Ink cartridge error message is one of the most frustrating messages that your printer display screen may show you.
Seeing an ink cartridges not recognized error is not what you expected when you tried printing your documents today.
Now, we have good news and bad news for you, printer owners.
The good news is we can help you fix your printer showing ink cartridges not recognized at no cost to you.
The bad news is it may require you to change your ink cartridges.
The worst-case scenario is changing your inks may not be enough that you may have to replace your printer.
No need to be disappointed this early, we can still try and fix your printer.
First, let’s find out how this error happens in the first place.
Causes of Ink Cartridges Not Recognized Error
Ink cartridge error messages can be caused by different reasons. Some of them are the following:
- Defective ink cartridges
Since the error message, “ink cartridges not recognized“, clearly states that the issue is your ink cartridges, let’s cross this from the list and assume that the ink cartridges are causing the problem.
To confirm if the ink cartridges are causing the problem check the ink levels.
Once you’ve verified that your cartridges have enough inks in them, then check for your inks’ warranty.
Inks do expire. And the most common cause of ink cartridge errors are expired ink/s.
- Printhead Problem
Your printer’s printhead is the most important and expensive part of your machine. Printheads are very sensitive and can be easily damaged if not handled carefully.
If you don’t know where your printhead is, it is the part of your printer that your ink cartridges are housed.
Printheads can accumulate air and debris over time and must be cleaned at least once a month. A dirty printhead may cause print quality issues like being unable to print in black or color and ink system failure.
- Printer System Malfunction
The ink cartridge not recognized error message could be a sign of a much bigger problem. A damaged printer system may not show a clear sign, but a problem with your ink cartridges may be an indication.
The bad news is if your printer has a malfunction problem, then the only solution will be to replace your old printer with a new one. Hopefully, the printer’s ink cartridge not recognized error you encounter now is not caused by a damaged printer system.
Basic Printer Checkup
We advise printer owners to do a basic printer checkup, if possible, before doing any troubleshooting steps on their multi-function printer.
To begin with the basic printer checkup.
- Turn on your printer.
- Check your printer display screen. It should not show any display problems. And your button/s should all work.
- Place a single-page document on your scanner glass,
- Click on the copy button, you may copy in black or copy in color.
If you can copy successfully, then you can proceed to the steps below.
If not, then you have a much bigger problem than just your ink cartridges not recognized by your printer.
Basic Troubleshooting for Ink Cartridges Not Recognized Error
To fix a printer ink cartridges not recognized problem, follow these troubleshooting steps.
Step 1: Hard reset your printer
To start, unplug your printer’s power cable at the back of it while it is still turned on. This is how you do a printer hard reset.
Wait for at least two minutes before you turn it on. And make sure you are connecting your printer’s power cable directly to a wall outlet.
Step 2: Remove and reinsert your ink cartridges
Once your printer is on, open the ink cartridge access door of your printer to check on your printer’s ink cartridges.
Remove them one by one, and reinsert them back into your printer. But before you put them back, do the next step.
Step 3: Check you ink cartridges warranty
Look for the warranty on each of your ink cartridge. The warranty shows the expiration date of your ink cartridge.
Yes. Ink cartridges like edible items have an expiration date.
The warranty is often embedded in your ink cartridge. It will usually show the month, date, and year of expiration. Or just the month and the year.
If one or more are already expired, replace them with brand new inks.
Step 4: Move the printhead manually
After putting all the ink cartridges back in your printer, check if the ink cartridges not recognized error message still appears.
If it still shows, then hard reset your printer again. And while you’re waiting for the two minutes to lapse, open the cartridge access door and manually move your printhead carefully.
If the printhead is on the right of the printer, carefully move it to the left side.
If it’s on the left of the printer, move it to the right side.
When the printhead is at the middle or center part of your printer, carefully move it to the right side.
Hopefully, these steps made the ink not recognized error message disappear on your printer’s screen.
