Printer cartridges use a smart chip, which detects when ink levels are low in the cartridge.
Most printers use a smart chip to keep track of the ink level in your cartridge. In order to save money on printing costs, some business people choose to reuse their cartridges by refilling them with ink. Many office supply and discount stores sell affordable ink refill kits. Used cartridges can be refilled two to three times before having to be thrown away. In order for your printer to recognize the newly-filled ink cartridge as full, you will need to replace the cartridge chip.
- Purchase the appropriate cartridge chip at an office supply store or online. In addition, purchase the appropriate ink refill kit.
- Turn off your printer.
- Remove the old ink cartridge from your printer.
- Locate the smart chip, which will always be on the underside of the cartridge. You can do this by removing the plastic tabs securing the chip to the cartridge. Use a sharp, thin tool to do this, such as a Swiss army knife or utility knife. Slide the blade of the knife under one of the plastic tabs. Gently pry up. Repeat to remove the other plastic tab.
- Lift the chip from the cartridge.
- Place the new chip over the two plastic tabs used to secure the chip onto the cartridge. Gently press down until the chip properly falls into place under the tabs. You can either use your index finger to do this or a pair of tweezers.
- Take a paper towel and lay it out on a flat surface, such as a table or desk. This is where you will be pouring the new ink into the empty ink cartridge. Place the empty cartridge on top of the paper towel, with the top of the cartridge facing up.
- Read all the instructions in the manual included in your ink refill kit.
- Locate the fill holes on the top of your old cartridge. You can feel for the depressions by rubbing your finger across the top.
- Pierce the refill hole — check your refill manual, as some cartridges will have more than one refill hole — with a sharp point, such as a needle or a thin pencil. The hole size should be minimal and the size of the long needle attached to the refill ink bottle.
- Insert the long needle of the refill ink bottle into the correct ink hole on your cartridge. Try not to push any air into the cartridge while refilling. Very slowly and carefully, add the ink. Stop as soon as you see a bit of ink coming out of the hole.
- Remove the needle completely.
- Daub the top of the cartridge very lightly and carefully with the paper towel. A splotch of ink should leak out onto the paper towel.
- Tape the hole with a small piece of clear tape. Before putting the cartridge back in, make sure that no ink is leaking out of the hole.
- Insert the cartridge back into the printer.
- Turn on your printer. It should now be reading as having full ink.