How to Install an Ink Cartridge

Ink cartridges need to be replaced regularly, especially if your impressive inkjet printer is in a highly trafficked office environment. On average, an ink cartridge will only be able to print around 220 to 350 pages before becoming depleted.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Ink cartridges will become depleted after just 220 to 350 pages, which will necessitate a replacement.
  • You should make sure a new cartridge will integrate properly with your printer before making a purchase.
  • The old cartridge should remain in the printer until it is being replaced, so as to keep the print heads from drying out.

Changing Out the Ink Cartridges on a Printer

Once an ink cartridge has been depleted, it is time to purchase and replace it so you can go on printing. If you want to extend the lifespan of an ink cartridge, consider buying a high-yield cartridge or adjusting the resolution settings on your printer. Also, if you have trouble connecting your wireless printer to your Mac, this guide will show you how to solve that.

Insider Tip

On average, an ink cartridge will only be able to print around 220 to 350 pages before becoming depleted.

A Fast How-to Guide on Ink Cartridge Replacing

The specifics of replacing an ink cartridge will vary depending on your printer and the type of cartridge you are using, but we have assembled some general guidelines and tips to help make the process as easy as possible.

Find the Right Cartridge

Your printer instruction manual should dictate the kinds of ink cartridges that will be appropriate for use with your printer. However, this manual will likely stick to cartridges made by the printer’s original manufacturer. If you want to use generic cartridges to save money, be sure to conduct a thorough Google search to ensure full compatibility with your printer. If you are buying an off-brand cartridge, you may want to also Google some user reviews to make sure you are buying something worthwhile.

Insider Tip

Your printer instruction manual should dictate the kinds of ink cartridges that will be appropriate for use with your printer.

Leave the Old Cartridge in Printer Until Replacing

You may be tempted to remove the depleted ink cartridge right when you notice it has begun to fail, but try to avoid this impulse. Removing an ink cartridge can allow the print heads time to dry out. We recommend keeping the old ink cartridge attached to the printer until the moment you are replacing that cartridge. This will ensure that everything continues to operate at peak efficiency. Additionally, you should keep your new cartridge in its original packaging until you are ready to replace it. Opened ink cartridges can dry out in just a few weeks.

Replace the Cartridge

Again, the actual replacement process will vary here depending on your printer. Replacing an ink cartridge typically requires you to keep the printer powered on and to simply remove the old cartridge and attach the new one. You may also want to wear protective gloves to keep your hands free from ink spills. If you prefer printing in color, read this guide to know how to change your printer settings to full-color printing.

Warning

Opened ink cartridges can dry out in just a few weeks.

F.A.Q.

How many printer cartridges does an HP printer have?

This will depend on the printer itself, as HP does not have a universal standard. Typically, though, the company’s printers feature two cartridges, one for color and one for black.


Where can I buy ink cartridges?

Ink cartridges can be purchased at virtually any big-box retail store, as well as at online marketplaces such as Amazon.


Which cartridges work with my printer?

This will vary depending on your printer, but we advise checking out the instruction manual. Additionally, some generic cartridges advertise universal compatibility, so you can try one of those out.



STAT: For a print cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill site, it takes 1000 years, despite drying out in just three to four weeks. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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