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Syseng, Engineer
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 6696
Experience:  Microsoft Certified with over 17 years experience in system integration and development
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HP5540 will not print colour - I can see that this is common

Customer Question

HP5540 will not print colour - I can see that this is common in HP support forums
JA: What's the make/model number of your printer? How old is it?
Customer: Hi it's HP5540 fairly new - and it prints ok in colour from my phone but not from my laptop This is the same issue -
JA: What kind of computer are you printing from (Mac or PC)? What Operating System (OS) are you running?
Customer: PC Windows 10
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: It had been working ok and then this problem suddenly started a month or so ago I've reinstalled the printer - still the same problem
JA: Anything else you want the Printer Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: The test page also prints ok in colour from the printer itself so issue is just from laptop
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  VanMagnus Systems replied 1 month ago.

Hello and thank you for choosing JA for your support needs. Happy to assist you with this issue.

What have you done so far to resolve the issue? I want to make sure that we do not duplicate efforts.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello Van, I have reinstalled the printer from scratch, tried other drivers and reinstalled the 5540 driver. I did that again last night and some colour came out but not all.
Expert:  VanMagnus Systems replied 1 month ago.

Ok, I will post instructions here in a few minutes.

Expert:  VanMagnus Systems replied 1 month ago.

I have some steps that I would like you to implement:

Check the print settings for your print job in Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista.

If that does not work, then do this:

  1. In the software application, you are trying to print from, click File, and then click Print.

    The Print window opens.

  2. Open the Properties dialog box.

    Depending on the software application, the button might be Properties, Options, Printer Setup, Printer, or Preferences.

  3. Depending on your print job, you might consider modifying the following settings:

    • Paper Type: If you are printing on photo paper, select the type of photo paper you are attempting to print on.

    • Print Quality: If you are dissatisfied with the quality of your printouts, increase the print quality. To print more quickly, decrease the print quality. These options typically include Best, Normal, and Draft modes.

    • Paper Size: If you are printing on a different size of paper than you normally print on, select the correct paper size.

    • Black and White: If you want to print in black and white only, select the grayscale option.

  4. After selecting the print settings, click OK to apply the settings, and then click Print.

Align the printer from the printer control panel, and then evaluate the results.

Then, after doing it three times. Implement these steps:

Please remember that the cleaning your Cartridges is cleaning the Printhead.

  1. Make sure to load the input tray with plain, white paper.

  2. On the printer control panel, swipe the display to the left, and then touch Setup.

    The Setup menu displays.

  3. Touch Tools, and then touch Align Printer.

    An alignment page prints.

  4. Wait for the alignment page to finish printing.


    Before a print job, the printer automatically extends the output tray. Do not push in the output tray extender until the print job is complete.

  5. Lift the scanner lid.

  6. Place the alignment page with the print side down on the scanner glass. Position it according to the engraved guides around the glass.

  7. Close the scanner lid, and then touch OK.

    The printer aligns the ink cartridges.

  8. Try to print again.

  9. Gather the following materials:

    • Long, lint-free cotton swabs

    • A clean, lint-free cloth, or any cloth that does not come apart or leave fibers

    • Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might damage the printer)

  10. Turn on the printer.

  11. Open the ink cartridge access door by placing two fingers under one or both of the small handles on the sides of the ink cartridge access door, and then lift up.

  12. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the printer.

  13. Disconnect the USB, if it is connected.

  14. Lightly press down on an ink cartridge to release it.

  15. Pull the ink cartridge toward you to remove it from the slot.


    Do not remove both ink cartridges at the same time. Remove and clean each ink cartridge one at a time. Do not leave an ink cartridge outside the printer for more than 30 minutes.

  16. Hold the ink cartridge by its sides.


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

  17. Lightly moisten a cotton swab or lint-free cloth with distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from it.

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


    Do not clean the ink nozzle plate.

    1. Nozzle plate - Do not clean

    2. Area surrounding ink nozzle - Do clean

    3. Ink cartridge contacts - Do not clean

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

  20. Slide the ink cartridge into the empty slot, and then gently push up on the ink cartridge until it snaps into place.

  21. Repeat these steps to clean the other ink cartridge.

  22. Close the ink cartridge access door.

  23. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer.

  24. Turn on the printer.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Van these are very generic instructions. I have said in my initial chat that I am on Windows 10 and that the prints ok in colour from my phone and when printing a test page from the printer itself. So aligning and cleaning the cartridges is not going to fix the problem
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
it's only a problem when printing from my laptop and almost certainly a problem with the driver.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
ps there is no "Print in Grayscale" option in the Printer Properties, that seems to be linked to the problem
Expert:  VanMagnus Systems replied 1 month ago.

Understood. Hold on, please...

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello Van - what are my next steps please?
Expert:  VanMagnus Systems replied 1 month ago.

Sorry for the delay. Will post the solution today.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Can I request a new expert to answer this?
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Shall I ask a new expert to help on this? I do not need you to connect remotely.
Expert:  Syseng replied 13 days ago.


My name is David.

One solution is to install the old driver as it appears that the problem follows the newer driver and updates. So next please uninstall the current driver (please let me know if you need instructions on how to do this) then unplug the printer and reboot the computer. Then install the driver at the link below:

click here

and plug in the printer when prompted to complete the installation. Then test print to see if the issue is resolved.

Please let me know the result and if you need further assistance.



Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thanks David - I'll give that a go
Expert:  Syseng replied 13 days ago.

Ok, sounds good - please let me know the result and if you need further assistance.