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How to Put Ink in a Printer

How to Put Ink in a Printer

Changing printer ink cartridges is usually a straightforward process. However, different brands of printers may require you to follow different procedures for changing ink. That’s why we’ll be explaining how to put ink in your printer, whether you have an Epson, HP, or Canon brand device (the three most popular printer brands currently). 

If your printer brand isn’t covered in this article, or your printer model requires different instructions, try searching your printer brand and model number on Google. That should point you in the right direction. 

Epson Printers

Before attempting to put ink in your Epson printer, make sure that it is turned on so that you can access its display. You won’t be able to swap out ink cartridges if your printer is turned off.

1. Lift the top lid of your printer. Note, this is not only the top lid where the scanner is, but the entire top lid of the printer.

2. Set your printer to the correct mode, using its display. Starting at the display home screen, press the right arrow icon until you find the “Setup” option, and press “OK”. Then, press the right arrow again until you reach “Maintenance,” and press “OK”. Finally, press the right arrow until you see the “Ink Carriage Replacement” option, and press “OK”. After pressing “OK” on the “Ink Carriage Replacement” option, the ink cartridges in your printer will slide to the right side of the open tray. 

3. Remove the used ink cartridge. For safe handling of the used cartridge, hold firmly with two hands while lifting it from your printer. Printer ink stains when spilled, so be careful.

4. Prepare the new ink cartridge to be inserted. Before opening the cartridge package, give it a good shake, as this will help to prime the ink (don’t shake the cartridge outside of its package, since this may cause ink to leak. Then, remove the new cartridge from its packaging and peel off any protective tape or plastic, EXCEPT FOR the plastic covering the ink nozzle. DO NOT remove the label on the side of the cartridge either. Doing so will cause the ink to leak and the cartridge to malfunction. Finally, try not to touch the green “IC” area of the cartridge or nozzle.

5. Insert the new ink cartridge. Gently slide the new cartridge into position with the tab first and nozzle facing outward, until you hear the cartridge lock into place. If it’s a black ink cartridge, you will slide it into the right side of the ink tray, and if it’s a color ink cartridge, you will slide it into the left side.

6. Close your printer’s top lid. You’ll know the lid is closed when you hear the cartridges slide into place. Some Epson printers will require you to press “Start” or “OK to proceed”. After that, the new ink will be charged and ready to use.

HP Printers

Like with Epson printers, your HP printer will need to be turned on before you put ink in it.

1. Open the ink tray. The ink tray on HP printers is in the top-center area of the device, below the lid and above output tray. If you have an HP Deskjet printer, however, you will have a top lid that is more similar to an Epson printer. So, Deskjet owners, you can follow the first step in the Epson printer instructions above.

2. Remove the used ink cartridge. Simply press down on the ink cartridge until you hear it click. This will dislodge the cartridge from the ink holder, so that you can lift it out of the machine. If your HP printer has single color cartridges, remove them individually as they run out of ink.

3. Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging. Your new HP ink cartridge will be in a white package, with either a blue or black top - blue indicates color ink and black (of course) indicates black ink. Once the packaging is removed, locate the plastic protective tab on the side of the cartridge, as well as the copper-colored area of the ink nozzle. Do not touch these areas of the cartridge and nozzle, as you may cause the cartridge to malfunction.

4. Insert the new ink cartridge. Slide your new cartridge into the ink slot with the nozzles facing outward and the small plastic tabs displaying the ink number entering the printer first. As with Epson printers, color cartridges go on the left side of the ink tray, and black cartridges go on the right side.

5. Close the ink cartridge door. You should feel the door click into place, and hear the printer start up again.

Canon Printers

To put ink in your Canon printer, like with Epson and HP, you first need to turn it on.

1. Open the ink tray. Like HP printers, the ink tray on Canon printers is located in the center of the device, just above the output tray. However, for MX or MG series Canon printers, which take FINE cartridges, the ink tray opens automatically. There’s also Canon PIXMA printers, which use several smaller ink cartridges and also have a top lid that opens automatically. 

2. Remove any used cartridges from the printer. Press down on each cartridge to remove them from their holders. Then, lift the cartridges from the machine.

3. Open the new ink cartridge. Remove the cartridge from its packaging, along with any protective tape. Do not remove any warning labels and try to avoid touching any copper areas. Also, don’t shake the cartridge.

4. Insert the new ink cartridges. Slide any new cartridges into their labeled positions on the ink tray with the nozzles facing outward (Color cartridges on the left, black cartridges on the right).

5. Close the ink cartridge door. You should feel the door click into place, and hear the printer start up again. After a few minutes, you’ll be ready to print!

By following the above instructions for how to put ink in your Epson, HP, or Canon printer, you should be able to swap out cartridges with ease. Printers, and printer ink, can vary from brand to brand, so it’s always worth reading the instructions on your new printer before attempting to refill it. 

If you found this article helpful, check out our blog for even more printing tips. Or, if you have extra cartridges lying around, sell those unused ink and toner cartridges online for cash!