7 Things to Do if Your Printer Doesn’t Recognize Ink Cartridges

Printers are an essential part of everyday life. We wouldn’t have textbooks, magazines, business documents, contracts, or photographs without them; but what happens if your printer suddenly hits a road bump and fails to print?

One of the biggest nuisances tied to printer performance is glitches in recognizing ink cartridges. Imagine having prepared a long lineup of files to print and your printer simply refuses to recognize the ink cartridge that you just inserted. Inconvenient, isn’t it? Printer errors could adversely affect your workflow and productivity.

This common error usually occurs after installing a new ink cartridge or toner in your printer, but, on the bright side, there is no need to panic. In this blog, we discuss the 7 troubleshooting steps you can take in order to resolve a frustrating ink cartridge problem!

A man changing a printer’s ink cartridges

1. Clean Contact Ports

Ink cartridges have built-in metal contact ports that connect to the corresponding contact ports in the printer. This feature is what enables communication and functionality between the two. In the event that the metal contacts inside the printer are dirty or damaged, there is a large possibility that the cartridge won’t be read. If this is the case for your printer, you can carefully wipe the contacts down with a clean cloth.

If the contacts of the ink cartridge are the problem, you can clean their contacts with a lint-free cloth or cotton buds. Here’s how:

  1. Shut down and unplug your printer.
  2. Carefully remove the ink cartridge or toner and place it onto a flat surface.
  3. Identify the metal contacts on the cartridge.
  4. Identify the connection points inside the printer.
  5. Lightly wipe the metal contacts with a dry lint-free cloth or cotton buds in order to remove any dirt, duset, or residue. Keep in mind that you need to wipe them carefully and gently in order to prevent any damage. Do this for both the ink cartridge and the printer’s contact points.
  6. Place the ink cartridge back into the printer.
  7. Power the printer back on.
  8. Try printing again.

2. Internal Memory Reset

When you install new ink cartridges, your printer should automatically recognize them and reset the internal memory accordingly. This feature ensures that ink levels are displayed with accuracy. While this is a standard function of printers, it’s unavoidable for them to encounter glitches every once in a while. In such instances, your printer may fail to recognize the ink cartridge as a new one. To avoid this ink cartridge problem, make sure your printer restarts and resets after you install new ones.

3. Remove the Protective Strips

When you unbox your ink cartridges, you will see that they are protected with plastic strips. If you forget to remove them before installing the ink cartridge, your printer will not be able to recognize it. So, always ensure that the protective strips are detached before proceeding to the installation of the cartridge.

4. Ensure Proper Ink Cartridge Insertion

Another common reason as to why your printer doesn’t recognize ink cartridges is due to user error. There is a possibility that it didn’t properly click into the designated slot. If this is the case, you should lift the cover and double-check in order to verify that the cartridge is clicked into place. Otherwise, it would not be possible for the printer to detect it. After checking if the ink cartridge is properly installed, close the cover and try again.

5. Check for Printer Updates

When installing a new ink cartridge, it is often required to update the printer’s firmware. Update as needed in order to establish proper printing functions.

6. Ensure Purchase of Correct Consumable

While it isn’t a typical occurrence, it does happen that the consumer accidentally purchased the wrong type of ink cartridge or inserted it into the wrong slot. If this is the case, you’ll just have to buy the correct cartridge or move it into its corresponding slot, respectively.

7. Avoid Using Refilled Ink Cartridges

If you have been using refilled or non-OEM ink cartridges, you may encounter issues with printer performance. Ink cartridges that have been refilled run the risk of damaging the integrity of your printer by leaking into it. It’s important to utilize OEM or original cartridges to avoid a future ink cartridge problem.

An employee wipes clean a company printer

Tips for Printer Maintenance

In order to ensure that your printer consistently performs at an optimal level and never fails to recognize your newly purchased ink cartridges or toner, it is imperative that you properly and regularly maintain it.

The Manual is There For a Reason

It is extremely tempting to just ignore the manual or user guide, but this is one of the principal reasons why most of us encounter issues with our printers down the road. Before you install your printer, make it a priority to read the entire manual first. It is a helpful source of information that supplies you with everything you need to know about parts, warranty, installation, and troubleshooting.

This way, you can be sure that you won’t be doing anything to damage your printer. Plus,
reading the manual guarantees that you’ll be able to use it smoothly and efficiently.

Place Your Printer in An Optimal Spot

Like most appliances, printers also need to be well placed for optimal results. It is important to keep it away from high temperatures, moisture, or dry air. These elements can damage your printer by clogging the print head, resulting in low-quality output.

Turn Off When Not in Use

Most of us just leave the printer on standby all day, but this could damage it severely. Make it a point to turn off the printer when it isn’t in use for a long time. This aids in increasing its longevity and ensuring that the ink cartridges do not dry up too easily.

Replace Cartridges As Needed

One of the core properties of maintaining your printer is replacing the ink cartridges as needed. Remember to purchase only branded and high-quality ink cartridges, as aftermarket products or less expensive ink items can taint the printer performance and output quality.

Another factor to take into account is the timing of when you replace the ink cartridges. Do not wait for the ink to dry out completely. Once your printer sends you a notification that the ink levels are running low, refill them as soon as possible. If you do not replace them immediately, there is a possibility that the printer head will get damaged.

Deep-Clean The Printer On a Regular Basis

A printer should be cleaned inside and out after use because it has delicate parts that tend to get coated in dust. Use a lint-free cloth or moist cotton swab to clean print heads and to wipe the exterior where dust and grime often settle.

Install Latest Drivers

Another effective method to keep your printer conditioned is updating drivers. Some printers come with automatic updates, but others require that you do it manually. If the software is outdated, your printer may fail to render high-quality results. Keep your printer consistent and streamlined by updating when necessary.

Use the Right Ink

Different printer brands and models require different types of ink, as they all function on specified technology. Therefore, before you purchase new ink cartridges, keep in mind what kind of ink is compatible with your unit.

Additionally, refrain from using non-OEM ink cartridges, as they will stain and smear easily, unlike their original counterparts. Moreover, they tend to harm the integrity of your printer in the process.

A printer printing high-quality charts and graphs

High-Quality Printers for All Your Document Management Needs

A major factor that affects the ink cartridge recognition ability all comes down to the type of printer you choose to purchase. Whether they are being used in an office environment, school setting, or home, quality should always be a top priority.

Choose high-quality office equipment from Busys.ca; our printing products range from trusted brands like Toshiba, Canon, and Konica Minolta. Busys.ca is a client-focused company with over 35 years of experience. Our company has solidified its status as the premier document management solutions provider in the country. We strive to evolve and grow in order to continuously provide our valued clients with advanced printer and copier technology and exceptional customer service.

You won’t ever have to worry about another ink cartridge problem again. Reach out to our office today for more information on our products and services.

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