Why Is My Epson Printer Not Printing Black? (5 Easy Fixes)

Are you tired of your Epson printer not printing black? Try replacing the empty or low-level black ink cartridge with a new one. An outdated printer driver and a clogged print head can cause the Epson printer not printing in black.

How do I get my Epson printer to print black?

If you are a Windows user, select the ‘Print’ command in your application and ensure your printer is selected. Now press the ‘Print properties’ option, go to ‘Properties’, and then to ‘Preferences’. Next, click on the ‘Main tab’, select the ‘Black/grayscale’ as the color setting, and press ‘ok’. Now your Epson printer can print black.

Keep reading to learn more about the causes why epson not printing in black and how to fix it.

Why Is My Epson Printer Not Printing Black
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Why is my Epson printer not printing black?

Here are the reasons for the ‘Epson printer not printing black’ issue.

  • Printer head having an issue
  • The issue regarding paper printing
  • Printer driver related issue
  • Improper source data
  • Issues in the ink cartridge

Now we are going to demonstrate the solutions for these issues one by one in detail. One of these methods must help you fix this problem.

epson printer won’t print black

Troubleshooting methods

Here’s how to troubleshoot your Epson printer.

  1. Turn off your Epson printer and disconnect the interface cable between the computer and printer. Also, plug out all of the USB cables connected.
  2. Now check the availability of paper in the printer
  3. After some time reconnect all the interface as well as USB cables and hold down the power button to turn on your printer
  4. After turning on the printer go to the printer settings click on print a test page option for test running of your printer
  5. A dialog box will appear, set the paper size on the dialog box and other suitable settings and click on the print test page button
  6. If the problem continues to exist and the printer is still unable to print black then check printer ink levels to determine the ink volume in your cartridges else follow the below-listed solutions one by one to solve the problem.

How to fix Epson printer not printing black?

Here are the steps to resolve the Epson printer not printing black issue.

1. Issues in the ink cartridge

First, we need to check the volume of the ink available in different ink cartridges. There might be a chance that your ink cartridges are not working properly. For checking this follow the following steps:

  1. Open up the printer and remove ink cartridges
  2. Check if there are any ink cartridges that are empty or about to end, then fill them up or replace them with new ink cartridges.
  3. Be careful while placing ink cartridges into their positions and make sure that each cartridge is properly installed in its allocated slot.
  4. While installing a new cartridge make sure that the tape over the ventis removed properly.
  5. Do not forget to check clogging in between cartridge vents as they are more likely to get cogged by the ink. It can simply be removed by using a pin or another sharp object.
  6. If your printer is still unable to perceive ink cartridges than there might be a possibility that your printer used to work with an old cartridge, so use an alternate ink cartridge and check again.

epson printer head clean

Note: if the old ink cartridge is able to deliver any type of output than there is some sort of issues in your new ink cartridge if not then your printhead must be at a fault.

2. The print head having an issue

If there are no issues in the ink cartridge and still the Epson printer won’t print black, then there are more chances that the print head is clogged and needs cleaning. In order to clean your print head, first, you will need to identify whether the print head in your printer has an automatic cleaning feature or not. After identifying you can follow one of the listed steps:

  1. If the printer does not have an automatic cleaning feature then remove the print head from the printer and clean it thoroughly.
  2. Run the automatic cleaning feature if the printer head is unable to remove and clean manually. Note: you might need to run this feature two to three times as one-time running does not ensure proper cleaning of the print head.

3. Printer driver related issue

Printer drivers are responsible for the proper functioning of your printer. If the Epson printer is not printing black then there might be a possibility that the printer drivers are not installed, outdated, or not functioning properly. In order to check this or update/ install new printer drivers you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Go to your computer settings and search for device manager in the search bar
  2. In device, manager find your device name and click on it
  3. Now follow the instructions appeared on the dialog box that appears and click on scan now button to search for the most recent drivers
  4. Wait for driver installation/ update to complete.

If the driver installs successfully there might be a chance that the problem is solved. If the issue remains unsolved then try the rest of the given solutions.

Is It Time To Get A New Printer

4. Improper source data

If you are trying to print a file that you have downloaded from the internet or from an unknown source then you need to make sure that if it is designed for inkjet printing. In case the file is not designed for inkjet printing then you need to contact the owner of the file or use any other kind of printer such as a laser printer. You can look for the version of file that supports inkjet printing.

5. The issue regarding paper printing

In case you are unable to find any of the above-listed issues and still unable to print black and your printer supports both types of black ink cartridges including pigment cartridge and dye-based cartridge, then you need to make changes in the paper settings. The paper type selected in the paper settings decides which type of black ink your printer is going to use. Usually, it includes the following two types of paper:

  1. Matte paper for pigment black printing
  2. Glossy paper for dye printing

Note: you need to switch between these two paper settings in the hope to achieve better printing results.

Related Article


So, from the above discussion, we have seen that there is some particular situation when Epson printers do not print black. The issue is due to the use of unknown source data files, a problem in ink cartridge or printing head, etc. one must solve these issues genuinely to avoid any jeopardy. The issues can be solved by taking care like frequently troubleshooting and maintenance of the hardware components.  But if the issue persists then you have to change your printing device or in another way, you can also contact the customer care center to get a refund.

We hope this article will help you solve this problem. If you have any suggestions or queries regarding this issue, share them in the comments.

Epson Printer Won’t Print Black

5 thoughts on “Why Is My Epson Printer Not Printing Black? (5 Easy Fixes)”

  1. I had the issue with a XP-245 that I managed to fix thanks to auto-cleaning printing heads. Have to do it at least five times, but it uses a lot of ink…

  2. Did the nozzle clean, alignment, all the maintenance, bought new ink cartridges, unloaded, loaded again, firmware updates, everything, still doesn’t print black ink, prints test page with no black ink.
    This is Windows 11, is printer too old?

  3. I did not use the printer for two years, not when I try to print in B&W, the copies come in a strange blue almost solarized. I don’t know what to do.
    Thanks Jordi

  4. This Epson XP-4105 printer worked A-OK for about 3 weeks, and now it prints all three colors flawlessly, but will not print black. I have tried different cartridges, so I know it’s not the cartridge. I have tried all the maintenance options several times….depleting one set of cartridges. The printer is less than one month old, and the store that sold it to me claims no responsibility.

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