Why Won’t My HP Printer Recognize New Ink Cartridges?

Is your HP printer not recognizing your new ink or toner cartridges? This kind of problem is fairly common among HP users around the world. It mostly happens when you’re using refilled, compatible, or remanufactured cartridges.

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After replacing your empty ink cartridges with new ones, you may suddenly encounter any of these error messages or displays:

  • Toner is not compatible
  • Printer Cartridge Not Detected
  • Low ink or toner levels “HP cartridges locked” or “cartridge protection enabled.
  • No Cartridge Installed

Why are the Ink Cartridges not detected?

If you receive any of the above error messages, then your printer’s ink cartridges are not detected. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes of why it happens and the troubleshooting steps you can follow to resolve the issue.

Printer Internal Memory Needs Resetting

Normally, your HP printer can accurately detect full ink levels or new ink cartridges. In some instances, however, it fails to do so primarily because its internal memory is full. When this happens, the printer will still “think” that it’s using an old or empty cartridge even though you already replaced it with a new one. You can resolve this problem by resetting your HP printer’s internal memory:

  1. Remove the new ink cartridge and reload the old ink cartridge back into the printer. 
  2. Wait for about 10 minutes before you proceed to the next step.
  3. Remove the old ink cartridge and install the new ink cartridge again. 

Your HP printer should be able to recognize your new ink cartridges by now. If it still doesn’t, try these alternative steps instead:

  1. Remove the new ink cartridge from the printer
  2. Turn off your HP printer and detach its power cord for 10 minutes
  3. Reconnect the power cord but don’t turn on the power button just yet
  4. Reload the new ink cartridge back into the printer

Metal Contacts require Cleaning

HP ink cartridges feature numerous metal contacts responsible for transmitting electronic signals to the printer. This link allows the printer to instruct the cartridge to release ink to apply it to the paper during printing.

When metal contacts become dirty or damaged, it disrupts the flow of communication between the printer and ink cartridge resulting in HP ink cartridge, not working errors. Make sure that your metal contacts are clean with these steps:

  1. Turn off your HP printer and unplug its power cord.
  2. Remove the new cartridge from the printer.
  3. Check the metal contacts. They are usually found on the side or back and resemble a flat piece of copper, metal, or sometimes circuit board.
  4. Check the printer carriage for the connection point. It’s the part that the metal contacts touch when they are installed in the printer.
  5. Using a clean, lint-free, and dry cloth, gently wipe the metallic contacts and the connection point.
  6. Make sure that all dirt and residue are wiped clean.
  7. Reload the new ink cartridge back into the printer
  8. Turn on the printer and do a test print to see if the ink cartridge gets detected.

Protective Tape or Strip aren’t removed

Did you forget to take out the protective covering before installing the new toner or ink cartridge into the printer? If you did, then the printer won’t be able to recognize the cartridge. Make sure that the protective taping is removed to prevent printing errors from arising.

Disable HP Cartridge protection

HP has integrated its printers with a firmware that helps ensure smooth performance and functionality. Sometimes though, this same firmware can be a source of headache, especially if you’re using compatible or remanufactured HP ink cartridges. It prevents these types of cartridges from working by putting a “cartridge protection lock” on the printer.

Remanufactured ink cartridges offer plenty of benefits, especially on the economic side, so if you’re planning to use them, it would be best to disable HP cartridge protection first.

  1. Go to Control Panel and select Printers and Devices
  2. Locate and right-click on your printer on the list
  3. Select properties followed by the software tab
  4. Un-tick “automatically update” your printer

Wrong / malfunctioned ink cartridges

There’s also a chance that you purchased faulty or defective ink or toner cartridges. It could be the reason why the HP ink cartridge isn’t working. Try contacting HP if you receive problematic ink cartridges. If you purchase compatible or remanufactured ink cartridges, make sure it’s from a legit and trustworthy source like YoyoInk.

Improper Cartridge Installation

Your printer doesn’t recognize your new ink cartridge because you may have installed it the wrong way. Because the ink cartridge wasn’t loaded properly in the designated slot in the right position, it doesn’t get detected by the printer resulting in the error message “No ink cartridge found.” Try and see if your ink cartridges are installed correctly inside the printer.

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