How to Reset Brother Ink Cartridges

By Michelle Carvo

Updated October 09, 2017

Brother printers will often not allow you to print a document if the printer thinks that you are out of ink. You can trick the printer into printing additional documents by resetting the ink cartridges.

Why Reset Brother Ink Cartridges

You may choose to reset your Brother ink cartridge if you are being prompted by the printer to replace the cartridge. Printers often report that ink cartridges are completely empty when, in fact, there is still enough ink in the cartridge to print a page or two or sometimes even more. This is done to get you to buy new ink cartridges more often than you really need to. The printer may not allow you to print anything until the cartridges have been replaced or you have reset the cartridge.

You might also choose to reset your Brother ink cartridge if you actually have replaced it but your printer is not recognizing the new cartridge. Most printers will immediately detect that a new ink cartridge has been installed but some may not if the printer’s ink detection is not functioning correctly.


Resetting a Brother ink cartridge is not a permanent fix. You may be able to squeeze a few more print jobs out of a cartridge after a reset but you will still need to replace the cartridge as soon as possible. You may consider checking with local office supply stores to see if you can refill rather than replace the cartridge as it is often cheaper than buying a brand new cartridge.

Alternatively, you can check to see if a third-party printer ink company makes ink for your Brother printer. Check on sites like Amazon, eBay and others to see if third-party ink is available for your printer by searching your printer’s model number. Third-party ink cartridges are often considerably cheaper than the official Brother ink cartridges.

How to Reset a Brother Ink Cartridge

There are a few different methods for resetting a Brother ink or toner cartridge, depending on the model.

Method 1:

  1. Turn the Brother printer off and then wait for a few minutes. Turn it back on.
  2. Open your printer’s cover by either lifting it or lifting a lever on the side. Consult your printer’s manual if you’re not sure how to open the cover.
  3. Press the “Cancel” and “Print” buttons at the same time on the printer and then press the “+” button. Scroll down to the printer ink cartridge that you want to reset.
  4. Press the “OK” or “Enter” key to complete the reset option.

Method 2:

  1. Turn your printer on and open the toner door.
  2. Press the "Clear/Back" button on the printer to access the Reset Menu.
  3. Use the arrow keys to scroll through the printer's toner cartridge reset options. Select the toner that you want to reset and then press "OK."
  4. Press "1" to reset the ink cartridge and then press "Clear/Back" to leave the menu. Close the toner door and you should be able to print again with your existing cartridges.