How to Replace an Empty Ink Cartridge in the HP Deskjet 5550 Series Printer – an Illustrated Tutorial in 9 Steps

Make sure you purchase the right ink cartridges for your specific printer and printer region or have your old ones refilled. Cartridges are not compatible between different brands, and often not within the same brand. HP often designs its inkjet hardware to use country-specific consumables. When you unbox a new HP inkjet printer and set it up, you install a set of ink tanks that ship with the printer. As you turn on the device and get ready to use it, an initialization sequence localizes it to the country associated with the ink cartridges you installed. HP recommends that you use original HP ink cartridges.

Ink level warnings and indicators provide estimates for planning purposes only. When you receive a low-ink warning message, consider having a replacement ink cartridge available to avoid possible printing delays. You do not have to replace the ink cartridges until the print quality is unacceptable. Use the ink-backup mode (reserve mode) to operate the HP Deskjet 5550 with only one ink cartridge. The ink-backup mode is initiated when an ink cartridge is removed from the print cartridge cradle. Printing in ink-backup mode slows the printer and affects the quality of printouts. We do not recommend using a photo print cartridge for ink-backup mode.

Which ink cartridges do I need for my HP Deskjet 5550 Printer?

These print cartridges can be used with the printer:
l. black print cartridge
2. tri-color print cartridge
3. photo print cartridge
hp deskjet 5550_01

For your US, European and UK HP Deskjet 5550 Printer you need
HP 56 Black AND HP 57 Tri-color cartridges. There are also 2-Packs available, like the HP 56 / 57 Black and Tri-Color Original Value Pack Combo .

Quality color photos: For more vibrant colors when printing color photographs or other special documents, remove the black print cartridge and install an HP 58 Photo Ink Cartridge.

Try Amazon's ink selector tool to find compatible ink cartridges for your printer.

Replace the ink cartridges

1. Press the power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
hp deskjet 5550_02

2. Load plain Letter or A4 white paper in the input tray.

Remove the old cartridge
3. Open the printer cover. Wait until the print cartridge cradle moves to the center of the printer and is idle and silent before you continue.
hp deskjet 5550_03

4. Lift the print cartridge latch to the open position, then slide the print cartridge out of the print cartridge cradle.
hp deskjet 5550_04

Insert a new cartridge
5. Remove the new cartridge from its package. Be careful to touch only the black plastic on the cartridge.
hp deskjet 5550_05

6. Remove the plastic tape using the pull tab.
hp deskjet 5550_06

– Remove the copper electrical strip.
– Touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles.
– Replace the protective tape on the contacts.
do not touch contacts

7. Hold the print cartridge so that the copper strips are on the bottom and facing toward the printer, and then slide the print cartridge into the cradle as shown. Always install the tri-color print cartridge in the left side of the print cartridge cradle. Install the black OR photo print cartridge in the right side of the print cartridge cradle.
hp deskjet 5550_07

8. Pull the latch forward. Then press it down to tuck the tabs into place. Push it down until it snaps closed.
hp deskjet 5550_08

hp deskjet 5550_09

9. Close the top cover. The printer automatically prints a calibration page for optimum print quality.

Calibrating print cartridges
The printer automatically calibrates the print cartridges after a new print cartridge is installed. You can also calibrate the print cartridges at other times, using the printer assistant OR the printer properties.

To calibrate print cartridges from printer properties:
Open the file you want to print. Click File > Print, then select Properties.
– Select the Services tab.
– Click the Open the HP Toolbox button.
– Click Calibrate the Device, then follow the onscreen instructions.