hp printer not recognizing ink

There are several reasons which may cause your HP printer not recognizing ink/toner cartridge. You can take to troubleshoot and resolve the issue by reading this blog. 

Possible Reasons Which May Cause HP Printer Not Recognizing Ink/Toner Cartridge

1. Firmware Issue

As you may know, HP printers are often sold at lower prices, while the company generates profits from selling their original ink/toner cartridges. However, as more and more printer users choose high-quality and cheap compatible HP ink/toner cartridges, HP's business model has been greatly impacted. So, they found a new way to limit the development of the compatible industry, which is to frequently update the printer firmware to block non-HP cartridges. By blocking non-HP cartridges, they encourage users to purchase their genuine cartridges, which supports their business model and increases their profits.

2. Cartridge Policy & Cartridge Protection

HP allows printer users to change the cartridge policy and cartridge protection settings to limit the use of ink/toner cartridges. When the cartridge policy is turned on, HP printers can only recognize genuine HP ink or toner cartridges. So your printer can't recognize the non-genuine ink/toner cartridge. When the cartridge protection is turned on, the original ink/toner cartridges you installed can only be used in your printer. If your ink/toner cartridges are recycled and remanufactured after they are used up, they will still only work with your printer, and other users' printers will not recognize them.

3. HP Instant Ink

Many new HP printers come with an HP Instant Ink subscription plan. Before the subscription plan is canceled, the printer will only accept original ink/toner cartridges delivered under the HP Instant Ink subscription plan. If you are not using original ink/toner coming with HP Instant Ink, your printer will not recognize them.

It's worth noting that HP recently launched a new line of HP Plus (HP+) printers suffix with a letter “e”. Learn what is HP Plus and is HP Plus worth it. These are contract printers coming with low prices and several months of free HP Instant Ink. The limitation is that they do not recognize non-HP cartridges even if you have canceled the HP Instant Ink subscription plan. 

4. Incorrect Cartridge

Each HP printer model requires specific ink/toner cartridges to be used. For example, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP 4301fdw printer only accepts HP 210A toner cartridges or HP 210X toner cartridges. If you install HP 212A toner cartridges or HP 212X toner cartridges into your printer, your printer will certainly not recognize them, even thought they differ by only one number.

5. Poor Cartridge Contact

Ink/toner cartridges communicate with the printer through chips or conductive sheets. Residue or debris on the chip or conductive sheet contacts can interfere with proper communication, causing your printer not recognizing ink/toner cartridge.

6. Defective Ink/Toner Cartridge

Nothing can be 100% perfect. Ink/toner cartridges are no exception. If the ink/drum cartridges are defective during production, or damaged during shipping, they may not be recognized by the printer.

7. Printer Defect

As mentioned above, ink/toner cartridges communicate with the printer through chips or conductive sheets. For the same reason, the printer also needs to use the printer probes to detect the chips or conductive sheets of the toner cartridge. When the printer probes fail, both HP or non-HP ink/toner cartridges cannot be recognized by the printer.


How to Fix HP Printer Not Recognizing Ink/Toner Cartridge

 After understanding the possible reasons why your HP printer does not recognize the ink/toner cartridge, it is easy for us to troubleshoot and fix the issue. Here's a detailed step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot and fix the issue of your HP printer not recognizing a new ink cartridge:

Step 1: Verify Compatibility

Make sure that the ink/toner cartridges you are using are compatible with your specific HP printer model. Check your printer manual or visit the official HP website to find information on the correct ink/toner cartridges for your printer.

If you are a subscriber of HP Instant Ink, please cancel the subscription plan before using non-HP cartridges. In the event that you are using an HP Plus printer, unfortunately you can only use original HP ink/toner cartridges after canceling the subscription plan.

Step 2: Check the Cartridge Policy and Cartridge Protection Settings

Make sure that you have turned off the Cartridge Policy and Cartridge Protection. You can check and adjust the settings by following the below steps:

  • Go to setup menu by pressing “Setup”
  • Click on “System Setup”
  • Select “Supply Settings”
  • Click on “Cartridge Policy” and select “OFF”
  • Click on “Cartridge Protection” and select “OFF”

Or check our blog How To Disable HP Cartridge Protection for more details.

Step 3: Reinstall or Replace the Ink/Toner Cartridges

  • Turn off the printer and unplug it from the power source.
  • Open the printer cover to remove the ink/tonercartridge.
  • Carefully remove the new ink/tonercartridge from its packaging.
  • Insert the ink/tonercartridge into the designated slot, making sure it is properly aligned.
  • Close the printer cover firmly. 

Step 4: Clean the Ink/Toner Cartridge Contacts

  • Turn off the printer and unplug it from the power source.
  • Open the printer cover and remove the ink/tonercartridge.
  • Check for residue or debris on the ink/tonercartridge contacts.
  • Take a clean, lint-free cloth and lightly dampen it with distilled water.
  • Gently wipe the contacts on the ink/tonercartridge to remove any dirt or residue.
  • Locate and clean the contacts inside the printer that connect the ink/tonercartridges.
  • Let the contacts dry completely.
  • Reinstall the ink/tonercartridge into the printer and close the cover securely. 

    Step 5: Restart Your HP Printer

    • Make sure the printer is turned off and unplugged from the power source.
    • Wait approximately 60 seconds.
    • Plug the printer back in and turn it on.
    • Let the printer complete its startup process.
    • Check that the printer now recognizes the new ink cartridge.

    Step 6: Reset the Printer

    • See your printer manual or visit the HP support website for instructions on how to perform a reset for your specific printer model.
    • Follow the instructions provided to perform the reset, which may require pressing certain buttons or accessing specific menu options.
    • After the reset is complete, reset the printer and check that it recognizes the new ink cartridges. 

    Step 7: Downgrade HP Printer Firmware

    • Download an old HP printer firmware to your computer.
    • After downloading, follow the on-screen prompts to run the old HP printer firmware on your computer.
    • Select your printer model and send the old firmware to it. The firmware sending process might take 3-5 minutes.
    • After the firmware downgradeis complete, restart the printer and check if the problem is resolved.

    Step 8: Contact HP Support

    If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it is recommended to contact HP Customer Support. They can provide further assistance and guide you through additional troubleshooting steps specific to your printer model.

    Remember to handle ink/toner cartridges with care, follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer, and make sure the printer is turned off and unplugged before performing any troubleshooting steps.

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