How to Change Out Your Printer and Toner Cartridges in These Brands of Printers

replacing cmyk ink cartridges

There are hundreds—possibly even thousands—of printers on the market. Brands like HP, Canon, Brother, and countless others offer inkjet and laser printers of all types and sizes that are appropriate for home and business use. There are professional-grade photo printers that are used by professional photographers to create museum-quality prints, and there are small desktop inkjet printers that are perfect for printing school reports.

No matter what type of printer you have, there is one thing that they all have in common—they all have cartridges that need to be replaced from time to time as they become empty or stop working. Some take printer ink while others use toner. Some require a black cartridge and a tri-color cartridge while others require individual cartridges or tanks for each color. The process for replacing them can vary quite a bit, too.

The exact process for changing out printer and toner cartridges varies between brands and models, but here are some general guidelines that apply to replacing Canon, Brother, Lexmark, and HP ink. This general process applies to many other brands, too. For specific information, consult your printer’s manual.

Write Down the Brand and Model Number of Your Printer

Before you do anything, write down the exact type of printer you have. You should be able to locate this information either on the front of your printer or on a label on the bottom or back. Write down what type of cartridges it uses, too. If you don’t know what cartridges it uses, you will be able to find out in the next step.

Remove the Old Cartridge

Carefully open the cover on your printer. The ink cartridges should automatically slide to the center. There is usually a button that you can press to release the cartridge. If you are changing toner, open the front cover to access the toner cartridge and drum unit assembly. Press the lever to release the toner, and remove it.

technician repairing digital printer

If you weren’t sure what cartridges your printer uses, there should be a label that tells you. Write down the number, along with your printer’s make and model.

Purchase New Ink or Toner

Armed with your printer’s make and model and the number from the cartridge, buying new ink or toner is easy. Ordering online from a reputable website (like InkJet Superstore!) is a great way to get a good deal on the products you need. For further savings, choose remanufactured or compatible ink rather than OEM cartridges.

Unpack Your New Cartridges

Once you have your replacement toner or ink, carefully remove it from its packaging. There may be tape or protective plastic covers over the ink nozzles in inkjet cartridges. Remove any protective coverings carefully, and throw them away. Take care not to touch any of the metal contact points or the ink nozzles. When unpacking a toner cartridge, hold the package horizontally. This helps prevent messy spills and damage.

Install Your Cartridge

Installing your new cartridge should pretty much involve doing the exact opposite of what you did to remove it. We highly recommend reviewing your printer’s manual for specific instructions because improper installation can result in poor print quality or damage to your printer.

Tip: If you don’t know where your printer’s manual is, do a quick online search for the brand and model name/number plus “manual.” For example: “HP OfficeJet 6962 manual.” This should bring up a link to a downloadable manual for your device.

When inserting a new cartridge, do not try to force it into place. If it does not seem to be going in smoothly, stop. There may be some resistance, but it should never feel like you are forcing the cartridge in. Forcing it will likely damage the cartridge, your printer, or both. With most printers, there is an audible “click” when the cartridge is correctly locked into place.

Once the cartridge is properly installed, close the cover.

Test the Cartridge

printer with paper on desk

Depending on what type of printer you have, a dialog box may pop up asking whether you would like to do a test print. If you have the option, select “Yes.” Otherwise, open up a document and print it manually to ensure that everything looks good. If the document comes out with poor quality, you may need to realign your printer heads. To learn how to do this, consult the owner’s manual for your device.

At InkJet Superstore, we carry ink and toner cartridges for hundreds of printers from leading brands like HP, Canon, Brother, Epson, Lexmark, Dell, and more. If you need new ink or toner, browse our selection for great deals!