HP Instant Ink is a subscription-based service that allows you to print a number of pages for the month, with the company sending you cartridges when you run low. The service is far from perfect and has been known to have problems from time to time. I’ve put together this guide on the most common HP instant ink issues and solutions to help you out if you’ve run into an issue.
HP Instant Ink Problem Cannot Print
If you’re facing the problem of HP instant ink cannot print, it’s usually down to a number of things ranging from your subscription to your ink cartridge or more. So how do I solve the problem? We have a couple of ideas, one of which will work for you:
1) Renew your subscription
One possible cause of this problem is that you’ve not renewed your subscription. If you had initially subscribed to Instant Ink’s monthly subscriptions, you may have exhausted your print page count for that plan. This usually results in extra penalty charges but it may hinder printing some of the time. Therefore you want to visit your manufacturer’s website and renew your subscription if that’s the case.
Can I use my HP instant ink printer without a subscription? You don’t need to have a subscription so yes you can. However, if you had initially subscribed to the HP Instant Ink service, you’ll have to cancel it before you print again as follows:
- Sign into your HP Instant account
- Got to “HP Instant Ink”
- Click “Update Plan” from the drop-down menu (Your active plan is the one highlighted in the list)
- In Plan Details, click “Cancel my HP Instant Ink Subscription”
If you have already paid for this month’s subscription and are facing this problem, you might be dealing with a billing issue. Perhaps, you didn’t complete the payment process or it fell through for some reason. You’ll need to contact HP support to rectify the matter.
2) Check your internet connection
When trying to use your printer offline, more so when you’re under a HP Instant ink subscription, you may encounter the HP Instant ink problem cannot print. The company needs to keep track of how many pages you’ve printed, according to your plan. If your printer is not connected to the internet, they are unable to track that hence this is a possible cause of the error message.
So you want to check if your printer is connected to your WiFi router by watching for the WiFi lights on the printer. Is the light completely off or blinking quickly? This means that your printer is offline.
Use your printer’s Wireless/Network/Setup Settings menu to connect to an active internet connection.
3) Examine your cartridges
If you put ordinary HP ink cartridges into a HP Instant Ink printer, your printer may run into the HP Instant ink problem cannot print. So if this error has occurred just right after a cartridge change, you now know the source of the issue.
This leads us to the question: What is the difference between HP Instant Ink and regular ink cartridges that HP manufactures? Generally, instant ink cartridges are bigger in size compared to ordinary HP cartridges.
In addition to being bigger, the HP instant ink cartridge is also usually labeled with the term “Instant ink” as you can see in the image. You’ll want to go into your printer’s access panel and check for this labeling. A replacement may be necessary if you don’t see this labeling.
HP Instant Ink Cannot Connect to Printer Now. Try Again Later
The first thing you want to do when you face the problem of HP Instant Ink cannot connect to printer is to power cycle your printer. Turn it off, unplug it from the power source, let it sit for 5 minutes then reconnect everything and restart it one more. Additionally, you want to confirm that your printer is connected to the internet. If the problem persists, don’t worry. Try out our other recommendations below:
1) Correct printer date
If the printer has inaccurate settings for time and date, this can invalidate certain essential communication certificates between the device itself and HP Instant Ink servers. When that happens, it will be unable to establish encrypted HTTPS connections hence the problem.
So how do I change the date and time on my HP printer to fix this problem? The best way to do this is to sync your printer’s time, as shown in the image, via your HP account.
That being said, you can also set this up manually as follows:
- Go to your printer’s digital panel
- Tap on Setup> Printer Setup
- Go into Country or Zone
- Tap Date & Time
2) Turn on Web Services
What is web services in HP printer? Basically, this setting facilitates the communication between web-connected printing services, like HP Instant Ink. When your printer’s web services are turned off, the link between the printer and the HP Instant Ink service is cut and you may run into the problem of “HP Instant ink cannot connect to printer. Try again later”
Here are the steps to follow on how to turn on printer web services:
- From your printer’s digital control screen, go to “Setup”
- · Scroll down and touch “Web Services”
- · Let the printer check for updates and click on
- · You should get a “Web Services Summary” showing that is on (Check the image for reference)
HP Instant Ink is unable to track ink levels when the web services option is off and thus will result in a problem with your printer, hence you need to activate it. However, I must also say that some printers don’t support HP web services. You want to confirm that yours does. An unsupported printer also commonly results in this problem.
3) Try again later
“HP Instant Ink cannot connect to printer. Try again later.” Sometimes the solution is right in the error message you’re facing. Like other websites, the HP Instant Ink sever can also experience downtime. This can be due to maintenance, traffic surges, and other problems with the site.
