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HP OfficeJet Won't ePrint or Acquire eMail

September 13, 2022. If you buy an HP OfficeJet printer, you may run into annoying ePrint and instant ink glitches. You may have difficulty signing up and ePrint may fail down the road. While this can often be restored, you wouldn't know it from HP, which provides every appearance of support short of help.


Of course there are bugs. We're talking personal computers, the Internet, and remote servers. Pursuant to Murphy's law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. For example, many people who formerly had ePrint working lost service at least as far back as 2019 (). Cgriff01. 2019. Is ePrint Service Down? ePrint not working at all. HP Community, Mar. 19. (Is ePrint Service Down at Archive.org.) This begins a thread where 66 others have the same question, 14 replied, and no solutions were ever provided.

Indeed, a search on Google for "hp" "ePrint" "not working" returns about 20,800 hits. The symptoms include the printer refusing to aquire or print its claim code or email address. Without this, you can't even enroll in instant ink (; Jljslu88. 2022. HP OfficeJet Pro 6975 Email Address. HP Community, Feb. 10. (Hp OfficeJet ... Address at Archive.org.) Unable to sign up for instant ink because the printer 'acquiring Email address' never completes. Jmoquin. 2021. Stuck on acquiring Email address. HP Community, Oct. 13. (Stuck on acquiring email address at Archive.org.) Unable to sign up for instant ink for a HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 because the printer 'acquiring Email address' never completes. ).

In August 2021, I was able to sign up for instant ink and ePrint for an HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 I bought from HP. In July 2022 I discovered that my ePrint address no longer worked. But it's supposed to (). HP. 2016. 'HP ePrintCenter is Retired', HP Customer Support (Australia), May 28. Date is the earliest found at Archive.org. (HP EprintCenter retired at Archive.org.)

Other symptoms. At the printer, swipe down, select the settings gear, web services setup. Here, 'Print Info Page' displays 'Downloading from the Internet' for two minutes and gives up. Similarly, 'Display EMail Address' displays 'Acquiring EMail Address...' and hangs seemingly indefinitely.

The Fix is Easy

I found a cure. There's no assurance that this will work for you, but it worked for me.

Mail you send from your own custom domain still may not print. It appears that HP wrongly uses UCEProtect.net as an absolute blacklist instead of one indicator of spamminess. But UCEProtect.net blacklists all IP subnets of any larger company network when they deem any one subnet problematic, and they require payment for express delisting. Many consider them malicious extortionist scammers (). Kranat, Marc. 2021. UCEPROTECT: When RBLs Go Bad blog.security.com, Feb. 12.

You may have to send from a bigger email network like gmail or startmail to get past this capricious and arbitrary blocking.

You may need to use Chrome, Edge, or Safari to load the instant ink page. In my case, Waterfox -- a Firefox derivative -- just brought up a spinning circle. Even with the other browsers my first successful visit to the page told me it couldn't connect with the printer. A reload made that go away.


Mailing to print is all well and good, but direct printing from apps is important too. I have Windows 7 64-bit. The following methods added that ability without having to install an HP printer-specific driver:

  1. Installed HPEPrintAppSetupx64.exe. This created [PrinterHostname]@hpeprint.com. It works but prints via hpeprint, so it's dependent on Internet and the HPePrint system.
  2. Installed HPUFD_Driver_2_0_193.exe. This created Fax via [PrinterHostname] (HP Generic Driver). This uses the OfficeJet fax modem to dial via VoIP or landline to a remote fax machine where the document prints. It took an extraordinarily long time (minutes) of apparently doing nothing before installation finished.
  3. Installed BonjourPSSeup.exe, which is only 5 megabytes. Ran the Bonjour Printer Wizard to try to add the HP 6978 printer. At first it wasn't found. It turned out that the HP is only discoverable for the first two hours after it's powered on. You have to *completely* shut it down, not just sleep, then turn it on, and then run the Wizard to 'install' the printer. Also, the printer it has to be on the same network segment as the computer (i.e. the same LAN). This added HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 [B#####], which prints fine.

    RANSOMWARE WARNING. This version of Bonjour installs old Apple components said to have ransomware holes. For safety you must install the 201 megabyte iTunes64Setup.exe, which updates the Bonjour bits too. So far as I can tell, there's no other way to get the Bonjour update. If you don't want iTunes you should be able to uninstall it later without compromising the Bonjour.

