HP printer stuck on initializing

HP Printer Stuck On Initializing (6 Easy Fixes!)

My husband and I have had an HP Printer in our home office for over 7 years. HP has a great lineup of reliable printers, but they do come with a few challenges. One routinely reported user issue is experiencing the “initializing” error.

HP Printer Stuck On Initializing

If you encounter your HP Printer stuck on initializing, perform a hard reset, bypass the initializing phase, and power drain the printer motherboard. If the issue persists, cold reset the printer to restore factory default settings and update the firmware. As a final measure, try reflowing the motherboard.

Read on for further step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting steps you can take to get your printer unstuck today!

We’ll start with some of the easier more obvious fixes. Then we will work our way to some move involved troubleshooting steps.

Step 1: Perform A Hard Reset

Performing a “hard reset” is a simple solution that often solves a number of different HP Printer issues.

To hard reset your printer, first disconnect the power cord from BOTH the printer and the power source while the printer is ON.

After 60 seconds, reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer and the power outlet. Your printer should now reset and turn back on automatically. Manually turn the printer back on if it does not turn back on automatically.

That’s all there is to it! This should get the printer unstuck for most users.

Step 2: Bypass The Initializing Phase

For some HP models, you can bypass the initializing phase all together.

To bypass the initializing phase, perform the following steps:

  1. Turn off the printer and unplug ALL cables including the USB, network and power cable. unplugging network cable. Wait 30 seconds.
  2. Plug the power cable back in and turn the printer back on.
  3. With the printer on, hit Copy And X (Cancel button above the copy button) until it says Permanent storage initialize. If this does not work, try hitting Right arrow And X.

Depending on your model this procedure may or may not work.

Still dealing with the issue? No need to worry just yet! Continue on to the next troubleshooting step.

Step 3: Power Drain The Motherboard

In some cases, there is a static charge on your printer’s motherboard that hangs around even after you shut the printer down and unplug it. This excess power can cause all sorts of issues.

Static electricity

To fix this, a simple power drain is required.

First, unplug any USB or cable from the printer. Then, pull the power cord out of the printer and wait at least 60 seconds.

Next, hold down the power button for 10 seconds to drain any remaining power from the system.

Lastly, plug the power cord back in and attempt to restart the printer. It is important that you do not put any USB or other cables into the printer at this time.

Step 4: Perform A Cold Reset

Cold resetting your printer will return the printer to its factory default settings. Sometimes the printer’s configuration has been corrupted. If this is the case, a cold reset is usually the solution.

Notably, the cold reset procedure differs depending on the printer model.

Older HP Printer models (including HP4000, 4100, 8000, 8100, 8150):

  1. Turn the printer Off.
  2. While holding down the Go or Online button, turn the printer on.
  3. Release the buttons when the printer displays “Cold Reset” or “Resetting”.

Newer HP Printer models (including HP3800DN, 4200, 4250, 4300, 4350, 9000, 4600, 5500, 4700):

  1. Turn the printer On.
  2. The memory will start counting on the control panel. When it does, press and hold the Select button.
  3. Continue holding the Select button until all three Control Panel LED’s are illuminated and on solid, then release Select button.
  4. The control panel should now say “Select Language”.
  5. Use the down arrow on the control panel display to locate “Cold Reset” and press Select.
  6. The printer should now perform a cold reset and then continue its power-on sequence.

For the HP LaserJet 2200, 2200dn, and 2200dtn:

  1. Press and hold down the Go button.
  2. While holding down the Go button, turn the printer on. Continue holding Go.
  3. When the Attention light turns on, release the Go button.

For those of you with HP Printer models that DO NOT have a display panel, the cold reset procedure typically requires using a combination of the Go and Power buttons. Use your model number to look up your HP Printer manual for the exact procedure.

Step 5: Update HP Printer Firmware

HP routinely releases new firmware versions for printer enhancements that often include issue fixes. You need to update your printer firmware regularly to get the most out of your printer!

Updating your firmware may help fix and prevent all sorts of HP issues like MFG mode, initializing errors, amongst others from happening in the future.

Update HP Printer Firmware – Directly from printer:

  1. First, connect the printer via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
  2. Use the control panel to open the Setup, Service, or Settings menu.
  3. Then, select Preferences, Printer Maintenance, or Tools.
  4. From there select Web Services, Printer Update, or LaserJet Update.
  5. If prompted, use the instructions that are displayed to turn on Web Services.

Update HP Printer Firmware – Using HP Smart App:

  1. First, create an HP Smart App account or sign in if you already have an existing account.
  2. Then, on the home screen of the application, select your printer model.
  3. Next, navigate to Advanced, and select Advanced Settings or Printer Home Page (EWS).
  4. Select Tools or Web Services.
  5. Finally, select Printer Updates or Product Update, and click Check Now. Any available firmware updates will be automatically downloaded and installed onto your printer.
Update printer firmware on HP Smart App

WARNING: DO NOT turn off the printer during the firmware update. Doing so can cause permanent damage to your printer, and lead to your HP printer not printing.

Step 6: Reflow The Motherboard

Ok, so you’ve tried all of these fixes without any luck? You may need to consider reflowing the motherboard.

For some background, HP used a more environmentally friendly soldering process in some of the older models. This process unfortunately led to a higher incidence of bad solder joints.

Reflow or “convection reflow” is a fancy name for the simple process of using a convection oven to heat and melt solder to make a solder joint.

While the following reflow steps are fairly involved, they are absolutely doable for a motivated do-it-yourselfer.

Having said that, there is a risk of permanent damaging your printer if for example you overheat the motherboard. Please proceed with this risk in mind.

How to reflow your HP Printer motherboard:

  1. First, set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Next, remove the motherboard by first removing the back protective printer cover. Then undo all the motherboard connectors and screws.
  3. Then, unsolder the battery from the motherboard.
  4. Prop the removed motherboard up using aluminum makeshift feet in all four corners.
  5. Now place the motherboard (without the battery!) on a baking sheet.
  6. With the motherboard components facing up, bake it for 8 minutes.
  7. Remove the motherboard and allow it too cool for about 30 minutes
  8. Lastly, resolder the battery and reattached the motherboard to the printer.

That’s it! Your HP Printer should now function properly.

For a nice step-by-step video guide of exactly how to reflow your motherboard, check out the video below.


Is your printer stuck on initializing? This is a commonly reported HP user problem. Here’s how to fix it.

HP Printer Stuck On Initializing: 6 Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Perform a hard reset
  2. Bypass the initializing phase
  3. Power drain the printer motherboard
  4. Perform a cold reset to restore factory-default settings
  5. Update firmware
  6. Reflow the motherboard

The unfortunate reality is these fixes won’t work for everyone. If your printer remains stuck, you can check your HP Printer warranty terms and conditions.

You can also trying contacting HP customer support by using your printer model number and following the provided instructions.

I hope your found these HP Printer troubleshooting steps helpful! If this post helped you solve the problem, or if you solved your issue some other way, please leave us a comment below so that we can include it!

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