Troubleshooting Brother Printer Not Printing Black or Won’t Print Black

Brother printer not printing black

If you’ve encountered the frustrating issue of your Brother printer not printing black or refusing to print in black, you’re not alone. Brother printers are known for their exceptional print quality and features, but these problems can disrupt your workflow. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore common reasons for the “Brother printer not printing black” issue and provide practical solutions to get your printer back on track.

Reasons for Brother Printer Won t Print Black:

Ink Cartridge Availability: The primary issue often revolves around the availability and status of ink cartridges, with the most prevalent problem being the absence of an adequate or completely empty ink cartridge.

Ink Cartridge Blockages: The presence of dried ink within the cartridges can be a significant hindrance to smooth printing operations. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent this issue.

Ink Cartridge Air Bubbles: Occasionally, air bubbles may become trapped within the ink cartridge, causing disruptions in the ink flow to the print head. This can result in printing issues that need to be addressed.

Cartridge Placement Errors: It’s crucial to double-check that your ink or toner cartridges are correctly and securely installed in their designated slots. Incorrect placement can lead to printing problems.

Outdated Printer Drivers: If your printer drivers are outdated, they may not process print commands efficiently. Updating them can enhance printing performance.

Issues Caused by a Faulty Purge Pump: A common issue that can lead to a printer not printing correctly in black or color is a defective purge pump or purge seals. The purge pump is responsible for priming a new cartridge by drawing ink from it, sending it to the printhead, and then to the print nozzles and waste pad. If the purge pump or its seals are compromised or faulty, it will hinder the ink flow, causing printing problems like incomplete or missing output on pages.

Obstructed Print Head: The print head can gradually accumulate dried ink, leading to clogs that hinder the smooth flow of black ink onto the paper. This can result in print quality issues and the need for maintenance.

Breather Tape Removal: Newly acquired cartridges often come with protective breather tape that must be removed before installation. If not removed it can impede the flow of ink and lead to printing difficulties.

Methods to Fix the Issue:

Method 1: Replacing Ink Cartridges

  • Start by checking the printer display for error messages.
  • It’s crucial to use genuine Brother ink cartridges.
  • Also, verify the expiration date on the cartridges.
  • Insert new ink cartridges and test for functionality.

Method 2: Using Genuine Cartridges

  • Non-genuine cartridges may lead to compatibility issues.
  • Look for the Brother logo and authenticity marks on the cartridges.

Method 3: Remove Air Bubbles:

  • To remove air bubbles from the ink cartridge, lightly tap the cartridge to release any trapped air. 
  • Alternatively, you can take out the cartridge, give it a gentle shake, and then reinsert it.

Method 4. Initiate Printer Cleaning Cycle:

  • Brother printers typically feature a built-in cleaning cycle within the printer software. Trigger this cycle to effectively clear any obstructions or clogs in the print head. This automated process helps maintain optimal print quality.

Method 5: Perform Manual Print Head Cleaning:

  • If the automated cleaning process doesn’t resolve the problem, you can opt for manual print head cleaning. To do this, utilize a lint-free cloth and distilled water. Delicately wipe the print head to eliminate any dried ink.

Method 6: Ensure Breather Tape Removal:

  • Remove the breather tape from the ink cartridge before installing it. Otherwise, the ink will remain vacuum-sealed and will not print

Method 7: Updating Printer Drivers

To resolve issues related to your Brother printer, updating or installing the necessary printer drivers is crucial. Follow these steps to ensure smooth and efficient printing:

  • Visit the official Brother website.
  • Search for compatible printer drivers for your specific printer model.
  • Download and install the drivers.
  • Execute the installation process by following on-screen instructions.
  • After installation, give your printer a minute or two to adapt to the new drivers.
  • Once adopted, your printer should resume normal and efficient printing.

Method 8: Get in Touch with Brother Support:

If you have tried all of the troubleshooting steps above and your Brother printer is still not printing black, contact Brother customer support for advanced troubleshooting and technical support.

Additional Tips and FAQs:

How to Clean the Printhead?

To clean the printhead and resolve print quality issues, follow these steps:

  • Open the printer software on your computer.
  • Navigate to maintenance or tools.
  • Select the printhead cleaning option and follow the prompts.

How to Change Printer Settings for Color/Black? To switch between color and black printing:

  • Access your printer settings on the computer.
  • Locate the option for print mode or color settings.
  • Choose either color or black and white printing.

How to Check Ink Levels? To check ink levels on a Brother printer:

  • Access your printer’s menu.
  • Navigate to ink or supplies status.
  • View the remaining ink levels for each color.

Why is my Brother printer not printing black and white?

Your Brother printer may not be printing in black and white because:

  • You selected color mode printing in the print settings.
  • The black ink cartridge is empty or low on ink.
  • Your printer drivers and software are not up-to-date or correctly configured. To fix this, check your print settings, replace the black ink cartridge, and update your printer drivers and software.

Why is my Brother printer not printing black even when the cartridges are full?

There can be multiple reasons for this ink may have dried up, the cartridges may not be installed properly, or the printer drivers may need to be updated.

To troubleshoot this issue:

  • Check the ink cartridges to make sure they are full and installed properly.
  • Clean the printhead.
  • Update the printer drivers.

Why does my printer print only in color or black at times?

Your printer may print only in color or black at times because of the print settings or low ink levels.

To fix this:

  • Check the print settings and make sure that the correct mode is selected (color or black and white).
  • Make sure that the ink cartridges are not empty, especially the black ink cartridge.


By following these steps, you can likely resolve the issue of your Brother printer not printing in black or refusing to print in black. It’s crucial to use genuine cartridges, keep your drivers updated, and check for any additional issues mentioned in our FAQs. If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to contact Brother’s customer support for further assistance.

Also Read: Connect Brother Printer to Wi-Fi

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