Installing an HP printer-specific driver is the traditional way to print. Accordingly, installed basic_webpack_x64-40.16.1234-oj6970-basicx64-webpack.exe. Formerly I had installed OJ6970_Basicx64_40.12.1161.exe, but that's older. For security, the update was appropriate. But it would be nice if they stuck with a simple standard naming convention forever. And I wish they would stop prompting to download easystart and then the full drivers, which I definitely did not want. In the end, I won, but I'm not sure how. This install gave me three new print options:

  1. Fax - HP OfficeJet Pro 6970. HPOJ6970_Fax_Driver.
  2. HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 (Network). HP OfficeJet Pro 6970. The basic print driver, via WiFi.
  3. HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 (USB). HP OfficeJet Pro 6970. The basic printer driver, via USB. Dimmed (I normally use WiFi).

That's right. I have six (6) 'printers' installed for this one device. But after ePrint dies on you once, you want multiple alternatives, in the faint hope that at least one of them will always work.


From my browser, I can visit the embedded web server (EWS) and get a scanned document right in the browser. No drivers are required.

An even more convenient scanning method is to scan to a USB stick atttached to the printer. Then you can carry that back to the computer or sneak it out of the office to Wikileaks. Sneakernet does not require drivers.

I can print from my Android SmartPhone using the Mopria print app. The phone doesn't even need to join the wifi network to print. It immediately finds my 'Wi-Fi Direct-8A-HP [hostname]' printer, tells me it's located in the library, and how much ink is in it, and when I ask for a printout, out it comes. The requires that the EWS wifi direct section be set to 'automatic' mode, which means the password is 12345678. That does mean that anybody within about a block can print to my printer. But choosing another password switches to manual mode in which printouts have to be accepted at the printer within about 60 seconds. That's way too inconvenient. I'd have to get out of bed.

You don't need a computer to make copies. The printer works fine as a black and white or color copier. The only restriction is that you can't make color copies of dollar bills thanks to the EURion constellation. Fiddle.


Notepad doesn't see the fax drivers. How odd.

Where the fax drivers are listed, the generic driver can find the printer by IP address or search for it and show that address. The 6970 driver lets you pick network, b##### (bonjour), or usb.

Multipage faxing via Internet VoIP such as Google Voice is unreliable. Reducing speed to the slowest (9600) and turning error protection off helps. But you can only send one page before abort to some recipients. You can send several to others, but if abort happens, you don't get a confirmation page.

Security considerations

You need to change the Embedded Web Server to redirect to HTTPS. If you don't redirect to HTTPS, then every time you enter the password someone might intercept it, especially on open wifi. Visit the EWS, select network, advanced settings, management protocol, and select 'Redirect to HTTPS' and encryption strength 'high'. The HTTPS certificate is self-signed, so the browser will promptly warn that it's not secure. This is a trust-on-first-use model, which is acceptable in this case and only requires adding a permanent security exception to the browser.

You absolutely, positively must change the default password (admin). Otherwise, anyone who gains access to your wifi can lock you out of your printer. Visit settings, security, password settings, and replace the default. The password can only be 16 characters long, but that's enough if you use all of them.

If you're relying on wifi encryption -- most of us are -- you should make sure it is set to WPA2-PSK; cipher: force CCMP (AES). This protects HP printers that were found to be subject to the Wifi KRACK attack (). HP. 2018. HP Printing Advisory - KRACK Attacks Potential Vulnerabilities', HP Customer Support, Jan 9. (HP Printing Advisory - KRACK at Archive.org.)

Firmware updates may have mitigated this risk, but this change is still good practice since wifi can be intercepted from up to about a mile away.

If the printer must be on an open network, and you want to print via HP drivers, you need to change to HTTPS (IPPS) if you want private printing. Amazingly, this commodity printer includes this ability. But it's tricky. You have to save a copy of the printer's HTTPS certificate from a browser's certificate information page, make sure it's in an acceptable format, import it into Windows using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), and then add a network printer using https://printername. I'm not even going to try to document how I managed it. It's way too difficult. Better to use Mopria or ePrint unless you really enjoy pain.

I didn't have time to write a short version of this so I'm uploading this long one. Helpful? Not? Send a note to let me know.

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