How To Install Ink Cartridges

Installing CartridgesYou’ve ordered new ink cartridges for your printer, brought them home, taken them out of the box, and now…how in the world do you install them? The tricky thing about replacing ink cartridges is that the process is a little different for each model, and from one manufacturer to the next. We will give you some general guidelines to get you started, and some links for more specific information for your printer.

Identify Your Printer

The first step is to identify your printer’s manufacturer and model number. Examples are “HP OfficeJet 5610” or “Dell 1110”. This is usually pretty easy, as both the manufacturer and model are prominently displayed on the front of most devices. If you have trouble finding the model number or manufacturer, check the back of the machine for a sticker or service tag that may include this information.

Check Your Manual

If you still have the printer’s manual, look for the section on “Replacing Ink Cartridges” or “Maintenance” for help. Unfortunately, manuals are easily lost, which is probably why you’re here reading this article. Don’t worry, there are other methods.

Try an Online Search

Sometimes the quickest way to find help is to use Google or your other favorite search engine. Let’s say your printer model is the HP OfficeJet 6500. Try a web search for “replace ink cartridge HP OfficeJet 6500” without the quotes. In this case, the very first link will take you to the manufacturer’s website, where you can find specific instructions and even a video. You may also want to search video sites like to see if there any video tutorials available. Our own YouTube channel hosts helpful printer videos as well.

Find Specific Instructions Online

The major printer manufacturers aren’t shy about sharing information, and you can generally find either a digital version of the manual or even text and video instructions directly on a manufacturer’s website. Visit the Support section of your manufacturer’s site and enter your model number into the search box. In most cases, you will find a “How To” section, or you can download a digital version of the manual. This will give you instructions for your specific device.

Here are the support pages for some of the most popular printer manufacturers:

General Installation Guidelines

If you are still unable to find any installation steps for your printer, here are some general guidelines to get you started. The steps will be similar for most inkjet printers, but the details may differ.

Plugging In Printer

Plugging in the printer.

1. Plug the printer in and power it on. Most inkjet printers need power during the installation process to move the cartridges within your reach.






Opening Access Panel

Opening the access panel.

2. Open the access panel. For most standalone inkjet printers, you can lift up the top or open the front of the machine. For all-in-one models, you may need to raise it up from somewhere around the lower paper tray to access the cartridges. You may also need to wait until the cartridge carrier moves toward the center so you can access the cartridges.



Prying the Handle

Prying the cartridge handle backward.

3. Remove the empty ink cartridge. Some models have a small cover that you must pinch together and lift. Others have a small handle at the front of the cartridge that you must pry forward.





Removing the Protector

Removing the plastic protector.

4. Prepare the new ink cartridge. Most new ink cartridges have a piece of protective tape, a plastic protector, or both. Look at the instructions on or inside the box for removal instructions.





Installing the Cartridge

Installing the new cartridge.

5. Insert the new ink cartridge. Install the cartridge in the same orientation that you removed the old one, and snap any covers back into place.






Closing the Panel

Closing the access panel.

6. Close the access panel and try a test print.








If all went well, you should now be ready to print. If you are still having trouble, contact the manufacturer via phone or email so they can help you troubleshoot any problems you are having. Now that you know how to replace your own ink cartridges, learn about the Benefits of Remanufactured Ink Cartridges. Still have questions? Post them in the Comments section below and we will try our best to help.

Steve Leigh
Steven Leigh has been enthusiastic about technology since he was very young, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, through his writing. He is also a composer, a musician, and a singer, experimenting with the blending of technology and music with his recording and performance projects. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and running in 5K races and is currently training for his first 10K.

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