Top 9 issues with Printer Cartridges & their Solutions
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Written By Tenaui Middle East


Printer Ink

When you purchase expensive printer ink cartridges, you want them to perform flawlessly to achieve the desired print quality or volume. But, cartridge issues are a frequent occurrence for printer users. Therefore, an understanding of all of these issues and the ways to troubleshoot them is pretty necessary!

Remember that ink cartridge issues can be resolved or avoided by being mindful of how they are used!

How can a printer be used without a working cartridge or another component not functioning correctly due to a problem? So, to let you know how to tackle these issues and let your printer work just ideally, we are here for you!

The following are some frequently encountered printer cartridge issues and our recommendations to assist you in troubleshooting printer cartridge-related issues. Continue to read and get the solution that suits you!

Issues With Printer Cartridges And Their Solutions

The following are the most common issues which you may face along with their best possible solutions:

  1. Inability To Recognize Ink Cartridge

The inability to recognize printer Ink cartridge is a common issue with printers. It is frequently the case when you are using a combination of genuine and compatible cartridges. It is recommended that you should use only generic or only genuine cartridges with printers.

To correct this,

  1. Place the ink cartridge (printhead facing down) on a folded, moistened paper towel for 5 minutes before reinserting it into the printer. If the cartridge is not recognized, Ascertain that the printhead is free of tape.
  2. Using a non-abrasive towel, gently wipe the cartridge printhead and printer circuitry to remove any debris.
  3. Switch off the printer. Disconnect the power cord for 30 seconds. Reconnect cords and cables.


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2. Incorrect or Wrong Cartridge Installed error Message

Incorrect or Wrong printer Ink cartridge Installed error message is more frequently seen on printers that utilize a Microchip on the cartridge. Numerous factors contribute to this, the most significant of which are as follows:

  • The printer Ink cartridge’s microchip is defective.
  • The printer Ink cartridge is not securely clipped into the printer, resulting in a loose connection between the microchip and the printer terminals.
  • The microchip or printer terminals are contaminated. It frequently occurs due to ink drying on the small gold terminals that should make good contact with the cartridge’s microchip. Clean both the terminals and the microchip using a cotton bud and some cleaning fluid.
  • The cartridges have reached the end of their useful life.
  • Many cartridges, believe it or not, are region-locked, which means that if you purchased your printer in one country, it would not work with cartridges purchased in another.

Additionally, a printer Ink Cartridge may have been partially inserted into its designated slot, preventing the printer from detecting the new ink cartridge and displaying the error message. All you need to do is lift your cartridge cover again and double-check that each cartridge is inserted correctly, then close the lid and try again

3. White lines

Printing contains white lines or is partially clogged – the only cause is a partially blocked print head. Most printers will do this if left idle for an extended period, as the ink in the print head dries and plugs the tiny holes through which the ink exits.
Low-quality compatible inks can also cause this, but it can also happen with genuine inks if the printer is not used consistently. If White lines and Streaks appear, it means the contacts on your printer could be worn or dirty, or your print head could be partially clogged.
If your printer prints only a white page, ascertain that no tape is covering the print head. Gently shake the cartridge wrapped in an absorbent paper towel.

4. Images are entirely out of color

Images are entirely out of color – the most likely cause is that you have installed the printer ink cartridge without removing the “Breather Tape” on the top of the cartridge or that the print head is partially blocked.
You can isolate the color which is not printing correctly by printing a test. After separating the offending color, verify that all tape has been removed entirely or perform a maintenance print head clean.

Printer Ink - Tenaui Middle East
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5. Print Head Error Message

Print Head Error Message usually occurs because the print head is the most delicate component of the printer, don’t be surprised if an issue arises after several years. Canon printers are notorious for their frequent U053 and other error messages.
The only way to sort out them is to remove all cartridges, remove the print head, clean it and all electrical contacts, and then reinstall it. Allow 20 minutes before reconnecting the printer to the wall. If this does not work, the print head is almost certainly defective.
Because most other printers lack removable print heads, you are limited to purchasing a new printer. If the print quality is poor, repeat the head cleaning cycle two to three times.

6. Correctly detecting the ink level

If your printer is not correctly detecting the ink level after replacing cartridges, turn it off and unplug it for 20 minutes to reset the memory.
Numerous printers also include a menu button for manually resetting ink levels. Suppose the printer does not recognize the ink cartridge. Ascertain that the plastic strip covering the cartridge vent holes has been removed.

7. Ink Leakage from Cartridge

Ink Leakage from Cartridge into Printer is frequently encountered with poorly designed compatible cartridges. Usually, they are poorly molded, or the ink valves do not seal properly when the printer is installed.
Often, ink leaks into the printer and is discovered only when cartridges are replaced. When you purchase compatible cartridges, ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company. Low-quality products are available, particularly online.
You can use ink cartridges longer if you keep them in their protective wrapping until they are ready to use. Before use, the ink cartridge should be upright for at least 30 minutes; this lets the ink flow down, and oxygen bubbles rise up and away from the print head.
The most likely cause of leaking cartilage is an imbalanced internal pressure. Rest this cartridge on a paper towel (printhead facing down) and allow excess ink to balance

8. Vertical lines

Vertical lines on the printer paper are a common symptom of a scratched Drum Unit in a toner cartridge. It can be because of various reasons and is not uncommon with remanufactured toners. It occurs when the Photosensitive Drum is marked, and toner adheres to it, transferring to the printed page.
After printing thousands of pages, the drum in your toner cartridge has worn out if a vertical line appears on the page’s margin (typically the right margin). The line becomes more expansive as it is used more frequently.
Replace the cartridge. Paper fiber and debris buildup in the ink cartridge carriage is most likely to blame poor print quality. To resolve this, refer to your printer’s user guide for instructions on performing regular cleaning cycles. To ensure peak performance and prevent debris buildup, we recommend performing routine maintenance on your printer.

9. Excessive grey background

Excessive grey background on printer paper is another issue that frequently occurs with Laser Printers and it can also be an indication that the Transfer Roller in the toner needs to be replaced.
Before replacing the toner or individual components, try lowering the printer’s Density setting or even switching to lighter-weight paper.


Few people are taken aback by the frequently frustrating experience of dealing with a ‘cartridge error. These error messages typically appear and cause problems when your printer detects that you’re using a refilled or third-party cartridge.
If you’ve received an error message on your printer and have already attempted to restart it, do not panic. You still have the solutions mentioned previously; follow them!

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