How to Replace & Align Canon Ink Cartridges

by John Stevens J.D. ; Updated September 28, 2017

Canon produces a variety of inkjet printers capable of performing a variety of different tasks. Whether the Canon model you've got is a relatively inexpensive printer or one with advanced technologies, all of Canon’s inkjet printers use a number of ink cartridges. Over time, the ink within these cartridges runs out and the cartridges must be replaced. Once replaced, however, the cartridges must be aligned to prevent unsatisfactory print results. Thankfully, both replacing and aligning Canon ink cartridges are easy tasks to accomplish and take only a few minutes.

Lift the access panel located at the top of the printer to expose the ink cartridges. Once the panel has been opened, the printer will automatically move the ink cartridges to the center of the opening.

Unplug the printer’s power supply cord from the electrical outlet to avoid the risk of an electrical shock.

Remove the printer cartridges by first pressing down on the top of each cartridge housing. Pressing down on the cartridge housings will cause the top of each housing to automatically lift up, thereby exposing the cartridges. Lift the cartridges out of each cartridge housing to remove them.

Install the replacement ink cartridges by first removing the orange safety tape located on either the top or the bottom of each cartridge, depending on the particular type of cartridge. The safety tape ensures that the cartridges do not leak ink before being installed. To remove the tape, simply pull the orange tab on the end of each piece of tape away from each cartridge. Position each cartridge into its cartridge housing so that the printed words on top of the each cartridge faces towards the front of the printer, then close the tops of the cartridge housings.

Plug the printer’s power cord into an electrical outlet, then close the access panel by pressing down on the panel.

Turn the printer on and allow the printer a few minutes to recognize the new cartridges, then insert at least three pieces of paper into the paper tray, which the printer will require to align the cartridges.

Align the new cartridges by selecting either the “Clean and Align” or the “Cartridge Alignment” option, depending on the particular printer model. Some Canon models require the user to align the cartridges through the printer’s software program. Select the “Print Properties” option in the printer’s program, then select the “Clean and Align” option. The printer will produce several printed pages to confirm that the cartridges have been aligned. Other Canon models allow the user to align the cartridges directly from the printer. These printers features a display screen on the printer. Press the “Menu” button on the display, then use the arrow keys to select “Settings.” Press the “OK” button, then use the arrow keys to highlight “Maintenance.” Press the “OK” button, then use the arrow keys to highlight “Manual Head Align.” Press the “OK” button, then use the arrow keys to highlight “Yes.” Press the “OK” button one final time, then allow the printer to produce the printed pages confirming that the cartridges have been aligned.

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About the Author

John Stevens has been a writer for various websites since 2008. He holds an Associate of Science in administration of justice from Riverside Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School. Stevens is a lawyer and licensed real-estate broker.

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