How to Put Ink in a Printer

How to Put Ink in a Printer

Discovering that your printer has run out of ink can be a frustrating interruption, especially when you’re greeted with faded documents or those alarming low-ink warnings that threaten your productivity and downtime. 

But don’t let a depleted ink cartridge stall your workflow. Learning to quickly replace your printer’s ink is essential, and we’re here to guide you through the process. While specific guidelines will vary from brand to brand, here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Turn on your printer to access the cartridge area.
  2. Open the printer lid to reveal the ink cartridges.
  3. Remove the old cartridge carefully to avoid spills.
  4. Unpack and prepare the new cartridge, avoiding contact with the nozzle.
  5. Insert the new cartridge until it clicks into place.
  6. Close the lid and resume printing.

Whether it’s a critical business report or your child’s project due tomorrow, we’ll help you get back to printing without delay. But before we get into how to put ink in a printer, we want to let you know that we pay cash for toners if you have bulk cartridges that you don’t know what to do with. 

We offer competitive rates for your unopened cartridges, ensuring that your printing needs are not only met but also more rewarding.

How to Put Ink in a Printer: Steps for Epson, HP, and Canon

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 a 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. Otherwise, let’s start with Epson printers.

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.

For more information, read our detailed guide on how to change ink in Epson printer. In the meantime, let’s turn our attention to how to put ink in a printer for those using an HP.

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.

Still having trouble making the change? Read our more detailed overview of how to change ink in HP printer. Otherwise, we’ll walk you through the Canon printer guidelines below.

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!

You can learn more about how to change the ink on a Canon printer in our blog, but these 5 steps should empower you to make the switch quickly and easily.

Signs You Need to Put Fresh Ink in Your Printer

Knowing when to replace your printer ink is crucial to avoid the frustration of faded prints or the abrupt halt of a printing job. Here are some unmistakable signs:

  • Faded Prints: When your documents start to look lighter than usual, or colors aren’t as vibrant, it’s a clear indicator that your ink levels are low.
  • Streaks or Lines: If you notice streaks or lines across your prints, it could mean that the ink is running low or the nozzles are clogged.
  • Ink Warning Lights: Modern printers come with smart technology that alerts you through LED warning lights or on-screen messages when it’s time to replace your cartridges.
  • Poor Print Quality: Blotchy prints or inconsistent color distribution are often signs that your ink cartridge is either drying out or nearly empty.
  • Printer Software Notification: Printer software installed on your computer will often notify you about low ink levels and advise when to obtain a replacement.

Reacting promptly to these signs ensures continuous print quality and prevents potential damage to your printer caused by running on empty.

Tips on Extending the Life of Printer Ink

Getting the most out of your printer ink not only saves money but also reduces environmental impact. Here are some strategies to stretch your ink further:

  • Use Draft Mode: This setting uses less ink and is perfectly adequate for internal documents.
  • Print in Black & White: Color ink tends to be more expensive. When color isn’t necessary, opt for black and white printing to save your color cartridges.
  • Keep Your Printer Nozzles Clean: Clogged nozzles can cause your printer to consume more ink. Regular cleaning ensures efficient use of ink.
  • Turn Off Your Printer Properly: Always use the power button to turn off your printer. This positions the cartridges in a cap that prevents them from drying out.
  • Use Print Preview: Before printing, use the print preview function to ensure everything is correct. This avoids unnecessary prints and saves ink.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Graphics: If printing from a webpage, select only the text you need. Extraneous images and graphics consume more ink.
  • Store Cartridges Correctly: If you have spare cartridges, store them in a cool, dry place and keep them upright as recommended by the manufacturer.

Put these tips to the test and you’ll effectively extend the printer toner lifespan. With that being said, it’s time we wrapped up this guide and left you with a few parting tips on how to put ink in a printer.

Final Thoughts on How to Put Ink in a Printer

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. We have tips on how to tell if an ink cartridge is empty by looking at it, what is printer ink made of, how to fix dry ink cartridge, ink vs toner, types of printer ink, what type of printer uses toner, and more.

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