Epson printers have several significant efficiency mechanisms that can extend the printer’s longevity. However, sometimes, some of these mechanisms can work against you.
One of the most infamous examples is when the printer stops working because the ink went below a certain level in the cartridge.
If you have a bunch of cartridges that you’re ready to load into the machine, you probably don’t have a problem with this mechanism. However, this feature can be frustrating when you’re tight on cartridges, especially if you’re in a hurry and don’t need that much ink for your work anyway.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to bypass this ink cartridge problem. So read on as we talk about the easiest and fastest ways to do so!
The Short Answer
Epson printers refuse to print when the ink level in the cartridge drops below a certain point. This mechanism keeps the printer running efficiently, so it’s essential. But you can bypass it now and then if you’re in a rush.
To bypass ink cartridges on Epson printers, try any of the following methods:
- Open and close the cartridge lid without removing the cartridge from the printer.
- Shake the cartridge to move the ink around it.
- Reset the ink cartridge.
Why Does My Epson Printer Stop When Ink Is Low?
Epson builds several safety mechanisms into their printers to extend their longevity. One of these mechanisms instructs the printer to stop when ink levels are low.
And although the cartridge could have enough ink for several more prints, this mechanism is crucial. If the printer keeps printing until the cartridge is empty, there’s a risk some air will slip into the ink lines or printhead, which will damage your printer over time.
However, if you’re in a rush and don’t have any backup cartridges on hand, you can bypass the ink cartridge once in a while. But make sure it doesn’t become a frequent habit, or you’ll take years off your printer’s life.
See also: How to fix Epson Printer in Error State
The 3 Best Methods to Bypass Ink Cartridge on Epson Printers
There are more than a few ways to bypass the low ink cartridge lock. However, we decided to give you the easiest and most guaranteed methods to start with.
Method 1: Opening and Closing the Cartridge Lid
We’ll start with the simplest method, which boils down to opening the cartridge lid and then closing it again.
This nifty move can trick your printer into thinking that your cartridge is a new one that you’ve just installed. However, the main drawback is that it won’t work on Epson printers that use microchips since they can detect the cartridge’s ink levels regardless of whether it’s new or old.
You can look your printer’s model up on Google to check if it has a microchip or not. And if your search is futile, you can try this method anyway since it’s effortless and won’t take a minute.
To get started, follow these steps carefully and in the correct order:
- Turn on your Epson printer
- When you see the home screen, open the printhead
- Press and hold the ink button until the cartridge is in its original position
- Take the lid off the ink cartridge without removing the cartridge from the printer
- Wait a couple of seconds and put the lid back on
- Close the printhead
Now try to print a page to see if it works. If it doesn’t, move on to the second method.
Read also: How to Fix Epson Error Code 0x97
Method 2: Shaking the Ink Cartridge
If the printer checks for ink levels using a visual sensor, you can trick it into thinking there’s more ink by distributing it around the cartridge. Or precisely, above the “low ink” line.
Also, some modern ink cartridges have an ink reserve hidden by default. But if you shake the cartridge, you can install the reserve ink.
Before you take out the cartridge, follow these steps:
- Turn on the printer and open the printhead
- Wait until the cartridges aren’t moving
- Take off the cartridges by pressing the locking tabs
- Turn off the printer and wait for it to shut down completely
- Pull the power cord and wait a couple of minutes for the printer to reset its memory
- Shake each cartridge well for about 10-20 seconds
- Put the cartridges back in and close the printhead
Again, try to print a page to test if it works.
Method 3: Resetting the Ink Cartridges
If the two solutions above didn’t work for you, you could try resetting your ink cartridges.
Some models have a cartridge reset button placed in the middle above the copper contacts under the printhead.
If yours doesn’t have that button, you can follow the steps mentioned in the second method to remove the cartridges and reset them directly.
You’ll have to use a thin pointy object like a paper clip or pin to press down the copper contacts on each cartridge.
After resetting each cartridge, put them back in place and get printing.
The Bottom Line
Epson’s monitoring features don’t work against you. On the contrary, they’re a necessary part of Epson printers since they extend their lifespan by ensuring no air gets in the way of printing since that could cause malfunctions.
This is why your printer won’t work if your ink cartridge is near empty, even if there’s still some ink in there for a few more prints.
However, suppose you’re in an urgent situation and need to print right away. In that case, you can occasionally bypass the ink cartridge without causing damage to your printer by opening and closing the cartridges, shaking them, or resetting them.
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