setting. So I tested it with a "test Page", it printed fine.
tested a document and still the same. wont print past about 3/4 of an inch...
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

how are you printing a document? What software are you using?have you tried printing a test page from printers and devices by right clicking and selecting print test page? This will determine whether it is the software or something in the setup of the printer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How - usb
using OpenOffice 4 or Adobe Reader both the same tried another computer and the same results as well
Yes test page prints fine
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

the test page printed from the computer prints fine?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it printed fine. ???
And when I cleaned the cartridges through the setting of the printer a test page printed fine...
Try and do an alignment page and it won't do it. It just prints the top.
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

that is very unusual. What I would have expected to happen is that if you initiate a test page from the printer itself, it would work, but if you initiate one from the computer through the print test page, I would not have expected that to work. This will seem extremely simple but it is how the printer is reset. It's possible you've already tried it – but unplug the printer from the wall for about a minute and then plug it back in. then try doing the alignment again. What the alignment does is it's adjusts on a very small scale the printhead nozzles to print the various colors properly. When it's not in alignment some colors in the printed test will have horizontal lines missing. But this shouldn't prevent the printer from printing more than three quarters of an Inch.

Another thing I would try doing just make sure it's not something with the driver settings or the document is to open up something like either Notepad or WordPad – just a very simple program type a few characters in there and then go to file print and make sure the print settings match the paper that you're using and see if the results with WordPad or Notepad are different from the results you're getting with the open office or Adobe products.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok i had done that before but did it again after alll that we have been working on.NOTEPAD was a success, it did print fine.
OPEN OFFICE i created a simple few character doc and it printed fine.
OPEN OFFICE saved blank form, top printed
Using Google Chrome internet and tried to print a page, printed top only
Pulled up an IRS blank form from internet, top printed onlyNotepad and Office printed fine with simple few character docs ???????
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when i looked at the settings, they looked fine.I started to set to default the setting to see if that would change anything, but just left it alone for now.
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

So, it sounds like it is only giving you a problem when you print through Chrome? That could be because chrome has it's own print dialog. You can disable it. Once you go to the print dialog in chrome, select the option that says to use system print dialog. I believe it says "CTRL P"

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OPEN OFFICE saved blank form, top printed
No documents print right but docs like notepad and office like
i can not print from anything but simple
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OPEN OFFICE saved blank form, top printed ONLYnothing worth anything will print
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

Sorry... you had said "OPEN OFFICE saved blank form, top printed Using Google Chrome internet and tried to print a page, printed top only Pulled up an IRS blank form from internet, top printed only Notepad and Office printed fine with simple few character docs ??????? " And I didn't understand that to mean what you are saying now.

So we know that it will print a simple page from a program

As far as I understand what you said above, it will not print properly from Chrome

And complex documents from apps will not print - they only print the very top of the page.

The only causes I can think of for this is a bad print head (if the ink fades and then stops)

An incorrectly formatted document that falls outside of the limits of what the printer thinks the page should be.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
right it just prints the top on anything but the ABC's. Correction on Chrome, it doesnt print anything but the top with prints clear then stops so bad printhead???? I dont know, but isnt the printhead on the cartridge for this printer?how would i change the way the printer thinks the format should be???
Expert:  Michael Hannigan replied 1 year ago.

I'm pretty sure it's the printhead. The printhead in this printer is not "user" removable. What I would do as a final effort is clean the printhead manually. It is easy to access - it's the plastic receptacle that the print cartridges are in.

Here is the link to the page first, in case you need to see the illustrations

  1. Gather the following materials:

    • Dry foam-rubber swabs, lint-free cloth, or any soft material that does not come apart or leave fibers (coffee filters work well)

    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the ink cartridges)


      Do not use platen cleaners or alcohol to clean the area. These can damage the ink cartridge or the printer.

  2. Make sure the printer is on.

  3. Open the scanner lid.

  4. Open the ink cartridge access door.

    The carriage moves to the ink cartridge access area.

    Figure : Open the ink cartridge access door

  5. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before continuing.

  6. Push down on the top of the ink cartridge to release it, and then pull it toward you to remove it from its slot.

    Figure : Remove the ink cartridge

  7. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.

    Figure : Hold the ink cartridge by its sides

  8. Inspect the ink cartridge contacts for ink and debris buildup.


    Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.

    Figure : Do not touch the contacts or nozzles

  9. Lightly moisten a clean, foam-rubber swab with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.

  10. Clean the face and edges around the ink nozzle with the swab.


    Do not clean the ink nozzle plate.

    Figure : Clean the area around the ink nozzle

    1. Nozzle plate - Do not clean

    2. Area surrounding ink nozzle - Do clean

    3. Ink cartridge contacts - Do not clean

  11. Either let the ink cartridge sit for 10 minutes to allow the cleaned area to dry, or use a new swab to dry it.

  12. Slide the ink cartridge forward into the empty slot, and then gently push on the upper part of the ink cartridge until it clicks into place.

    Figure : Install the ink cartridge

  13. Repeat these steps to clean the area surrounding the ink nozzle on the other ink cartridge.

  14. Close the ink cartridge access door.

  15. Close the scanner lid.

  16. Try printing again.