Have you recently tried printing a document using your printer and saw the following words on your printer display screen “Ink System Failure“?
If you’re experiencing an ink system failure error message on your printer, then you should not lose hope. Do not assume that you have to replace your ink cartridges or printer right away.
We know how serious this problem can be, but it can still be fixed.
Before we start fixing your ink system failure problem, let’s find out why it shows up in the first place.
Causes of Ink System Failure
Since the error message “ink system failure” clearly states that the problem might be with your ink cartridges, maybe it’s a good time to check all your ink cartridges.
Do they have enough ink in them? Are they expired or not?
If you answered no to one of those questions, then you should consider replacing one or more of your ink cartridges to fix your printer’s ink system failure.
If your ink cartridges are not causing the problem, then it might be your printhead where your cartridges are in when inside your printer.
The printhead is the most expensive and most sensitive part of your printer, so making sure it’s working right can save you money and time. Printhead is the part of your printer that makes contact with the paper you’re printing on. It inputs the inks on the paper the way you want it to look.
Printheads may accumulate air and debris over time that’s why there is a process called printhead cleaning that you can do to ensure you have a clean printhead.
Because having a dirty printhead can cause printer issues like being unable to print in black or color, or even ink cartridges not being recognized.
Damaged printer system
The ink system failure error message could be a sign of a much bigger problem.
A damaged printer system does not have a clear indication, but it may be a result of other printer errors.
Unfortunately, if your whole printer system is damaged, then the only solution will be to replace your old printer with a new one.
Hopefully, the printer ink system failure you encounter now is not caused by a damaged printer system.
Basic Printer Checkup
The first step we advise printer owners do before doing any troubleshooting steps on their multi-function printer is to do a basic printer checkup.
To get started with the basic printer checkup.
- Turn on your printer.
- Check your printer screen, it should not have any display problem. And your button should all work.
- Place a one-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 you cannot copy, then you have a much bigger problem than just a printer ink system failure.
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Beginner’s Guide On How To Fix Ink System Failure
To fix a printer ink system failure, follow these steps.
Time It Takes To Fix Ink System Failure 20 minutes
Hard reset the printer
The first step in fixing your printer with an ink system failure error is by doing a hard reset.
You should do this while your printer is turned on. Unplug the power cable at the back of your printer and wait for at least 2 minutes before you put it back and turn on your printer.
Remove and reinsert your ink cartridges
Once the printer is running again, open the ink cartridge access door of your printer to check on your ink cartridges.
Remove them one by one, and reinsert them back into your printer. But before you put them back, do step #3.
Check your ink cartridges warranty
Check for the warranty on each of your ink cartridges. The warranty indicates the expiration date of your cartridge.
Yes. Inks similar to edible items have an expiration date.
The warranty is often embedded in your ink cartridge.
If they are already expired, replace them with brand new inks.
Move the printhead manually
Once you have reinserted the cartridges back, check if the error message still appears.
When the error message (ink system failure) reappears, then do another hard reset. And while you’re waiting for the two minutes to lapse, open the cartridge access door again and manually move your printhead.
If the printhead is on the right side of the printer, carefully move it to the left.
If it’s on the left side of the printer, move it to the right side.
When the printhead is at the center or middle part of the printer, carefully move it to the right side.
Hopefully, these steps made the ink system failure error message disappear on your printer’s screen.
If the issue persists, proceed to the advanced troubleshooting steps to fix the ink system failure.
Advanced Troubleshooting for Ink Cartridge Error
Now, for those who still see an ink system failure after we already hard reset the printer a couple of times. You can follow these instructions.
To start, do another hard reset of your printer. Remove the power cable from 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 extra inks with you. If not, proceed to the next step.
Assuming that the error message still appears, then our last step would be to do a semi-full reset.
Doing a semi-full reset will return your printer’s factory settings. It will be like you’re getting a new printer since you have to set everything up again including your wireless connection and your printer preferences.
Different printers have different ways on how to initiate a semi-full reset. 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 Ink System Failure
If you’re able to fix your printer issue, then you might want to practice some of these steps to prevent ink system failure from happening again.
Use genuine inks
You should only use genuine ink cartridges on your printer.
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. Your printer was not tested to use those types of inks, so its system may deteriorate if you’re going to use those instead of the inks from your printer manufacturer.
Your printer’s manufacturer can void your warranty if you encounter a problem using non-genuine inks.
Clean your printhead
Cleaning your printhead helps in removing air and debris from your printhead that may cause printer problems.
It can easily be done using your printer display screen or your printer software on your computer or mobile device.
We recommend cleaning your printer’s 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
You should utilize your printer at least once a week since this helps prevent inks from drying out. And dry inks can cause ink system failure.
You don’t have to print multiple pages every week. A single-page document will do.
Cover your printer
Whenever you are not using your printer, make it a habit to cover it. This helps block dust and dirt from accumulating on your printer.
Covering your printer can lessen the time you should maintain your printer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ink Cartridge Failure
What does an ink system failure error 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.
How to hard reset a 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.
How to clean my printer’s printhead manually?
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.
Printer Still In Error State? Maybe It’s Time To Get A New Printer!
Last update on 2022-12-03 / Includes affiliate links / Images from Amazon.com