Need to change the ink for your Canon, HP, Brother, or Epson printers? This guide will show you how!
Here are two points to consider before replacing the ink in any printer:
- Use genuine printer ink or toner: It is recommended that you use genuine ink or toner cartridges (see below), specific to your printer’s brand and model. This is because the quality for third-party cartridges can vary widely—with a poorly designed generic ink cartridge, you may experience ink leakage and other printer issues upon installation.
- Check the use-by date: Before you purchase a printing cartridge, do check that its use-by date is valid. Printer cartridges do expire as they tend to dry up or degrade over time, especially if they are not properly stored.
What to Do if Printer Doesn’t Recognize Ink or Toner Cartridge
Even if you have purchased a genuine product that is within its use-by date, you may encounter a situation where your printer does not recognise the new cartridge.
Why is this so?
One reason could be the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, which is happening worldwide due to Covid-19 supply chain disruptions. As a result, printer manufacturers such as Canon have been shipping ink or toner cartridges without the standard identification chips.
Fortunately, printer manufacturers have issued guides on how to install and manage these new printer cartridges. To find them, visit the FAQs or troubleshooting pages of your respective printer models, on their official websites.
Still experiencing issues with your genuine brand-new cartridge? Contact your printer supplies vendor, such as RAM E, for assistance.
What’s the Difference Between Ink and Toner Cartridges?
In general, ink cartridges contain liquid ink and are used by inkjet printers, while toner cartridges are used by laser printers and contain toner (a dry powder).
Most homes and small businesses use inkjet printers, which are ideal for low-volume printing, while users of laser printers tend to require larger volume printing.
For inkjet printers, there are two common print cartridge combinations:
- 2 cartridges: a black cartridge and a tri-colour cartridge (with cyan, magenta, and yellow ink)
- 4 or more cartridges: a black cartridge and individual colour cartridges
Does your printer cater for high-volume printing needs, such as in an office or a school? Then it is likely a laser printer, which uses a toner cartridge or cartridges.
A printing toner is a dry, powdery substance that fuses onto paper with the help of a component known as the ‘drum unit.’ If your laser printer was chosen with convenience in mind, the drum unit will be built into the toner cartridge, and you will be changing them both at the same time.
For monochrome laser printers, you will only need to purchase black toner cartridges. Colour laser printers, on the other hand, will use four toner cartridges for printing—black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. These are normally used by larger organizations for commercial purposes.
How to Change the Ink for a Canon Inkjet Printer
Do you own a Canon inkjet printer? Need help to replace your Canon printer ink?
Many Canon ink cartridges are referred to as FINE cartridges. In other words, they have a built-in mechanical printhead for transferring ink onto paper, which incorporates the FINE technology. If your printer uses Canon FINE cartridges, you will also be replacing the printhead each time you change the ink.
While Canon inkjet printer models are designed differently, the general steps for changing a Canon ink cartridge are similar:
- Check that you have the correct replacement ink.
- Power up your Canon printer, and open the Paper Output Tray.
- Open the printer cover. The ink cartridge holder will slide into position for you to access it easily.
- On the ink cartridge holder, you should see a tab that you can pinch to unlock the cartridge cover. If there is no cartridge cover, simply press down on the ink cartridge to remove it.
- Remove the packaging and protective tape from your new cartridge, and hold it by its sides with the nozzles facing the printer.
- Insert the new cartridge into the ink cartridge holder—a ‘click’ sound will let you know that it’s securely in place.
- Close the printer cover.
For full details and diagrams, refer to Canon’s guide for removing and installing FINE ink cartridges.
How to Change the Toner for a Canon Laser Printer
Wondering how to change the toner cartridge for Canon laser printers? Here are the basic steps:
- Open your Canon laser printer’s front cover. Some Canon printers will alert you to replace the cartridge once an existing cartridge is empty. If this is the case, you will typically press an “eject” button to proceed, and the front cover or door of your Canon printer will flap open.
- Remove the empty toner cartridge.
- Take the new toner cartridge out of the box, and gently rock it side to side (five or six times) to evenly distribute the toner inside the cartridge.
- Remove all tabs, tape, and protective covers from the new toner cartridge.
- Insert the new toner cartridge into your Canon printer.
- Close the front cover.
For full details and diagrams, refer to Canon’s guide for removing and installing toner cartridges.
Need the instruction manual for a specific Canon printer model? Locate your Canon printer to get to the official Canon resource page.
How to Change the Ink for a HP Inkjet Printer
Want to replace the ink cartridge for HP DeskJet, ENVY, or OfficeJet printers?
Use the video above as a guide, or follow these steps:
- Turn on your HP printer, and load it with plain, white paper.
- Grasp the handles on either side of the printer, then raise the ink cartridge access door until it locks into place. The ink cartridge holder will move to the centre of the printer.