Fortunately, you can check whether the HP Instant Ink website is offline with ease. For example, you can check website availability using free online web status tools such as Freshworks and Hostinger, to name a few.
How To Bypass Cartridge Cannot Be Used Until Printer Is Enrolled In HP Instant Ink
You’ve bought new cartridges for your printer. To your utter shock, you receive the error message “cartridge cannot be used until printer is enrolled in HP Instant Ink.” Do you need to replace the cartridges? What do you do to solve the problem? Try our tried-and-tested suggestions to get around this issue.
1) Replace with ordinary HP ink cartridges
HP Instant Ink cartridges (labeled “instant ink cartridge”) must be used under the HP Instant Ink service. You’ll run into this problem if you try to use such a cartridge when you don’t have an active instant ink plan, or if your printer is not currently signed into the service or your current plan has expired.
Therefore, you want to check to ensure that none of these scenarios is the case. If you have an active subscription running, note that you should be able to use the instant ink cartridges until the end of that billing cycle.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to get yourself standard HP ink cartridges for your printer model. You’ll not be able to use an Instant Ink cartridge without a subscription.
2) Manage your subscription
The next remedy is to ensure that the HP Instant Ink acknowledges the printer that you have the cartridge installed in. Your printer may become invisible to the service if it’s offline so be sure to check that it’s connected to an active internet connection.
Next, follow these steps:
- Log into your HP Instant Ink account
- Go to “Manage Subscription”
- Wait as the service connects to the printer
- Check your printer’s digital control panel
- You should see a message confirming successful registration
Doing this essentially helps the HP instant ink service to “remember” that you’re using a printer that’s already signed up for the service. Many people used this method to fix the ”cartridge cannot be used until printer is enrolled in HP instant ink” problem.
3) Use instant ink cartridges on the original printer
The good news about HP Instant Ink is that it allows you to enroll up to 10 printers under the same account. The bad news, however, is that you may not be able to transfer instant ink cartridges from one printer to another, even if both of them are registered to the same HP instant ink account.
If you’re running into this error because you’re trying to do this, now you know where the problem lies. To fix this, you’ll need to reinstall these cartridges back to the first printer and this should fix the issue.
HP Instant Ink Problem Printing Will be Blocked Soon
This can be a frightening problem to receive as a printer owner. So how do I bypass HP instant ink block? Well, as always, our first tip for you is to power cycle the printer. Since we’ve already covered this in the previous steps, we won’t repeat it. Kindly check the steps from the previous headers. If that doesn’t work, check out these other solutions:
1) Confirm that you’re using the right cartridges
Are you using HP Instant ink cartridges? If you’re using unsupported ink cartridges, the service will be unable to monitor ink levels and the number of pages you print, possibly resulting in the “HP instant ink problem printing will be blocked soon” issue.
Supported ink cartridges are usually labeled “instant ink” on the exterior of the cartridge. You’ll have to manually inspect the cartridges to confirm. We’ve covered this in a previous section of this guide, so please check previous steps for the way forward.
2) Buy new Instant Ink cartridges
If you’re trying to use instant ink cartridges for a previous printer on a new printer that you’ve just signed up to for HP Instant Ink, this could also be a problem. I know it can be very frustrating because you’ve already paid for instant ink cartridges and therefore you should be able to use them in any printer of your choice, right?
Sadly, that’s not how it works. For one reason or the other, you may run into the problem when trying to use instant ink cartridges that may have already been used by another printer. So you may have to replace them with brand new ones.
3) Restore factory settings
The problem can also be down to a settings issue; therefore a good old factory reset might just be what’s necessary.
Here are the steps to follow to factory reset your HP printer using the HP Smart app:
- Open the HP smart app and tap on your printer’s icon
- Scroll down to “Advanced Settings” and tap on it (This will take you to the HP website)
- Click Settings > Restore Defaults > Restore Factory Defaults
- Enter your PIN (You can find it beside a QR code sticker, usually on the backside/underside of your printer. Check the image below to know what this sticker looks like)
In some printers, you have to open the access panel to locate the PIN sticker. Check your manual for more precise details of your printer’s PIN sticker location. Additionally, you can also check your printer’s PIN via its digital control panel or your printer account.
4) Review your subscription
When you’ve almost exhausted your plan, you may experience the issue of “HP Instant Ink Problem Printing will be blocked soon.“ You can always log into your HP Instant Ink account to confirm your monthly plan’s status.
