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How to Make Generic Ink Cartridges Work on an HP Printer

If you’re here, chances are your HP printer isn’t recognizing your non-HP ink cartridge. You don’t want to buy a genuine HP ink cartridge because it’s expensive, but HP isn’t making it easy to use a generic one either.

So, how do you handle the “Incompatible Ink Cartridge” or “Unrecognized Cartridge” error? Join us as we answer that question.

Short Answer

You can use a generic ink cartridge with an HP printer by disabling the HP cartridge protection. If your printer doesn’t have internet features, you should:

  • Click Printer Settings in the Printer menu.
  • Tap the Disable option.
  • Choose Apply and Save.

Otherwise, if your printer comes with internet features, here’s what you should do.

  • Choose Settings.
  • Select HP Cartridge Protection.
  • Click Disable HP Cartridge Protection.
  • Tap Apply or Save.

Why Your HP Printer Isn’t Recognizing Your Cartridge

As we’ve mentioned, the reason is HP’s cartridge protection setting, so let’s unpack that. Hewlett Packard added this system to genuine HP ink cartridges, locking original inks to specific printers. To illustrate, when you install an ink cartridge, your printer marks it as protected. This way, you can’t use it with another printer.

As a result, you can only use an HP ink cartridge with its specific printer. Also, you can’t recycle, refill, or remanufacture the cartridges to use them with a different printer.

What is HP’s reasoning behind this, you may ask? Jean Gingras, the environmental program manager of the Americas Environmental Leadership Team, argues, “if you have a glass and you drink water out of it every day, as long as you wash it the quality of the water doesn’t change.

But with a cartridge, we’ve done studies that show when you remanufacture or you refill [it], the quality does change. And so that quality change can cause customers to reprint.” That’s because the print heads’ or nozzles’ quality declines after the ink in the cartridge is all used up.

See also: How to Get Hp Printer to Recognize Refilled Cartridge

Generic vs. Authentic Ink Cartridges

You’re faced with a choice, and you’re in favor of using a generic ink cartridge rather than a genuine HP one. Still, we believe you should know the perks of using an original cartridge to make an informed decision.

The first factor is quality. If you need high-quality printing, using an original HP cartridge is recommended. Of course, it’s the most compatible cartridge with HP printers; using other products might cause damage to your printer. And if that were to happen, HP won’t fix your printer because using a non-HP ink cartridge renders your warranty void.

With that being said, using a generic ink cartridge makes sense financially when you consider the drastic price difference between HP ink cartridges and other ink cartridges.

Why to Disable HP Cartridge Protection

We recommend disabling this system because it’s very restrictive. To elaborate, it makes it so that you can’t:

  • Use refilled, recycled, or remanufactured HP ink cartridges, which will be dumped in landfills.
  • Use the ink cartridge of an old primer on a new printer.

Read also: Top HP Dye Sublimation Printer

How to Disable HP Cartridge Protection

You can disable this system from your printer or Windows PC.

Via the Printer

On the one hand, with printers that don’t have internet features, you should:

  • Click Printer Settings in the Printer menu.
  • Tap the Disable option.
  • Choose Apply and Save.

On the other hand, HP printers with internet features have a different process. So, you should:

  • Choose Settings.
  • Select HP Cartridge Protection.
  • Click Disable HP Cartridge Protection.
  • Tap Apply or Save.

Via Windows PC

  • Find the Control Panel.
  • Tap Printers and Devices.
  • Locate and choose your printer from the devices list.
  • Tap Properties followed by the software tab.
  • Disable “Automatically update” your printer.

See also: The 6 Best HP Printers That Use 61 Ink

How to Use an Old HP Cartridge Locked on a Different Printer

You might have an HP cartridge locked into your old printer, so how can you use it on a new model? Follow the instructions below:

  1. Remove the printer’s new ink cartridge.
  2. Reload the old cartridge.
  3. Wait for an average of 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the old cartridge.
  5. Reinstall the new ink cartridge.

Tip: If the printer still doesn’t recognize your ink cartridge, you can remove it, turn off the printer, and remove the power cord for about 10 minutes. Then, reconnect the power cord without turning the printer on, and reload the new ink cartridge.

Final Words

Overall, using a generic ink cartridge with an HP printer is a good choice if you want to save some money. All you need to do is disable the HP cartridge protection system from your printer or a Windows PC, and you’re good to go!

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