How to Refill an HP 05A

By Shawn McClain

Updated September 26, 2017

i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

The HP 05A toner cartridge, which works with the HP 2035 and 2055 LaserJet printer models, is designed to be thrown away once the cartridge is empty. This is ideal for the manufacturer, because they get to charge you for a replacement cartridge, but not really for you, because all you need is a little toner to get your printer working again. Refilling the HP 05A is a cost-effective option you can accomplish with a few tools and a little patience.

Plug your hole-making tool into an outlet and set it on its stand. Wait about five minutes for the tool to heat up before continuing.

Locate the orange loop on one end of the cartridge and position the cartridge so that it is standing up, with the orange loop end resting against the table. Rotate the cartridge in front of you until you can see the orange and green switches on the bottom of the cartridge.

Hold the cartridge steady with one hand and pick up your hole-making tool with the other. Locate the metal nut on the left side of the cartridge near the top. Press the hole-making tool into the cartridge slightly to the right and down from that nut. Once the tool punches through the plastic, place it on its stand and unplug it.

Place the cartridge over a waste basket and try to shake as much old toner out of the hole as you can.

Tap the bottle of replacement toner on the table to loosen the toner.

Remove the cap from the bottle of replacement toner. Hold the cartridge the same way as before, but tilt it at a 45-degree angle. Place the tip of the bottle into the hole and let the toner flow into the cartridge.

Remove the bottle once it is empty, or the cartridge is filled. Place a piece of sealing tape or duct tape over the hole.

Items you will need

  • Replacement toner

  • Hole-making tool

  • Sealing tape


Some refill kits come with a replacement microchip. If you don't replace the chip, the printer will display a "Toner Low" message, but will otherwise be unaffected.


The hole-making tool becomes extremely hot, so take care when it is plugged in.

Toner can permanently stain clothing, and some will escape form the cartridge during this process. Make sure you are wearing clothes you don't mind getting dirty.