Printer Cartridge Reset – How To Reset an Ink Cartridge

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Updated February 13, 2023

When your top-rated printer runs out of ink, you know you’re going to have to shell out some cash for a replacement. In some cases, printers don’t allow you to print anything when one of the ink cartridges is low, even if you aren’t using that color. In this article, we’ll teach you how to perform a printer cartridge reset on your ink cartridge so you can get the most use out of it.

Although, if you’re having issues with seating an ink cartridge, you’ll want to read our guide on how to install an ink cartridge.


  • Printer ink cartridges can be expensive to replace on a constant basis.
  • Most ink cartridges have some onboard memory to measure ink levels, which can be reset.
  • Resetting a printer cartridge can save you money in the long run since it prevents ink waste.

Everything You Need to Know About Resetting a Printer Cartridge

You can save yourself a lot of money and frustration by resetting a printer or a printer cartridge. First, it’s important to learn how your ink cartridge works. Most ink cartridges feature a small circuit board that communicates ink levels to your printer. Unfortunately, these estimates can often be wrong, leading you to replace the cartridge too early and waste money.

What Problem Does a Cartridge Reset Solve?

To fix the problem of inaccurate ink level readings, you can actually reset your printer cartridge’s onboard memory. This process tricks the cartridge into thinking you haven’t printed anything, which in turn, gives you a more accurate ink-level reading. However, if you’re having issues with a full waste toner cartridge, you’ll want to learn how to empty that first.

Following this process can save you a ton of money over your printer’s lifespan.


Follow these simple steps to reset your printer cartridge:

STEP 1 Prepare Your Paper Clip

The only tool you need for this process is a paper clip. Bend the end of the paper clip, so you have a piece protruding away from the rest of the clip. We recommend bending the paper clip at the first curve, so you have a good length to work with.

STEP 2Remove the Printer Cartridge

Remove the ink cartridge from your printer, following your owner’s manual instructions. Be sure to properly remove the ink cartridge to prevent damage.

STEP 3 Locate the Reset Button

The reset button on most ink cartridges is located right next to the circuit board, which is green with gold metal dots. It is a small circle button.

STEP 4 Press the Reset Button

After locating the reset button, press it using the end of your paper clip. Most ink cartridges only require a single press of the button to reset it, but if it doesn’t reset, try holding the reset button for a few seconds.

STEP 5 Replace the Printer Cartridge

Replace the ink cartridge back into your printer, following the instructions in your owner’s manual. Replacing your ink cartridge may also help increase your print speed.

STEP 6Check Ink Levels

After the ink cartridge is in place, check the ink levels to ensure the reset works. If it didn’t, you may need to try again, or the cartridge is really empty, and you need to refill your printer ink. After you are done resetting your printer cartridge, you can now start printing. Before you start printing something important, you should know how to test your printer to ensure everything is working properly.

Remember, you can scan a photograph from your printer to your computer by placing the document to be scanned in the printer’s platen, and pressing start.


Is there a reset button on ink cartridges?

Yes, most modern printers use ink cartridges with onboard memory, which requires a reset button for technical troubleshooting.

Why does my printer not recognize my ink cartridge?

In most cases, your printer doesn’t recognize an ink cartridge due to improper installation or dirty connections. Remove the cartridge, clean the connections, and re-install following the proper steps as outlined in the owner’s manual.

How do I fix an HP printer cartridge error?

In general, you can fix an HP printer’s cartridge error by simply resetting the printer. Unplug the power cord, wait for a minute, and then plug it back to power it on. This clears most errors.

How do you reinstall a cartridge?

Most printers today make it incredibly easy to reinstall ink cartridges. Open the front of the printer, open the ink cartridge housing, and place the cartridge in its correct spot, based on the labels.

STAT: On average, consumers spend around $120 on black ink cartridges per year and $150 on color ink cartridges per year. (source)

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