What to do if the Canon, Epson, HP, Brother printer does not print after refilling the cartridge


Since the price of a new cartridge remains high and almost equals the cost of the printer itself, many users resort to refilling the ink bottle themselves to save money. But, despite the fact that the cartridge is full, in some cases the printer refuses to print.

Checking the settings in the operating system

It happens that the parameters of printing devices in the OS reset to base. This most often occurs when installing a new printer or fax machine. In this case, it is worth checking the correctness of the settings through the control panel.

Selecting the desired device:

  1. We call the search line (Win + S) and enter «Control Panel».
  2. Go to the «Devices and Printers» section.
  3. From the presented equipment, select the desired model and click on it with the right mouse button.
  4. In the context menu, click on the line «Set as default».

Use default printer

Another related issue is overloaded print queue. This point is especially relevant for models connected via a local network.

Clearing the print queue:

  1. In the «Devices and Printers» section, double-click on the desired model with the left mouse button.
  2. Next, open the «View print queue» item.
  3. We remove unnecessary tasks from the list or completely clear it (“Document” -> “Cancel all”).

Advice! A more radical way to reset the files sent for printing is to restart the computer. But this option will not work if the printer has an independent memory block.

The main causes of the problem in inkjet devices

Before troubleshooting a cartridge, you must check cord USB. Oddly enough, sometimes this cable is the cause of problems. If you don’t have a spare cord, try moving all the connectors or plugging the cable into a different USB port on your PC. If these actions did not improve the situation, then you need to look for other reasons why the printer does not print.

Dry ink in nozzles

At inkjet printers There is one big drawback: after a short period of time, the ink in the nozzles of the print head dries up. To prevent this from happening, you need to print something all the time, or turn on the printer once every few days (from 3 to 7) so that it “blows out” the nozzles.

ink imprint

Air got in while refueling.

The air in the cartridge filled with ink will not do much harm. Unless the paint starts to flow out of it, because inside the container there will be no necessary vacuum to keep the ink from leaking.

Another thing is when the ink runs out, and air enters the nozzles of the print head. In that case it is possible drying of paint in the capillaries of the head. Also, air can get in and dry out the head if it is parked incorrectly after the printer has finished working. It is important to check that the carriage always reaches the parking space. Only in this case, the nozzles will be protected from drying out.

Air can damage the print head, especially on Epson printers because it is non-removable. The problem is that when changing ink tanks, if it is done slowly, or when installing the CISS, when the head is outside the parking hub, the nozzles have time to dry out.

The ink is incorrect

Some users think that the ink for all printer models is the same. But in fact, even for devices of the same brand, ink may differ. The cartridge may not print due to incompatible ink being loaded into it, which entails a complete wash of the print head.

When choosing a paint, it is very important to read the instructions for it, which indicate the devices for which it can be used.

You should also pay attention to ink expiration date.

Ink expiration date

Cartridge installed incorrectly

Sometimes a situation arises when the printer does not see the cartridge. This is explained by the fact that there are electrical contacts on it, which, when installed, must ideally match the contacts inside the carriage. If for some reason there is a contact violation (dust, dried paint), then the device will not work normally. Also needs to be peeled off protective film from contactsif the ink tank is new.

Some devices, especially MFPs, will not start working until lid open. The reason for the failure of the equipment lies in the special cover sensor. Therefore, if you have installed a CISS, and the cable from it prevents the lid from closing tightly, then this sensor must be blocked, for example, with a piece of foam (blocking methods may differ for different printer models).

MFP cover

Too much paint

Many users at the next refueling try to fill the cartridge almost to the brim, which cannot be done. If the box is transparent, then you need to focus on the volume of paint at about 90%. If the cartridge is darkened, then the maximum allowable displacement must be clearly indicated in the operating instructions.

It is also worth inspecting the box for microcracks. There should not be any fresh drops on the body after refueling. It does not hurt to wipe it dry with a rag and leave it for a few minutes somewhere in a dry place to make sure there are no leaks.

laser cartridge

Sometimes, after refueling, the cartridge refuses to work normally or does not show any signs of life at all. The cause of all problems lies, as a rule, in inept user actions, and at the same time deviations from instructions.

To replace the toner in the laser cartridge:

  1. Unscrew/remove the cover to access the toner compartment.
  2. We clean the box from the accumulated old powder.
  3. We fill in a new toner (it is highly desirable branded with an eye to the brand of the printer).
  4. We remove the remnants of the powder (especially from the photocell and doctor blade).
  5. We collect the cartridge and install it in place.

