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Light or Faded Print on Lexmark MS71x, MS81x, MX71x & MX81x

Document ID:TE548

Usergroup :External
09/12/13 Properties  


Print quality issue; Print not dark enough; Light; Lighter; Faded print; Defect; Low on toner; Supplies issue; Damaged transfer roll wire



Light or faded printout usually points to an issue with a printer setting or a supply item (Toner cartridge or Imaging Unit) that is either defective or at its normal end-of-life. However, there are other factors that should be considered when diagnosing light or faded printout. These factors may include, but are not limited to, the following items listed.

NOTE: Click each link to view the specific topic.



Lower darkness Setting compared to other Lexmark models

In order to provide a better cost-per-page to our customers, Lexmark intentionally lightened the Darkness Setting of the MS71x, MS81x, MX71x, and MX81x printer model lines as compared to previous generations. This lighter print provides a better cost-per-page while maintaining text darkness that is consistent with industry standards.

Please note that your device is functioning as expected in order to make the most out of your toner cartridge yield. However, should you wish to make the output of your new printer be closer to the darkness that you have grown accustomed to, then follow then follow the steps on How to adjust Toner Darkness of the printer.

If the printout does not improve even after adjusting the Toner Darkness, please proceed with the next section.


Low Supply Level

Many print quality issues result from supply items having reached the end of their functional life. Therefore, it is important to check whether your printer's supply level is still sufficient. To do this, follow the steps below to print the devices’ Menu Settings Page.

From the home screen, navigate to Settings > Reports > Device Statistics.

NOTE: Depending on the printer model, “Settings” can be represented by the word itself or any of these icons –   or .

You can view the supply status under the category Cartridge Information. Check the supply levels to ensure nothing needs to be replaced, such as the Toner cartridge or Imaging Unit. Replace any of the supplies that are reporting Low.


Darkness variation across an Image on a new Cartridge/Imaging Unit

If print darkness variation is observed only after replacing the supplies, uninstall the Cartridge and Imaging Unit and fully inspect them to ensure that all pieces of packaging materials have been removed. The red strap/plugs must be fully removed before installing the supplies in the unit. 


Darkness variation across an image due to environmental condition

If the darkness variation is observed from left to right across the page while the printer is situated in a hot environment with high printing coverage, the variation is most likely due to filming of the cleaning blade inside the Imaging Unit. In this case, the Imaging Unit must be replaced.


Darkness variation due to customer application

If you are printing on one side of the page and then occasionally print on the other side, you might notice darkness variation across the page. This is typically observed in certain applications and there are no actions necessary to correct this. The print quality will get back to normal after several pages of printing.



How to adjust Toner Darkness

If the printer is connected to a network, use the Embedded Web Server (EWS).

Step Action


Open a Web browser and then type the printer IP address in the address field.


  • View the printer IP address on the printer home screen. The IP address appears as four sets of numbers separated by periods, such as
  • If you are using a proxy server, then temporarily disable it to load the Web page correctly.




Click Settings > Print Settings > Quality Menu.




Adjust the toner darkness to desired setting and click Submit.




Continue adjusting until desired output is achieved.



Using the printer's control panel:

Step Action


From the home screen, navigate to:  or  > Settings > Print Settings > Quality Menu > Toner Darkness.




Adjust to desired setting, and then touch Submit.



Still need help?

Please contact Lexmark Technical Support if you need additional assistance. NOTE: When calling for support, you will be asked for your machine/model type and serial number (SN). If you need help locating these, click here.

Please call from near the printer in case the technician on the phone asks you to perform a task involving the printer.


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