- To release the ink cartridge, lift the lid on the ink cartridge slot, then gently push the lid back until it stops.
- Pull up on the ink cartridge to remove it from the slot.
- Remove the packaging and protective tape from your new cartridge, and hold it by its sides with the nozzles facing the printer. Insert the new cartridge into the ink cartridge holder.
- Close the lid on the ink cartridge slot to secure the ink cartridge into place.
- Close the ink cartridge access door.
- After you install a new ink cartridge, the printer will automatically print an alignment page. Wait for the alignment page to fully eject from the printer.
- Lift the scanner lid, and place the alignment page with the print side down on the scanner glass. Position it according to the engraved guides around the glass.
- Close the scanner lid, then touch OK. The printer will then align the ink cartridges.
For full details and diagrams, refer to HP’s guide for removing and installing ink cartridges.
How to Change the Toner Cartridge for a HP Laser Printer
Looking for instructions to replace your HP LaserJet printer’s toner cartridge? Watch the video above, or carry out these steps:
- Lift the scanner assembly, and lift the top cover.
- Hold the middle handle of the used toner cartridge, and pull it along the tracks to remove it.
- Open the new toner cartridge and remove it from its packaging.
- Hold the middle handle of the toner cartridge, and align it with the tracks inside the printer. Slide it into the bottom until it clicks into place.
- Close the top cover, and lower the scanner assembly.
For full details and diagrams, refer to HP’s guide for removing and installing toner cartridges.
Need the instruction manual for a specific HP printer model? Locate your HP printer to get to the official HP resource page.
How to Change the Ink for a Brother Inkjet Printer
Want to learn how to replace the ink cartridge for Brother inkjet printers?
Watch the video above, or follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Open the ink cartridge cover for your Brother Printer—this is usually on the right side of the printer. If one or more of the ink cartridges have reached the end of their life, the machine’s display will indicate this.
- Press the lock release lever to release the empty cartridge indicated on the machine’s display. Remove the empty cartridge from the machine.
- Open the new ink cartridge bag for the colour indicated on the machine’s display, and take out the ink cartridge.
- If the new ink cartridge has an orange protective packaging, turn the green release lever on the packaging counterclockwise, until it clicks to release the vacuum seal. Then remove all protective packaging.
- Insert the new ink cartridge in the direction of the arrow on the label. Gently push the back of the ink cartridge until it latches, and close the ink cartridge cover.
How to Replace the Toner for a Brother Laser Printer
How do you change the toner cartridge for Brother laser printers? Watch the video above, or follow these general guidelines:
- Check that you will only need to replace the printer cartridge, and not the drum unit for your Brother laser printer. (Find out more here.)
- Turn on your printer and open the front cover.
- Pull the drum unit and toner cartridge assembly out of the machine—do this by holding your Brother machine with one hand, and holding the drum unit with the other hand. Then pull the drum unit toward you and lift it up.
- Push down the green lock lever, and take the toner cartridge out of the drum unit.
- Unpack the new toner cartridge. Gently rock the cartridge five or six times, to spread the toner evenly inside the cartridge. Remove all protective packaging.
- Put the new toner cartridge firmly into the drum unit until you hear it lock into place. If you have installed it properly, the lock lever will lift automatically.
- Move the green slider on the drum unit from left to right several times, to clean it.
- Put the drum unit and toner cartridge assembly back in the printer. Close the front cover.
Need the instruction manual for a specific Brother printer model? Locate your Brother printer to get to the official Brother resource page.
How to Change the Ink for an Epson Inkjet Printer
Searching for instructions to change the ink cartridges in Epson inkjet printers?
Watch the video above, or follow these steps:
- Power on your Epson inkjet printer, and lift up the scanner unit.
- Press the red “Stop” button. If no ink cartridges are low or expended, the print head will not move. If an ink cartridge is low or expended, the print head moves that cartridge to the indicator position.
- Press the “Stop” button again to check for additional low or expended cartridges. When all low or expended cartridges have been identified, the print head will move to the replacement position.
- Squeeze the tab on the cartridge and lift the cartridge straight up to remove it.
- Before opening the new cartridge package, shake it gently four or five times.
- Remove the new cartridge’s packaging and protective tape.
- Insert the new cartridge into the holder and push it down until it clicks into place.
- Lower the scanner unit.
- Press the “Stop” button. The print head will move to its home position, for the printer to charge the ink. This takes about 1.5 minutes. When the power light stops flashing but remains on, this signals that the ink charging is complete.
For full details and diagrams, refer to Epson’s guide for removing and installing ink cartridges.
Do note that Epson stopped making laser printers several years ago.
Need the instruction manual for a specific Epson printer model? Locate your Epson printer to get to the official Epson resource page.