Advice! It is more convenient to use a vacuum cleaner to clean the box from the powder. If the cartridge is refilled far from the first dozen times, then you should pay attention to the condition of the magnetic rollers and the cleaning blade (squeegee). If necessary, the latter are replaced.

cartridge device

cartridge device

Just like in the case of inkjet printers, laser cartridges are equipped with control chips. For some boxes, they are brought out and can be accidentally damaged during the next refueling. The proprietary software of the equipment should notify about this problem.

Problems with the chip or diaper counter

Inkjet printers use two types of cartridges: disposable and refillable. In disposables, the manufacturer installs a special chip that blocks the operation of the device after the end of the ink in the tank. Also, the printer refuses to print if the diaper counter indicates that it is full.

Control chip

Each cartridge is equipped with a small chip, which contains a variety of service information. The chip is quite fragile, and it is not difficult to damage it, for example, during the next ink refill. Most proprietary applications that serve the printer signal the failure of the microcircuit.

Chip on cartridge

Chip on cartridge

If such a message appears, then the first step is to inspect the chip for contamination. Dried paint can be removed with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, or with an ordinary rubber band if there is not much dirt. In other cases, you will need to replace the chip or the entire cartridge.

The chips also read the number of printed pages. Some boxes are limited by limits, after which they simply stop working. Flashing the microcircuit helps, or again replacing it.


Most often, this element is called a «diaper» or an absorbent pad. The absorber is necessary to remove excess ink at the time of cleaning the nozzles of the cartridge. By means of a mini-pump, a zone of reduced pressure is created in the nozzles, while in the body itself it is close to normal. Due to the difference in pressure, the clots of paint are pushed out and fall onto the gasket.

Many devices can monitor the level of absorption of the absorber and issue appropriate messages or an error code. If the «diaper» is completely clogged with ink residue, then the printer may refuse to print.

Pampers filled with ink

Pampers filled with ink

In a good half of cases, replacing the gasket is a rather time-consuming procedure, so it is better to leave this matter to specialists. In addition, not every utility allows the user to reset the pollution indicator counter.

There is no universal method to eliminate problems with a diaper and a chip, since the design of the devices is different. Different printer models have different troubleshooting methods.

Troubleshooting Brother printers (MFPs)

Brother printers do not have sensors that monitor the overflow of the diaper with waste ink, and therefore the control of the adsorber is carried out at the software level. The calculation is made on the basis of the number of prints that came out of the machine, as well as the number of head cleanings (forced and regular). After some time of operation of the unit, the program counter determines that it is time for the diaper to be overfilled, and blocks the printer, while the message “Cleaning” or “Error 46” is displayed on the display of the device. No additional software is required to reset the counter. The apparatus is provided reset function through the service menu. To get into it, do the following.

  1. Unplug the machine’s power cable from the socket.
  2. While pressing and holding the “MENU” key, connect the power cable to the mains.
  3. Wait until the message “Maintenance” appears on the screen, which is displayed for a couple of seconds. At this moment, you need to have time to remove your finger from the “MENU” key. If it doesn’t work, then unplug the outlet and do it all over again.
  4. Pressing “+”, wait until the number 8 appears, then press “OK”.
  5. Using the “+” key, select the number 2, and after “OK”. After these steps, you should see the message “MACHINE ERROR” or “MACHINE ERROR 00”. If such a message does not appear, but some other one is displayed, then it will not be possible to reset the diaper counter.
Brother printer

Brother printer

Next, you need to go to the software reset procedure itself:

  • follow the steps above up to point 3 (inclusive);
  • then use the “+” button to select the number 0 and then press the “OK” button, the image “00:00 XX:XX” will appear, where XX:XX is the time;
  • now you need to press the “BLACK AND WHITE” key (it, as well as the “COLOR” key, can be found near the “START” button) until the inscription “PURGE: xxxxxx” appears (instead of xxxxxxx there can be any numbers).

At the next stage, for the inscription “PURGE”, you must enter a special code “2783”:

  • use the “+” key to find the number 2 on the display and click on “OK”;
  • further, “+” → “7” → “OK”;
  • “+” → “8” → “OK”;
  • “+” → “3” → “OK”.
  • after that you should see the message “PURGE:00000”;
  • by pressing the “BLACK & WHITE” key, select “FLUSH: xxxxxx”;
  • repeat all the actions that were done after selecting the inscription “PURGE”;
  • after selecting the number 3 and pressing “OK”, you will see the message “FLUSH:00000”, then turn off the printer, unplug it from the outlet and turn it on again.

After resetting the counter, the printer will continue to operate. It is also recommended to remove the diaper itself, rinse it and dry it, but this will require disassembling the device. To understand how to do this, a separate article is required.

