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How do I setup my HP LaserJet 400?

Setting up an HP LaserJet 400 printer can seem daunting at first, but following this step-by-step guide will make the process straightforward. The HP LaserJet 400 is a workhorse monochrome laser printer that’s ideal for home and office use. With its fast print speeds, sharp text quality, and low running costs, it’s easy to see why the LaserJet 400 is one of HP’s most popular printer models.

Unpacking and Inspecting the Printer

Before setting up your new HP LaserJet 400, you’ll want to unpack it from the box and inspect it for any damage that may have occurred during shipping. Make sure to remove all tape, foam, and plastic packaging material from the outside and inside of the printer. Check that all doors and trays are able to open and close properly. If you notice any issues, contact the seller immediately to arrange a replacement.

Selecting a Location

When deciding where to place your LaserJet 400, choose a sturdy, level surface in a clean, dust-free area. Make sure there is adequate airflow around the printer to prevent overheating. Allow enough room in front for the paper trays to open fully and for printed pages to be removed. The printer should be located near an electrical outlet that is not controlled by a wall switch that can accidentally shut off power to the printer. For the best print quality, place the printer away from direct sunlight, heat vents, humidifiers, salt air, and high dust areas.

Removing Packing Materials

Before using your printer, you must remove all interior packing tape, cardboard, and foam. Open the front door and pull out the toner cartridge drawer. Remove any tape and packing material from the toner cartridge cavity. Make sure the imaging drum inside is able to rotate freely. Close the toner cartridge drawer once all packing materials are removed. Next, open the rear output door and remove any tape or packing material from the paper path and fuser. Close the rear door when finished.

Loading Paper

The HP LaserJet 400 holds up to 250 sheets of 20lb plain paper. To load paper, first pull out the paper tray and adjust the side guides to match the size of paper being used. Load the paper into the tray print side up, and make sure the stack is even on all sides. Slide the tray back into the printer until it clicks into place. For specialty media like labels, transparencies, glossy photo paper, or envelopes, use the priority feed slot located above the paper tray. Adjust the side guides to the media width and insert one sheet at a time print side up.

Installing the Toner Cartridge

The printer includes a pre-installed starter toner cartridge that will need to be removed before installing the full standard cartridge. Open the front door of the printer and pull out the toner cartridge drawer. Grasp the starter cartridge and gently rock it side to side while pulling straight out. Unpack the new toner cartridge from its bag. Hold both ends and rock side to side while inserting into the drawer cavity until it locks into place. Close the toner cartridge drawer, and then close the printer door.

Connecting Power and USB Cables

On the back of the LaserJet 400 are the power connection and USB port. Plug the power cord securely into the power connection and a nearby outlet. Do not use an outlet controlled by a wall switch or power strip that can be accidentally shut off. Next, connect a USB 2.0 printer cable between the printer’s USB port and a USB port on your computer. The printer should automatically power on after connecting.

Installing Printer Software

Before you can print from a computer, you must install the HP printer software. If you do not have the included software CD, you can download the latest drivers and installation package from HP’s website. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. Then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation process. Select USB connection and choose the correct printer model when prompted. After the software finishes installing, print a test page from your computer to ensure proper functionality.

Connecting Wireless Networks

To enable wireless printing capabilities, the LaserJet 400 can be connected to Wi-Fi networks with an optional HP wireless adapter. Begin by inserting the wireless adapter into the connection port on the back of the printer. Run the wireless setup wizard from the printer software on your computer and select the name of your wireless network. Enter the correct network password when prompted. Allow a few minutes for the adapter to connect to the network, indicated by a solid wireless light on the printer’s control panel. Wireless devices can now discover and print to the printer over the network.

Printing Your First Page

Once the printer is powered on, connected to your computer, and paper is loaded, you’re ready to print your first page! Open the document you want to print and select Print from the File menu. Make sure your LaserJet 400 is selected as the target printer and click Print. The printer will pull in the first page and print your document. Check that the page prints completely and with good print quality. If there are any issues, refer to the troubleshooting section of the user’s manual.

Troubleshooting Setup Problems

During the setup process, you may encounter some common problems. Here are troubleshooting tips for a few issues that may arise:

Problem Solution
Blurry or light print The toner cartridge may be low or defective. Replace the cartridge.
Vertical lines or streaks Clean the printer drum with a lint-free cloth. Replace the toner cartridge if needed.
Paper jams inside printer Open jam access doors and remove stuck paper. Check paper tray guides are set to correct size.
Not printing from computer Check USB or wireless connection. Reinstall printer software and drivers.
Multiple pages feed Fan paper stack and reload into tray. Adjust side guides in tray to correct size.

Maintaining Your Printer

To keep your LaserJet 400 operating at peak performance, be sure to schedule periodic maintenance. Here are some tips for maintenance:

  • Replace the toner cartridge when print quality declines or it reaches the end of life.
  • Clean the printer interior and exterior with a dry lint-free cloth.
  • Print a cleaning page to remove built-up toner from inside the fuser.
  • Check paper and toner levels regularly.
  • Keep the printer in a clean, dust-free environment.
  • Clear paper jams immediately to prevent damage.
  • Update printer firmware when new versions are available.


Following this setup guide removes the complexity from getting your new HP LaserJet 400 printer operational. In just a few simple steps, you’ll have it unpacked, connected, loaded with paper, and printing from your desktop. Refer back to these tips when installing replacement toner cartridges or connecting to new networks. With proper care and maintenance, your LaserJet 400 will deliver flawless performance and excellent print quality.