How to Extend the Life of a Brother Ink Cartridge

by Dan Zisko
Jupiterimages/ Images

Brother printers may prematurely show an empty toner cartridge status light and will stop printing. It does this so you can maintain the quality of your printing. However, this can needlessly cause you to purchase toner cartridges when there is still some toner left in the machine. You can extend the life of your toner cartridge by fooling the printer into thinking the cartridge is full.

Step 1

Pull down on the toner storage area in the front of the printer to attain access to the toner cartridge.

Step 2

Pull the toner cartridge out of the printer. If the cartridge is located in a holder, press the claps on the holder down and remove the cartridge.

Step 3

Shake the cartridge back and forth up between five and ten times to loosen any toner which is stuck to the sides of the toner containment area.

Step 4

Place a piece of black electrical tape over the small gray circle located on the side of the cartridge. This is the indicator which the printer uses to determine the ink level. By covering it, you fool the printer into thinking the ink level is full.

Replace the cartridge into the holder and insert it back into the printer. Close the toner compartment.


  • When the toner has dried up after this process, the cartridge is empty. At this point it should be replaced.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Based in California, Daniel Zisko has been a writer since 2008, penning articles for a variety of online publications. Before he started a writing career, he spent several years traveling and working as a hotel manager for several different hotel properties. Zisko holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from National University with a minor in biology.

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