How to Replace a Toner Chip for a Lexmark

By Jeff Grundy

Laser toner cartridges are expensive. A brand new, high-yield toner cartridge for a Lexmark printer can cost well over $100. Remanufactured cartridges are less expensive, but still cost $60 to $90 in many cases. Consequently, if you want to save a lot on toner for your Lexmark printer, refilling your cartridges yourself can usually save you 50 to 70 percent versus buying new cartridges. When refilling your own cartridges, though, you must replace the toner chip or the printer will produce low toner errors or fail to print completely.

Purchase a replacement toner chip for you particular model of Lexmark printer if one did not come with the toner refill kit. Most toner refill kits ship with the needed chip. However, if you did not receive one with your toner refill, you can purchase one online at sites such as, and Laser Connection (links in Resources).

Power off the Lexmark laser printer. Remove the toner cartridge according to the directions in the user guide for your particular model.

Refill the toner in the cartridge by following the directions on the instruction sheet that came with the refill kit. Clean the cartridge after refilling it by blowing away excess toner and dust with a can of compressed air, then wiping the cartridge with a dry towel or cloth.

Locate the toner chip on the bottom or rear of the cartridge. Use a screwdriver to remove the retaining screws for the chip cover assembly if it has one – some have chip covers and others do not.

Pull the cover assembly off the chip slot with the needle-nosed pliers if applicable. Grip the chip on either side with your fingers and pull it straight out of the slot. Note the orientation of the circuitry on the chip while pulling it out.

Align the new chip with the slot and ensure that the circuitry on the chips faces the same direction -- up or down -- before inserting it into the slot. Push the new chip straight into the slot until firmly seated and secure.

Insert the cartridge assembly back into the Lexmark laser printer. Close the maintenance cover door, and power on the printer. Wait for the printer to cycle the refilled cartridge. The printer does not display any errors or warnings because the new chip mimics a new cartridge.

Items you will need

  • Printer user guide

  • Toner refill instruction sheet

  • Compressed air

  • Dry towel or cloth

  • Needle-nosed pliers

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Anti-static wrist strap


Always use an anti-static wrist strap when handling the toner chip to avoid damaging it with static electricity that may build up in your body. When using an anti-static wrist strap, loop one end over your wrist or arm and clip the other end to a metal surface.


Avoid touching the circuitry on the new chip as doing so may damage it.

Using refilled cartridges does not void your printer warranty. However, refilling a cartridge without replacing worn rollers, drums or other components may result in poor print quality. If you refill your own cartridges, you should also buy replacement charge rollers, toner blades and drums to ensure optimal print quality.