Have you ever been presented with a premature ‘change cartridge’ warning by your printer? This scenario should be quite familiar: your printer is happily churning out pages with no sign of fading when suddenly the low ink indicator lights-up. The thing then becomes useless until you pop in a brand-new (and probably expensive) cartridge. You might suspect that there’s still more ink and you’re probably right. It’s been widely-reported that printer manufacturers’ cut-off system is a little too eager.
Thanks to an article from Slate, an online magazine, I came across fixyourownprinter.com. The site has a forum offering tips on how to squeeze every last drop of ink out of your cartridge. Although Slate’s article focuses on laser printers, fixyourownprinter.com also covers many brands of ink-jets.
Here’s a summary of the tips from the article:
- Override the ink level gauge
- Shake the laser toner cartridge
- Cover the sensor with a small piece of dark electrical tape
- For some Canon printers, try shutting the printer off for a while to reset the status indicator
Be warned though. These procedures will almost certainly invalidate your warranty and might even break your printer. Still, they may be worth a try since—with some printers—it can cheaper to buy a newer model than replace the ink.
Those interested in the inner-workings of inkjet printers might want to see this video: