How to Continue Printing with Empty Ink Cartridge

Disclaimer: responsibility for the use of any and all information contained in this article is strictly and solely that of the user. If you break your printer because of the actions taken based on the information from this article, you are responsible for it.

Certain brands and models of inkjet printers stop printing completely when they detect that one or more of the ink cartridges are empty. However, the ink level detection of many printers is not entirely accurate and more often than not, the cartridge still contains a small amount of ink, enough to continue printing many more pages, depending on the printing quality used.

According to Brother, one of the reasons their printers stop printing completely when an ink cartridge is detected to be empty, is because during printing and cleaning cycles the printer sucks air from the empty cartridge which may damage the print head. Even if you only print in black, the cleaning cycles suck air from ALL cartridges.

That being said, with a tiny piece of black electrical tape placed on top of the “empty” cartridge’s ink level indicator you can make your printer believe that the cartridge is full. The pictures below illustrate where these ink level indicators may be located on your cartridges. This may differ from the cartridges for your brand and model of printer.

Empty Ink Cartridge:
Ink Cartridge with tape on ink level indicator:

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