How to change printer ink

If your printer runs out of ink or toner, you will need to replace the cartridge. Here’s how!

Every printer needs ink. At the simplest level, cartridges provide a printer with the ink it needs to do its job. Inkjet printers spray ink from a cartridge in microscopic droplets onto the paper. Each time you print, it uses a little more ink from the cartridge. Depending on the volume and type of printing you do, your printer ink cartridges will eventually need replacing. This could be fairly regularly in a busy office or small business, or every once in a while at home.  

How do I change the ink in my Brother printer?

If you’ve never changed the cartridge in your home or office printer before, it can seem a little daunting. However, it couldn’t be easier if you follow these simple steps. We’ve based this guidance on changing an ink cartridge on one of Brother’s award-winning printers, but the same rules broadly apply across manufacturers. 

  1. Make sure your printer is turned on. If your printer display reads ‘No cartridge, install ink’ then it’s time to change your ink cartridge.
  2. Ink cartridges are usually stored on the right-hand side of the printer. To start, open the front cover panel so you see where the cartridges are. There should be four - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Your printer display will tell you which colour has run out. Each cartridge has a small lever at the top.
  3. Click the lever to remove the old cartridge.
  4. If you’re installing cartridges for the first time, your printer may also have a green or orange protective part in the cartridge slot, which should be taken out and put to one side, but not discarded.
  5. New cartridges sometimes have a plastic dial, which needs to be turned until it clicks, and a protective covering, which you should remove. This is often done by swivelling a lever and gently pulling it clear.
  6. Once you have done this, install the new ink cartridge into its appropriate, color-coded slot in the direction indicated by the arrow on the label.
  7. Gently insert the cartridge until it clicks into place. Do this for as many cartridges as need replacing.
  8. Close the front cover panel.
  9. Your printer will now take a few minutes to prepare its ink tube system for printing. Keep your printer turned on during this period.

How do I change the toner in my Brother printer?

Toner cartridges come in sealed packaging, which is designed to protect them. While storing toner in your home or office, you should always leave the cartridge inside the packaging until it is time to install it. Toner can dry out if left out of its packaging for an extended period without being used. Cartridges should also be kept horizontal during storage and they should not be exposed to any extremes in temperature. The toner can move around inside the cartridge if stored at different angles and this could lead to print issues.

Once you’re ready to install your toner cartridge, gently remove it from the packaging and pull out the plastic tab at the end of the cartridge in one long strip. Next, carefully rock the cartridge from side to side to evenly distribute the toner. You may want to do this over a bin in case any toner falls out.

Open the front cover of your printer.

You’re now ready to fit the cartridge into the drum unit. While some laser printers have built-in drums, Brother laser printers have removable drum units which can be replaced when needed. Put the toner cartridge into the drum unit. It should lock into place with a click. You can clean the corona wire inside the drum by sliding the small green tab on the unit back and forth a few times. Now install the drum unit with the cartridge inside back into the printer.

Close the front cover of your printer.

What do I do if I get ink or toner on my hands?

If any ink or toner leaks from the cartridge and gets on your hands at any point, wash them immediately and avoid contact with your eyes. It’s important to avoid mishandling ink cartridges to prevent leakage. Spillages are more likely in inferior cartridges, which is one of the reasons we always recommend buying Brother Genuine Supplies for the highest quality and best performance.

How to check for counterfeit cartridges

Independent consumer testing has shown that buying inferior alternatives is a false economy. Counterfeit cartridges pretending to be big-name brands are also illegal and dangerous, lack quality, and risk permanently damaging your printer. Industry leaders such as Brother are working together to crack down on fakes to help protect consumers. You can usually spot counterfeit cartridges due to their poor quality, unofficial packaging, short lifespan, cheap price point, and the questionable places they are sold, but some fakes are very good, so it is worth checking for counterfeits if you are ever in any doubt.

If you’ve invested in one of Brother’s award-winning laser printers, you will want to ensure it works at its best by buying Brother Genuine Supplies. Our toner cartridges have been proven to be better quality, longer lasting and safer than non-genuine alternatives. They can also be used to reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact too through our recycling scheme. And if you handle our genuine supplies with the necessary care, they’ll reward you with high-quality, fast, and cost-effective printing.

What should I do with empty cartridges?

Remember, old cartridges should never be binned and can be recycled to minimise the impact on the environment. Brother operates a quick, easy and free return and remanufacturing programme for our genuine ink and toner cartridges. We remanufacture every part of your used inkjet cartridge at our dedicated facility. By sending used cartridges back to us, you're protecting the environment and contributing to a sustainable circular economy.


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