Solution for Canon printers

Canon ink tanks have a chip that counts the amount of ink left in them. When, according to the «opinion» of the chip, the ink runs out, an error message appears or an empty cartridge appears. Therefore, it is necessary turn off the counter.

If Canon PG510 / 440 / 426 ink tanks are installed, then click «OK» in all messages that appear on the machine’s display. Press «OK» until a message appears telling you to press the button to turn on the paper feed. Hold it down for a few seconds and the paint counter will reset. For other cartridges, the reset occurs after pressing the button with the image of a triangle in a circle for 5-10 seconds. or in the printer settings on the PC.

The manufacturer of printing equipment Canon uses 2 types of printheads in its devices: non-removable and removable, located directly on the cartridge.

We revive Epson printers

Ink accounting in Epson printers is done by their own software (firmware). Therefore, no matter how much ink you add, the program will assume that the tank is empty and block printing.

Ink Accounting Software

To return the device to work, it is customary to use PrintHelp program, which is freely available on the Internet and is free. In addition, it can be used for most Epson printing equipment.

PrintHelp Program

With this program, you can not only reset the ink, but also monitor their amount. Also, the program is able to determine the overflow of the diaper and, if necessary, reset it.

Software ink reset

Ink counter reset message

Restoring HP printers

It’s no secret that HP 121, 27, 28, 56, 57, 21 and 22 ink tanks are refillable. At the same time, you need to be careful not to allow the complete exhaustion of ink, topping them up in time. When the chip determines that the ink is running out (but there is still ink), a message is displayed about this: an exclamation mark appears next to the problematic ink tank. In this case, you must click on «Continue», thereby turning off ink level monitoring. The disadvantage of this method is that you will not be able to see the ink level.

If after that the ink is not added and continue to print, then after they are used up, the sensor will work, which determines the actual amount of ink, and block the operation of the printer and the chip itself. A cross will already appear opposite the cartridge. If this happens, you will have to replace the chip or ink tank. Although there are several ways reset the chipto display the ink level.

Place the ink bottle on the table with the contacts up and do the following.

  1. You will need to seal 1 contact, highlighted in green in the figure, with adhesive tape. It is important that only 1 contact is sealed.
  2. After that, you need to insert the ink tank into the machine, click “OK” that will appear in the message box, and print out the internal test of the unit.
  3. Remove the ink tank from the printer again.
    Contact sealing scheme
  4. Next, you need to close another contact. You can choose any (blue, purple, red) without removing the sticker from the previously closed contact.
  5. Insert the part back into the printer, click OK, and print a test page.
  6. Remove the ink tank from the machine again.
  7. Remove the sticker from the first contact, then return the part to the machine. You should wait until the unit “sees” the ink tank, then remove it.
  8. You will need to remove the sticker from the second contact, wipe all contacts with alcohol, and install the ink tank back into the printer.

The meaning of these manipulations is as follows: four different cartridges are replaced, after which the information about the identifier of the refilled ink tank is erased from the device’s memory, and it, inserted fifth, is considered as new. After that, the printer will assume that there is ink, and display its level in the containers.

The second method is suitable if the first one turned out to be ineffective:

  • seal the first contact, insert the ink bottle into the device, and print out the test, as in the first method;
  • without removing the sticker from the first contact, it is necessary to glue three contacts to the rhinestone, as shown in the figure;

Print head pinout

  • insert the part into the machine and print out the test;
  • remove all stickers and replace the ink bottle, remembering to clean the contacts with alcohol.

Checking the cartridge with proprietary software

In this case, there is no need for direct contact between the user and the cartridges: the procedure is controlled through the printer software. You can find it on the official website of the hardware manufacturer in the «Drivers and Utilities» section.

Nozzle cleaning and calibration:

  1. Open the «Control Panel».
  2. Go to «Devices and Printers».
  3. Click on the desired model.
  4. Select the line «Print settings».
  5. In the window that appears, we find the section «Service» («Maintenance», etc.).
  6. Click on the icon of the required procedure.
Nozzle check

Nozzle check

Most utilities allow you to check the nozzles, clean the print head and calibrate it. Purge nozzles in time takes about 1-2 minutes, while actively consuming ink. Therefore, the cartridge must be filled at least 50%. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated.

Flushing fixed printheads

Before you start washing this part, you will need to prepare a small container in which the washing process will take place. It can be a saucer, a plastic box with small sides, a photo bath, etc. You will also need: gauze or bandage, a pair of syringes (10 ml), plastic and rubber tubes that are in medical droppers. Rubber bands will be needed if a strong blockage is found, which is not removed by soaking.

For washing, it is recommended to use the washing liquid sold in ink shops. But, since the price of liquids is quite high, you can use household chemicals, namely “Mister Muscle” (MM) for washing glasses, containing ammonia.

