It would be easier to start all over again

Here's how your printer works again after a strike

Another annoyance that can be resolved with a reset is the “full” overflow container. This is only a problem with inkjet printers. These have an overflow container that catches excess ink. Logically, this container will eventually be full and should be emptied. However, this is quite tedious and not easily doable yourself with all printers. In addition: If the printer reports a full overflow container, that does not mean that the container is actually full.

The reason: Most printers do not effectively measure the contents of the overflow container, but simply display the error message after a certain number of print jobs. It is therefore very possible that there is still enough space in the overflow container at the time of the warning. A reset resets the print job counter on these printers, with which you can get rid of the error message and continue printing.

Reset cartridges

In addition to the printer, you can also reset an ink cartridge, as these days the cartridges are no longer simply ink containers, but have electronic components such as measuring sensors and counters. This helps in various cases:

  • The print cartridge appears as empty, but there is some ink left.
  • You refilled the cartridge manually, but the printer recognizes it as empty.
  • You have installed a new cartridge, but the printer recognizes it as empty.

In these cases a reset can make the cartridge functional again. In the case of the first point, however, the joy should not last long, because even if most cartridges are indicated as empty a little too early, there is often not much color left. A reset may be worthwhile once or twice before you have to reset the cartridge before each print job.

The instructions for a cartridge reset can be found in the following sections.

The reset methods

Unfortunately, printer resets are not as easy as resets on other devices. Most manufacturers do not have a single mechanism.

One of the reasons for this is that many printers are built very differently and use buttons differently. For example, if you use the buttons Left and Home as reset buttons, all newer printers with touch displays are out of the question. After all, the reset mechanisms for a series of devices are almost always identical. But: The methods described may not work for all devices.


With Brother you can carry out various resets via an administrator menu. You can do this as follows: Switch off the printer. Then press the buttons begin and menuat the same time and keep the buttons pressed. Now press one of the following keys four times plus or up arrow. Which of the buttons you need to press depends on the model type. To reset a Brother cartridge, open the printer as if you were replacing the cartridge. Press and hold the buttons Abort and To press and press the plus-Button. A menu will appear. Select the cartridge you want and confirm the action.


Most models in the Canon Pixma series can be reset via the device menu. If this is not an option, turn off the printer completely. At the same time, press and hold the red stopKey and the On off-Button. After about 3 seconds, release the Stop-Release the button and press the button twice again. Then release both buttons. On many Canon devices, you can reset cartridges in the same menu as the printer.

Almost all Canon printers outside the Pixma series can be reset using the following method: Disconnect the printer from the power supply. Hold the buttons Power, form feed as Print fashion while connecting the power cord.


Epson printers do not have a push button reset function. Instead, you need the Epson Maintenance Reset Utility software. In the software you can reset both the printer counter and the settings. Nice: The two resets are independent of each other. In the event of problems with the overflow container, you can only reset the meter concerned and keep your settings.

Epson cartridges can only be reset without any major effort using a special reset tool. Reset tools are often available from refill ink or from ink vendors.


On most HP devices, you can reset the counter via the printer menu. The exact process varies from device to device. You can usually find the reset via Settings under Restore factory settings or similar.

If you can't find a reset function in your printer menu, you are probably out of luck. In this case, HP printers can often only be reset by a specialist; this is especially possible with business laser printers.

There is no “official” reset function for HP cartridges. However, there is an improvised solution: remove the cartridge and stick a piece of tape over the chip contact of the cartridge. Reinstall the cartridge and print a test page. Then you can remove the tape again. But be careful: this method can damage your printer cartridge.