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Why Is My Label Maker Printing Black? Find Out Here!

  • 8 min read
Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

I started as a portal to educate and guide people who are either looking to buy a label printer or want to start a business selling them. Here I cover the differences in label printer technologies, the advantages and disadvantages in each and also share my (unbiased) recommendations on which type is best for your business.

Are you struggling with your label maker printing everything in black? It can be frustrating when you need to have different colors for your labels, and everything comes out in a monochrome tone. Don’t worry, though; there are several reasons why this could be happening and some easy solutions to fix the problem.

The most common cause of your label maker printing black only is due to default printing settings. You might have unintentionally changed the setting to black and white, which would cause your labels to come out in black.

However, there are other reasons why your label maker might be printing in black, such as low ink or toner levels, dirty print heads, incorrect label type selection, and technical malfunctions or software issues.

In this article, we will explore all the possible causes and provide you with the solutions to get your label maker back to printing in color.

Just The Essential Highlights

  • Label makers may print black only due to default settings, low ink or toner levels, dirty print heads, incorrect label type selection, or technical malfunctions.
  • Troubleshooting steps include changing settings to color or auto, replacing low ink or toner levels, cleaning print heads, using compatible label types, checking for visible damage on label rolls, calibrating or updating the label maker, or contacting the manufacturer for assistance or repair.
  • Using low ink or toner levels can cause damage to the printer components, while incorrect label type selection can lead to unintended black labels instead of colored ones.
  • It is important to check the manufacturer’s website for firmware updates or calibration instructions and ensure that the print head is securely attached to the label maker.

Default Printing Settings

Don’t worry, it’s probably just because the default printing settings are set to black – let’s change that and get your labels looking the way you want them!

To change the settings, start by turning on your label maker and selecting the label you want to print. Look for the ‘Settings’ or ‘Options’ button on the screen and click on it. You should see a list of options, such as font size and style, as well as printing color.

Make sure the printing color is set to ‘Auto’ or ‘Color’ instead of ‘Black’ or ‘Grayscale.’ If you can’t find the printing color option in the settings, try checking the user manual or contacting the manufacturer’s customer support. They should be able to guide you through the steps to change the default printing settings.

Once you’ve made the change, try printing a test label to see if the color has been adjusted. Your label maker should now be printing in color, giving you the ability to create labels that are visually appealing and stand out.

Low Ink or Toner Levels

You’re going to need to replace the ink or toner soon if you want to keep producing high-quality labels that make an impact. When the ink or toner levels are low, the printer is unable to produce the correct color and quality of the label.

The printer will compensate by using more black ink, resulting in darker and less vibrant labels. In addition to affecting the quality of your labels, using a printer with low ink or toner levels can cause damage to the printing mechanism.

The printer will have to work harder to produce the same result, leading to wear and tear on the printer components. To avoid this, make sure to replace the ink or toner as soon as you notice the levels are low.

Dirty Print Head or Label Tape

If your labels are coming out blurry or smudged, it might be because the print head or label tape is dirty. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the print head, causing it to malfunction and produce poor-quality labels.

Similarly, label tape that has been exposed to dirt or oil can also cause problems with printing. To resolve this issue, start by cleaning the print head with a soft, lint-free cloth. Gently wipe the print head in a back-and-forth motion, being careful not to apply too much pressure.

If the print head is still dirty, you can try using a cleaning solution specifically designed for label makers. For dirty label tape, simply replace it with a fresh roll to ensure that your labels are clean and legible.

Incorrect Label Type Selection

When selecting label types, it’s important to choose the correct one for your desired outcome. If your label maker is printing black instead of the intended color, it could be due to an incorrect label type selection. Here are some possible reasons why this might be happening:

  • The label maker might not be compatible with the type of label you’re using. Check the user manual to ensure that you’re using a compatible label type.
  • You might have accidentally chosen the wrong label type when setting up your print job. Double-check the settings to make sure that you’ve selected the correct label type.
  • The label type that you’re using might not be suitable for printing in color. Some types of labels, such as thermal transfer labels, can only print in black and white. Make sure that you’re using a label type that is designed for printing in color.
  • The label type might be damaged or defective. Check the label roll for any visible damage, such as tears or scratches. If you suspect that the label roll is defective, try using a different roll to see if the problem persists.
  • The label maker might need to be calibrated or updated. Check the manufacturer’s website for any firmware updates or calibration instructions that might apply to your label maker model.

By making sure that you’ve selected the correct label type, you can avoid printing black labels when you intended to print in color. If you’re still having issues, try troubleshooting your label maker or contacting the manufacturer for assistance.

Technical Malfunctions or Software Issues

Technical malfunctions or software issues may cause the label maker to produce unexpected results. If your label maker is printing in black only, it could be due to a glitch in the software or malfunction in the hardware.

One common issue is a faulty print head, which can cause uneven or incomplete printing. To fix this, try cleaning the print head with a soft cloth and make sure it’s securely attached to the label maker.

Another possible cause of black-only printing is a software error. Check to see if the printer driver’s up to date and if there are any updates available. You can also try resetting the label maker to its default settings and see if that resolves the issue.

If the problem persists, it may be necessary to contact the manufacturer for further assistance or to have the label maker repaired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I print labels in different colors with my label maker?

Yes, you can print labels in different colors with your label maker. Check your device’s settings and make sure to select the desired color before printing.

How do I change the font size on my label maker?

To change the font size on your label maker, simply navigate through the settings menu and select the font size option. Use the arrow keys to adjust the size to your desired preference and press enter to save.

What kind of label tape should I use for outdoor labeling?

For outdoor labeling, use label tape that is specifically designed for outdoor use. This type of tape is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Look for labels that are waterproof, UV-resistant, and have strong adhesive properties.

Can I use my label maker to print barcodes?

Yes, you can use your label maker to print barcodes. Check the label maker manual to see if it supports barcode printing. Make sure to use the correct barcode format and label tape.

How do I connect my label maker to my computer for printing?

To connect your label maker to your computer for printing, first, make sure your label maker has a USB port. Then, connect the label maker to your computer using a USB cable. Finally, download and install the necessary software from the manufacturer’s website.


So, there you have it – four possible reasons why your label maker is printing in black. By default, label makers tend to print in black, so it’s worth double-checking your settings to ensure you’ve selected the correct color.

If the ink or toner levels are low, this could also be the culprit, so make sure you replace them before continuing to print.

If your label maker is still printing in black despite these checks, it could be due to a dirty print head or label tape, or an incorrect label type selection.

Finally, if none of these issues seem to be the problem, it’s possible that there’s a technical malfunction or software issue that needs to be addressed. Whatever the case, by following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to identify and resolve the issue quickly and easily.