Note that the color of the chemical is either green or blue. Other colors of liquid will not be suitable for flushing.

Mister Muscle

Next, you need to remove the print head itself. Since there are a great many devices of this type, each case has its own nuances. A video of the process of removing the head for any printer can be found on the Internet.

The easy way

So, when everything is ready, do the following.

  1. Draw MM into the syringe.
  2. Cut off 2 small pieces of gauze. Fold the first one so that it is the size of the bottom platform of the PG, then put it in a saucer and soak with MM. Crumple the second piece and also soak a little with glass liquid.
  3. Turn the steam generator upside down and use a crumpled (moistened) piece of gauze to remove all the dirt from it. You may need to change a few gauze pads.
    floating head
  4. Install the PG on the prepared section of gauze in a saucer. Using a moistened MM gauze swab, remove dirt from the fence grates (carefully so as not to break them).
    Floating head on gauze
  5. After removing the rubber bands from the inkwells, rinse them under water to remove dried paint, and wipe the places where they were with gauze.
  6. Further, it is necessary to drop one drop of MM onto the gratings of the intakes using a syringe.
    Instillation from a syringe
  7. Once the MM has been absorbed, add 1 more drop to the grates. So you need to repeat it many times, and change the piece of gauze under the head as it gets dirty. When the moment comes that the liquid flowing through the nozzles will not stain the gauze, then the washing can be completed.
  8. To check the quality of the washing, fold a small piece of gauze in half, moisten it well with MM, and put the PG on it for about 1 hour. If after the expiration of time the gauze remains clean or with weak ink stains, but without areas with intense contamination, then the PG can be inserted into the apparatus.
  9. After installing the head in the printer, it is necessary to run the cleaning of the steam generator 2-3 times to remove the remaining MM.

In the event that a drop of liquid does not soak into the grate, leave it for a while to soak. Remove it from time to time with a tissue and reapply.

For severe blockages

When the napkin stops staining, but the liquid still does not pass, you will have to use the following washing method, which is used with severe blockages.

  1. Select tubes of suitable diameter so that they can be put on the nozzles through which the ink enters the head. The tubes should be about 5 cm long and fit snugly.
  2. After installing the tubes, place the head on the gauze in the saucer and pour MM into them. From time to time, liquid should be added to the tubes, which will gradually leave through the nozzles. Also, do not forget to change the gauze in the saucer as soon as a puddle appears near it.
    Tube installation
  3. If in one or more tubes the MM descends very slowly or stands still, it is recommended to leave the head in this position for several hours, and preferably overnight.

Before installing the head in the printer, you need to “drip” it so that it does not dry out. To do this, drop a few drops of flushing liquid into the gratings of the ink channels.

Don’t forget to run a hard head cleaning to fill the head with ink.

Washing the print head on the cartridge

This recovery method is suitable for both Canon printer cartridges and HP ink cartridges, which have a built-in head, and schematically look like the following figure.

Print head design

First, you need to determine if the cartridge is really dry if the printer does not print. To do this, take toilet paper and press the bottom of the ink bottle to it, where the nozzles are located. If the ink imprint on the paper is clear, then the head is not dry. If there is no print or it is weak, then it is necessary to soak the nozzles. The easiest and fastest way to soak is to put a few drops of MM on the nozzles. To do this, turn the part upside down, as shown in the figure.

Soaking the cartridge

After 10 minutes, remove the liquid with a nozzle cloth and check if the ink passes through the paper. If this method did not help, then you can put the part to soak for a longer time (2-3 hours) in a container with MM.

For better penetration of liquid to the nozzles, for example, a piece of a toothpick can be placed under the ink bottle so that the nozzles do not touch the bottom of the container, but are immersed in the solution.

Nozzles in liquid

After soaking, it is necessary to wipe the part dry with a napkin, especially the contact group, insert it into the printer and start a deep cleaning. Then run a nozzle check test. If you are not satisfied with the result, you can try blow the nozzles through the air intake hole in a cartridge.

Air intake hole in the cartridge

To do this, do the following:

  • cut the medical needle to half and put it on the syringe;
  • in order to ensure a tight fit of the syringe to the body of the inkwell, any soft rubber band should be put on the needle;

Soft rubber on the syringe needle

  • insert the syringe with air into the opening of the cartridge and press it firmly so that the elastic band provides a tight fit;

Connecting the syringe and PG

  • start gently pushing air into the inkwell, after placing a piece of toilet paper or a napkin under it;
  • as a result, ink should flow from the nozzles;

Ink from the print head

Thus, “color” cartridges with 3 holes on top are also blown.


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