If you’re reaching the upper limit of your page count, you’ll need to pay for extra pages or an additional plan. You may also choose to cancel the subscription altogether via the Instant Ink app/website or your control panel. Alternatively, your billing may not have gone through so your plan has become inactive. Follow up with customer care if you notice that your payment has not been processed.
HP Instant Ink Not Sending Ink
It can get annoying when you have to wait long periods before getting your HP Instant ink despite paying for your subscription. But sometimes this happens. Keep in mind that you may ordinarily have to wait up to 10 days to get your ink from the time HP notices that you’re running low. The good news is that there are a couple of ways you can speed up the process to get your ink faster, and here are some of them.
1) Turn on Web Services
When Web Services is turned off, HP can’t see your cartridge ink levels. Therefore, they are not aware of your cartridge running out and will therefore not send a replacement. As a result, you want to confirm that the Web Services is enabled so that HP can track ink levels and automatically send a replacement when you’re running low on ink.
Fortunately, we’ve already covered how to check if your printer’s web services are enabled and how to turn it on if it isn’t. Please check the steps in the previous sections for more details. Also, not that the steps on how to turn Web Services on will vary from printer to printer. In the same breath, you also want to keep your printer constantly connected to an active internet connection.
2) Check for shipment details
Problems with the carrier can also result in delays in the shipment of your instant ink. To check whether that is the case, you need to view your shipment details via your HP instant ink account.
To check HP instant ink shipment status, do this:
- Sign into your account
- Go to HP Instant Ink and then Ink status (You’ll be able to see if ink levels are low and if cartridges are being shipped)
- Scroll down to “Shipment tracking”
- You should be able to see a shipment date and view tracking details for an oncoming shipment as well
If your shipment is not being processed and you’re running low on ink, you need to click the “Chat with Virtual Agent” at the bottom of the page. Most of the time, HP will alert you in case they are facing shipment problems for your instant ink and may provide an expected duration of time for the resolution of the matter.
3) Change your shipping address
Have you recently switched home or office locations? If you have moved but failed to update your shipping details to reflect your new location, then you may run into the problem of HP Instant Ink not sending ink as HP is sending the ink to the wrong location.
In this case, take these steps to update your shipping address:
- Log into your HP Instant Ink account
- Click on Account>Shipping>Edit Shipping Information
- Set your current address
- Save the changes
Even if you haven’t moved locations, it’s important to check that you don’t have spelling errors or other inaccurate data in your shipping information. Follow the same steps above to confirm. Keep in mind that you can only configure one shipping location, so you’ll need to decide if you’d like HP to ship the instant ink to your office or home.
Sometimes, errors occur and HP can send your instant ink to the wrong address, despite your shipping address being correct and up to date. You’ll want to follow up with HP Instant Ink support to check if this is what has happened.
Cannot Print with HP Instant Ink Cartridges. Payment Method Needs Updating
Such an error may point to billing problems with your HP Instant Ink account. However, this is usually down to a few minor issues all of which are typically simple to resolve. If you’re faced with “cannot print with HP instant ink cartridges. Payment method needs updating,” do this:
1) Change your credit card
Credit card expiry dates slip our minds most of the time. If your Instant Ink account is linked to a credit card that is past its expiry date, you’ll come across the issue.
Fix this by simply updating your instant account with an active credit card as follows:
- Sign into your HP Smart account and click “Manage account”
- Go to Account>Billing
- You can view your current payment information, including when it expires
- Click “Change Payment Method” as shown in the image
- Enter all the credit card information in the fields and press “Next”
Please note that updating your credit card information will not instantly fix the problem. It may take a couple of hours for HP to process this request and effect it.
2) Top up your funds
With HP Instant Ink you can set a variety of payment methods, some of which include PayPal, HP.com gift cards, visa, Discover Network, and so on. Ensure that you have enough funds at the end of the billing cycle to match the cost or price of your current instant ink plan.
If the funds are below the plan value, HP may be unable to process the payment, hence this error message. Alternatively, with some payment methods, you may need to provide authorization before a third party like HP can take money from your account. You’ll need to reach out to your payment service provider to grant HP this permission.
3) Switch to a different payment method
If you’ve been using an American Credit Card, for example, try switching to Discover Network or PayPal. Changing your payment method altogether can solve this problem, more so if the issue boils down to a problem between one payment service provider rather than HP.
I’ll explain this with an example. If you’ve been paying using a PayPal account, then for some reason your PayPal account becomes suddenly limited, you may run into this problem if HP tries and fails to obtain funds from this account. Therefore, there may be a need to switch payment methods, and this may fix the issue.