HP Printer Admin Locked [Solved]


My innate hatred of printers is a fairly well-known thing, & I personally believe that printers do not like me either – I’m talking the device here, not the tradesmen – they’re usually ok. So HP Printer Admin Locked [Solved] is a post title that brings me much satisfaction.  HP like to keep their device unlocking mechanisms to themselves, no-one has yet managed to decrypt & recreate smc.bin files for example.  Finding your own HP unlock solution can be a bit of a tricky experience.

Even though I both  dislike & distrust printers, occasionally I need one. Need, not want. Usually for scanning. So I went against my natural instincts & purchased an HP Officejet Pro 6960, one of these:

HP Printer Admin Locked [Solved]

This is a well-specced 3-in-1 device, WiFi, Web Services, All the things.


When I admitted that I needed a printer, I dealt with the urge quickly – an hour later I walked into the local retailer where I looked for & found the biggest discount on a brand-name printer in store then bought it – all in maybe 5 minutes. It took longer to get served than to choose the device. I just wanted a PSC that would do what it’s told, when it’s told. & I must admit, this one did look rather well-behaved.

This strategy of purchasing the item with the biggest $ discount offered usually satisfies my compulsion for pride of ownership & good value whilst exposing me to the retail experience only minimally. Shopping, yuck.

Whoops, Locked

Now I’m not the only one who uses my printer – in general, I don’t mind this, you’re welcome to use it – just don’t break it. I’ll pay for the paper & the ink, just don’t fuck around with it because it’s not yours.  Annoyingly, another user refuses to take my advice of “when you have an IT problem, call me” instead, he prefers to fuck around pushing buttons. The nett effect of this policy was this:

HP Printer Admin  locked

Yep, Admin Locked. Just about every useful setting was now untouchable. FFS.

Of course the above image came with denials too. “I didn’t do that! All I did was…” IT peeps have heard that one before, that’s the “I didn’t do it” story. Anyway, the locking didn’t really affect anything, seeing as the printer was already set up, accessible on the network & doing what printers are supposed to do. So I kinda forgot about the Admin Lock…

Problem Arises

Until very recently that is, when I moved the printer to another location & the Admin Lock reared its ugly head by refusing to allow permission to join the new WiFi network. & a bunch of other refusals too. Refusing to do my bidding? Grrr. It’s fkn useless with this damn Admin Lock thing in place!


Was I going to accept that the lock was a permanent thing? Hell no! Not without some research & experimentation anyway. First up, the User manual. Nope, nothing in there, what a waste of time reading that was. It’d be more productive shaving your head with a cheese grater.

Next step – Hewlett Packard are a massive company with a comprehensive range of product, so it follows that they’d also have a huge online support presence. Their consumer product support forums are a fountain of knowledge – if you know how to look. Every question is repeated over & over, per model & per year, as new owners flock to the forums with exactly the same problem as last year’s purchasers did. Sorting the fluff from the feathers isn’t always easy.

Plus, as mentioned above, HP have a policy of keeping their unlock mechanisms to themselves. **sigh**  So I wasn’t surprised to see the regular response to a “Halp! My HP Printer is Admin Locked” query being  an HP employee posting “I have sent the secret sauce to your Inbox.” Which is no use to anybody – except the recipient. Could I be bothered posting the same question & waiting for the same answer? No, I could not.

Some quick hackity hack hack hack on the keyboard & I found myself a copy of the secret sauce email. Which will no longer be secret sauce, from today the solution will be just plain old sauce. Because there’s no need to keep this knowledge secret any more. It’s not that important, releasing this information will cause exactly zero deaths. Nobody die.

OK, so your HP Printer is Admin Locked.  Here’s what you do:

From the home screen press the unlit Return icon 3 times very quickly.  The screen will then change to show a single menu item – “Support Menu” which you’ve never seen before.

Next, yes, you’ve guessed it – Press “Support Menu”

Use the up / down arrows to select “Resets Menu” & press OK. By now, you’re feeling the thrill of the chase.

