How To Fix Cartridge Error On HP Printer? – Troubleshooting Guide

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HP ink cartridges are printer parts that you’ll replace regularly. Doing so is straightforward and only involves removing the existing cartridge and putting a new one in its place. Still, you might experience a cartridge error when replacing one in an HP printer.

When you experience a cartridge error on an HP printer, start by confirming your cartridges are compatible with your printer model. Then, reset the printer to clear glitches or short-term errors. If that doesn’t help, try cleaning the electrical contacts. Replace any defective cartridges with new ones, and if necessary, troubleshoot and repair the printer itself.

In this guide, you’ll learn some common cartridge errors that affect HP printers. Then, you’ll discover the steps you can take to fix those errors yourself.

What Are Common Cartridge Errors On HP Printers?

There are lots of potential ink cartridge errors that you might experience on an HP printer. Here are a few common error messages that you might come across:

  • Ink Cartridge Failure
  • Print Cartridge Missing Or Not Detected
  • Non-HP Chip/Circuitry Detected
  • Cartridge Error
  • Cartridge Missing
  • Cartridge Problem
  • Incompatible Cartridge

As you can see, some cartridge errors are very descriptive and easy to understand. However, others are pretty general and require further troubleshooting to understand.

The following section will show you several approaches you can take to fix the cartridge error you’re experiencing with your HP printer.

Read: Why Does My Printer Say No Paper When There Is Paper? – Troubleshooting Guide

How Do You Fix Cartridge Errors On A HP Printer?

Here are a few common methods you can use to troubleshoot and resolve cartridge errors on an HP printer:

#1 Check Cartridge Compatibility

What it is: HP printer ink cartridges are not universal. That means you can’t necessarily insert an ink cartridge into any printer, despite being a genuine printer ink cartridge.

Each ink cartridge model is only compatible with one or a few HP printer models. So, you can check the user manual, printer packaging, or cartridge packaging to determine if the cartridge and printer are compatible.

How to do it: Several HP printer ink cartridge errors are caused by compatibility issues. In simpler terms, they happen because the ink cartridge is not the correct one to be used with that particular printer model.

So, the first troubleshooting step to take when dealing with cartridge errors is to ensure that the cartridge is compatible with your HP printer model. 

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If it isn’t, you must purchase an ink cartridge designed specifically for use with your printer model.

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#2 Reset Printer

What it is: Errors can happen even when your printer ink cartridge and printer are compatible. 

In this case, the printer is likely experiencing a glitch or short-term error preventing it from correctly communicating with the ink cartridge. As a result, the printer might fail to sense the cartridge or don’t receive any electrical signals from it.

So, one of the first steps you can take to resolve a cartridge error is to perform a reset on your HP printer.

How to do it: Power cycling is the quickest way to reset your HP printer. First, disconnect the printer from its power source. Then, leave it alone for one minute.

When that time passes, reconnect the printer to the wall socket and allow it to start over fresh.

As the printer starts up again, it will detect the affected ink cartridge and reestablish its connection.

Read: How To Fix Printer That Is Making Noises? – Troubleshooting Guide

#3 Clean Electrical Contacts

What it is: HP printers monitor and communicate with individual ink cartridges through electrical contacts. These contacts are on each cartridge and the carriage that they sit in.

When electrical contacts are in good working order and touch each other, the printer can send and receive electrical signals from the cartridge.

However, dirty contacts can cause errors to occur. When that happens, you’ll have to clean the electrical connections.

How to do it: You can clean electrical contacts with a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol (also called ‘rubbing alcohol’). The alcohol effectively cleans electrical contacts by removing dirt, debris, and any stains that might be affecting them.

So, use the cotton swab to apply isopropyl alcohol onto each electrical contact until they’re clean. The alcohol will evaporate quickly, so you don’t have to worry about any excess moisture inside your printer.

#4 Replace Ink Cartridge

What it is: Unfortunately, one of the likely reasons you’re experiencing a cartridge error is the cartridge was defective from the start. That means it was already faulty when it was packaged and shipped to you.

Suppose you have gone through the troubleshooting process and ruled out everything else. In that case, it’s most likely that your ink cartridge is defective. 

You’ll have to get a replacement cartridge with your HP printer.

How to do it: If your ink cartridge is still within its warranty period, you’ll likely get a new one free of charge. To be sure, contact HP or the seller you bought the cartridge from to see your exchange options.

Read: Why Printer Not Printing In Color? – Troubleshooting Guide

#5 Repair Printer

What it is: Although it’s the least likely reason on this list, there’s always a chance that your HP printer is the reason you’re experiencing cartridge errors. 

In other words, your ink cartridges are in excellent working order. Still, your printer has mechanical or software-related problems that require troubleshooting.

At this stage, the problem is quite challenging for you to troubleshoot on your own. For example, a problem with the printer’s firmware or wiring could prevent it from communicating with its ink cartridges.

You should send your printer to a qualified technician for further troubleshooting and repairs when that happens.

How to do it: Ideally, you should contact HP to troubleshoot and repair your printer as they’ll be familiar with cartridge errors affecting their printer models. However, you can also send the unit to another preferred printer technician.

A qualified technician can then take the printer apart and troubleshoot it further to find the root cause and fix it quickly.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are a few more helpful questions and answers for troubleshooting cartridge errors on your HP printer:

Do All HP Printers Use The Same Cartridge?

No, not all HP printers use the same cartridge. That’s because ink cartridges are not universal or one-size-fits-all. Instead, you’ll have to match the appropriate cartridge number to your printer model for the two to work together correctly.

How Long Do HP Toner Cartridges Last? 

An HP toner cartridge will last for 2 years if you keep it in its original sealed packaging. Once you start using it, the toner levels will last depending on how much printing you do. The more you print, the faster the toner levels will gradually drop.

Can I Use A Non-HP Toner?

No, you should only ever use genuine HP toner that’s compatible with your HP printer model. Genuine and compatible toners are designed specifically with your printer model in mind. So, the odds of faults and defects are much lower, giving you more peace of mind.

How Do I Fix Low Toner On My HP Printer?

The only way to fix low toner on your HP printer is to replace it with a new toner cartridge. Ideally, you should have an extra cartridge ready before the current one runs out entirely. That way, your printing tasks can continue uninterrupted.

Why Does My HP Printer Say Used Or Counterfeit?

HP printers can sense when an ink cartridge is counterfeit or has been refilled manually. When that happens, it will display that message to remind you that HP can’t guarantee the reliability or quality of non-genuine ink.

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