If the issue persists, follow these advanced troubleshooting steps.
Advanced Troubleshooting for Ink Cartridge Error Messages
For those printer owners who still see an ink cartridge not recognized error after doing the basic troubleshooting steps. You can follow these instructions.
The first step is to do another hard reset of your printer. Remove the power cable at the back of your printer for at least two minutes before you turn it back on.
Once the printer is turned on, replace all your ink cartridges if you have replacement inks available.
If not, proceed to the next step.
Assuming that the error message still appears, then our last troubleshooting step is to do a semi-full reset.
Doing a semi-full reset will return your printer’s default settings. It’ll be like you’re getting a brand new printer since you have to set everything up again, much like a printer offline issue since you have reconnect your wireless printer to your WiFi network.
Various printers have different ways on how to initiate a semi-full reset. You may refer to your printer manual to find out how to do a semi-full reset. Or you may contact us with your printer brand and model, so we can send you the correct instructions on how to do it.
Printer Tips To Prevent Inks Not Recognized Error
If you’re able to fix your printer issue, then you might want to do some of these steps to prevent the error, ink cartridges not recognized, from reoccurring.
Use genuine inks
We highly recommend that you only use genuine ink cartridges on your printer. These are inks produced by your printer manufacturer.
Those cheap inks you see being advertised that are said to be compatible with your printer system may cost you more money in the long run. They may even cause more printer errors. Your printer’s manufacturer can void your printer warranty with them if proven that your ink problem was caused by non-genuine inks.
Clean your printhead
As mentioned earlier, your printhead is very sensitive and is quite expensive to replace. Taking care of it should be your top priority.
Doing printhead cleaning helps in removing debris and air from your printhead that may cause printer problems.
You can do it using your printer display screen or your printer software on your computer or mobile device.
We suggest cleaning the printhead at least once a month or any time you change your ink cartridges or encounter any printing-related issues like not being able to print in color.
Use your printer
Dry inks are caused by a stagnant printer system.
It is recommended that you use your printer at least once a week or every two weeks to prevent inks from drying.
You don’t even have to print several pages every week. A single-page document will do and will help improve ink circulation inside your printer.
Cover your printer
Whenever you are not using your printer, make sure that you cover it. Printer covers are inexpensive and can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Covering your printer helps lessen the time you should maintain your printer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ink Cartridge Errors
What does ink cartridge failure really mean?
An ink cartridge failure error message means there is something wrong with your printer system. It can be caused by a defective ink cartridge or a problem with your printer’s printhead.
Seeing an ink cartridge failure is a complex printer issue that if not fixed successfully will require you to buy a new printer.
Printers that show ink cartridge failure will not let you print any document and may require you to send your printer to a service center.
Hopefully, your printer is still in warranty.
If not, then you may follow our guide on how to fix printer ink cartridge failure to avoid spending on repair costs.
Should I manually clean my printhead?
We don’t recommend manually cleaning your printhead.
Cleaning your printhead on your own can cause more damage to your printer system than fix your issue.
The printhead is the most expensive and important part of your printer. You don’t want to risk damaging it.
We advise using the automatic printhead cleaning option you can access on your printer’s display screen or your printer software on your computer or mobile device.
If your printer still won’t print properly after several printhead cleaning, then you should isolate which ink cartridge is causing the issue.
Once you’ve identified which ink cartridge is causing the issue. You may replace it with a brand new ink cartridge.
How to do a hard reset on my printer?
If you’re having some printer issues, then hard resetting your printer may help you fix your printer.
To hard reset a printer, you have to unplug the power cord in your printer to turn it off. You don’t have to press the power button to turn it off. Just unplug and leave it that way for at least two minutes.
Afterward, connect the power cord back to your printer and make sure that your printer is connected directly to a wall outlet and not a power extender.
Press the power button to turn your printer on and see if everything’s fixed.
Those are the steps to hard reset your printer successfully.