You can select either of two choices:

Partial reset or

Semi-Full reset – grab this one to clear your Admin Lock & return the HP Printer to out-of-box settings. Selecting this will turn the printer off, so you’ll need to use the Power On switch to fire it up again.

Follow those simple steps & your printer has returned control to you.  \0/

36 thoughts on “HP Printer Admin Locked [Solved]

  1. I love you! You have a new fan in Brussels. I feel so lucky I found this post. We had this problem after changing our router. Shame on HP.

  2. Holy moly that’s grubby business – so you have to call out one of their techs ($$$$$$).
    thank you so much for this 🙂

  3. This did it for me. Thank you so much! I’m glad someone is out there working to make the secret sauces of the world not so secret (at least the ones that shouldn’t be secret) Kudos!

  4. OMG!!! This method SOOOO worked IMMEDIATELY!!! That is so awesome! YOU are so awesome!!! Thank you SOOO much!!!

  5. BRAVO! I have a HP OfficeJet 9010 (9018e from Costco) and it said it needed ink, then promptly stuck the ink holder all the way to the right, which is unreachable. I did your magic super secret reset, and was able to get that to move again.

    Then the printer would only display a message on the screen “Thanks for getting HP ink”, with an OK button that wouldn’t go away. Once again I used your magic super secret reset trick and the message on the screen went away.

    Thank you!

  6. Thank you!

    “Wireless feature has been disabled. Contact the person who set up the printer. ”

    I had to do the secret menu and then go to network and reset the wireless and it worked perfectly. 3 days stress, but problem solved

  7. Works for my HP Officejet 9010. Carefully note the location of the return arrow on the control panel. Then when it is unlit tap 3 times to get the Support Menu. Thank you!
    This saved me from having to get a new printer after getting a new router. Initially I was unable to enter the new WiFi settings because all the options were greyed-out.

  8. Whoa… Steve went back in time to find this solution then forward in time to post a thank you! Steve, I’m gonna need lotto numbers…. Also to OP Sys Admin here … You are appreciated. 08/2021

  9. Thank you so much for this easy fix – I spent hours/days trying to figure out why suddenly all the margins shifted when I copy and it would not let me fix it, said “locked by the administrator) which is me and no way to unlock it. This has been super helpful. Thank you again!!!!

  10. OMFG!!! I’ve been trying to figure this out for the past few days and at no point did HP mention anything about a “secret” menu. Thank you!

  11. OMG!! THANK YOU! I have been messing around with settings, downloading, disabling, rolling back, drivers, researching the “this feature is locked by the person who set up this printer” aka.. me! And no. I did not hp. But, we have many users in the home as well, so I don’t know what happened and when, but I COULD not find the solution.. running hp troubleshooting guides, “chatting” with their robots. Literally weeks. And I just came across your post now and IT WORKED! Thank you so much for sharing this “secret” with us. Bc I was going to just go buy a new printer today if I couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t live with connecting through Ethernet and emailing my printer everything I wanted printed. Although great features, I wanted the FULL features of the device, being I bought it for that reason. A 3 second fix, that I found NOWHERE in the entire HP world during my wks long search…… although frustrated with hp, again, very much thankful to you!

  12. Mine will not turn off unless I unplug it and then it’s comes on but does not fully reboot. The on and off button does not work

    1. My printer is lock!!! Don’t have glue on how to fix it! Printer is connected according to printer screen!! Have turn it off and back on nothing!

      1. Yes James, I can help. I’m gonna give you some very useful advice.

        Chill the fuck out & learn some manners. Four posts from you in 20 minutes, full of angst & frustration yet without a single please – all about you & your expectations. Why should anyone here be bothered? You’re the kind of bunny that we make money from with callout fees to resolve simple issues.

        The problem is not in your printer. This is a classic PEBKAC error.

  13. It didn’t work for me. I get to the Support Menu but don’t get a Reset Menu option. Please help.

  14. This worked! Thank you!
    For those who cannot find the back button it is on the left-hand side of the screen at the bottom

  15. You are incredible!!! I have been locked out of my network settings for over a year and tirelessly searching solution after solution. This worked flawlessly. Thank you so much!

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