Why Does My Printer Print the Wrong Colors?

Causes of printing errors vary from printer to printer, depending on the model and manufacturer. The ink cartridges may be running low on ink, even before the device gives a low-ink warning light, and replacing the ink cartridge may correct the problem. Other potential causes of color problems include cartridges in the wrong slot, printhead alignment problems and clogged printheads.

While most printers provide a warning if a color cartridge is in the wrong slot, a few brands of printers continue to operate, resulting in prints with incorrect colors. Replacing the cartridge with one of the correct color usually corrects the problem. If the machine uses printheads, clean them to ensure that the prints return to the correct color.

Inkjet printers require alignment of the printheads to ensure each dot of ink is in the proper spot to create brilliant colors. Problems with alignment make prints appear less sharp than normal. Following the manufacturer’s alignment procedure usually fixes this problem.

A printer with one or more clogged printheads does not apply the affected ink colors. Running the machine in the printhead cleaning mode usually helps to solve the problem. Turning printers off at night enables capping of the printheads and prevents clogs from forming.