How to Get an Empty Cartridge Out in an Epson Printer

By Melissa King

The ink cartridges in your Epson printer come equipped with ink-monitoring IC chips. When the ink level of a cartridge runs low, the IC chip detects it and the printer prompts you to insert a new one. If the ink runs out completely, the printer will stop printing – which can be very inconvenient if you're in the middle of an important print job. Remove the empty cartridge and replace it with a full one to resume printing.

Remove an Ink Cartridge

Press the "Power" button on the Epson printer's control panel to turn the machine on.

Lower the output tray on the front of the printer, then open the cover.

Press the "Ink" button to move the print head to the center of the machine. Do not hold the button down for more than three seconds. Doing so will start the print head cleaning process.

Look at the "Ink Out" lights in front of the cartridges. If a cartridge has a low ink level or is empty, the light in front of it will flash.

Put your thumb on the tab at the front of the empty ink cartridge. Put your index finger on the tab at the back of the cartridge.

Squeeze the tabs to release the ink cartridge from the holder, then lift it up and remove it from the printer.

Put the ink cartridge into a plastic bag and seal it to prevent leaking.

Replace the Ink Cartridge

Shake a new, unopened ink cartridge several times before removing it from the package, then take the cartridge out of the protective bag. If you have already opened the package, do not shake the cartridge.

Lower the ink cartridge into the appropriate slot in the cartridge holder with the label facing up.

Press down on the ink cartridge until you hear a "click" and it locks into place.

Press the "Ink" button to load and charge the ink delivery system. When the process completes, the print head returns to its original position.


Dispose of empty ink cartridges by dropping them off at retailers that recycle, such as Office Depot or Staples. Many stores will give you rewards points or cash back for your effort. Epson also has a take-back program that accepts old ink cartridges. To participate, seal used ink cartridges in a plastic bag, then place them in a box or envelope. Mail the package to the following address:

Epson America, Inc. Attn: Recycling Center 18300 Central Avenue Carson, CA 90746


Never touch the green IC chip located on the side of an ink cartridge. This may permanently damage the cartridge.