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Getting grey shadow when printing

Deskjet F4280
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Changed black cartridge. Now some, not all documents, are printing with a grey shadow to text. Had this problem a few years ago and can't remember how to fix it. I think a reset worked then but it hasn't worked this time. 

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Getting grey shadow when printing



Welcome to HP support community.


Did you make a copy and check if that prints fine?


If that copies fine, try these steps:

  1. In the program being used for printing, click File and then click Print.

    The Print window appears.

  2. Make sure that the appropriate product is selected and then click Preferences or Properties.

    The Preferences/Properties window appears.

  3. Click the Printing Shortcuts tab.

    Consider modifying some or all of the options in the Printing Shortcuts menu to increase print quality.

    • Print quality: If the quality of the printouts is not acceptable, try increasing the print quality. To print more quickly, try decreasing the print quality.

    • Paper type: If one of the options matches the paper type exactly, select it instead of Automatic.

    • Paper size: Make sure that this option matches the paper loaded in the product.

    To see additional options, click the Advanced tab and then click Advanced Features.

    The Advanced Features window appears. Consider changing the following option:

    Ink volume: Adjust the amount of ink that prints on the page. For lighter images (less ink), drag the slider to the left. For darker images (more ink), drag the slider to the right. The lighter the ink volume, the more quickly the printout dries.

You can refer this HP document for more assistance:- Click here


I hope that helps.

To thank me for my efforts to help you, please mark my post as an accepted solution so that it benefits several others.


I am an HP Employee

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Getting grey shadow when printing

Hi Sandytechy20,


thank you for the reply and advice.  Printer working fine now - after trying almost everything I could think of I gave in and tried a new cartridge!  We were looking at buying a new printer so I thought I might as well use the spare black cartridge as it probably wouldn't be the right one for a new printer model.


As for what the problem was with the printer - I did made a copy  - black copy was fine but a colour copy was not - lots of broken straight lines.  I used the HP print and scan doctor which was very helpful and the print-outs confirmed that the problem was essentially that the new black cartridge wasn't aligning - the black lines were higher than the blue lines rather than continuous. I tried everything in the HP toolbox - cleaning the print heads, aligning etc several times, also tried hard resets. I cleaned the electrical contacts carefully with distilled water but nothing seemed to help. I guess the cartridge must have been faulty, which is frustrating as we only ever use HP and it was part of a pack from a major supermarket, so not cheap fakes. 


Again, thank you for the help. The posts on the HP community were very helpful when I was trying to find out what to do, so hopefully your advice will help someone else.

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