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3 ways to defeat your printer's error messages

3 ways to defeat your printer’s error messages

It’s the weekend, and you’re at home trying to get your personal work done—but your printer quits on you, sending a warning or error message. Here are a few tips that can help you get rid of those messages, finish your tasks, and go have some fun.

Clean the contacts on your ink cartridge: I tried to print a document on my Epson printer but got this error message on my computer: “Printer does not recognize cartridge.” And all my cartridges are branded Epson, not some third-party brand. One possible reason was dust or dirt on the cartridge’s electrical contacts. As the photo illustrates, I took an eraser and gently rubbed the gold contacts on the ink cartridge, which did the trick: When I reinstalled the cartridge, I was able to print.

Turn the printer off. Another trick to try if your computer doesn’t recognize your ink cartridge is to turn the power off on your printer. But don’t just turn it off: Unplug it, let it stay off for a minute or two, and also unplug the USB cable to your computer. Then reattach the USB cord, plug the power cord in, and turn the printer back on. This resets the printer, and that could be all it takes to fix the problem.

Disregard “low ink” messages. A common printer error message for inkjets says you’re running out of ink. As long as what you’re printing looks fine, you can usually continue to use a cartridge until you’re completely out of ink.

Find the best model for your needs and budget: Check out our printer buying guide and Ratings.

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