How to Reset a Brother Toner Cartridge

By Elan Kesilman

Updated September 28, 2017

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Brother laser printers that use toner instead of ink cartridges have a high page yield of up to 5,000 pages from one cartridge of toner. However, you may get a "low on toner" message far before your toner is actually low, and your printer will no longer print. The way your printer determines that it is low on toner is a mysterious process, yet it is possible to override it by "resetting" the toner cartridge. By doing this, you can use all of your toner and ultimately save money.

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Turn your printer on and open its front. Remove the toner cartridge. How to remove the cartridge varies depending on your model. Usually, there is a lever beside the cartridge that you push, then you pull the cartridge out. On the inside of the front panel, the printer normally has illustrated step-by-step directions on removing and replacing the toner cartridge.

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Cover the sensor light on the non-gear side of the cartridge with opaque tape. Clear tape will not work, as it still allows the sensor's light to penetrate the tape, telling your printer that it is low on toner. Replace the cartridge, and it should begin printing again. If you don't see a sensor light, skip to Step 3.

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Remove and replace the toner cartridge several times in order to manually trick the printer into thinking it has a new cartridge of toner.


One of these two methods works with most models of Brother laser printers. If neither method works, contact Brother for technical support.