How to Print With an "empty" Ink Cartridge.





Introduction: How to Print With an "empty" Ink Cartridge.

It's late and you have to print out some reports to take with you to a meeting. Your printer runs out of one colour of ink and holds your whole job hostage until you can put in a new cartridge. You have none and the ink cartridge store doesn't open until tomorrow morning. All you need is the black or that last little bit of colour left in the “empty cartridge”. What to do?

Note: These instructions are for a Brother multi function printer. Print quality will degrade as ink cartridges really do become empty.

Step 1: Items You Will Need

 - Sharp scissors

- Thin electrical tape or thin opaque tape.

(Don't use old tape where the adhesive has become gummy)

Step 2: Cartridge Compartment

Locate the ink cartridge compartment and open the cover according to the instructions in your printer manual.

Step 3: Removing Cartridge

Pop the cartridge out of the cartridge bay.

Step 4: Examine the Cartridge

Locate the clear plastic panel that shows how much ink is in the cartridge.

Step 5: Tape

Unroll a short piece of tape and cut a piece about 1 cm wide.

Step 6: Cartridge

Place the tape over the clear plastic panel.

Step 7: Finishing the Tape

Wrap the remaining tape around the side of the cartridge and make sure there are no corners or edges sticking out.

Step 8: Re-inserting Cartridge

Press the cartridge back into the cartridge bay.

Step 9: Close Cover

Close the cover of the cartridge compartment.

Step 10: Finishing Up

Follow the instructions on the printer's screen to accept the cartridge.

Step 11: And, You're Done

Print the report and go to your meeting.



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will this work with epson printers?


Is there a way to fax without ink cartridges? Mine won't really do anything once it detects any issue with the ink cartridges.

1 reply

The above should solve your problem if you still have your empty cartridges. If not try an app called FaxBurner. It works really good for me and free if you don't mind your fax number changing every 24 hours. I bought the subscription and keep one of my home phones forwarded to the FaxBurner number. It's really nice for me to receive my faxes on my tablet and phone rather than as paper at home. :-)

Good stuff, it worked. It took couple of times of trying and figure it out, but it worked.

Also i had not one but three empty. And it worked on all of them.

Awesome!!! As a note... if the cartridge is hard to push in, leave a little slack in the part of the tape that covers the clear sensor. It allows the cartridge to push in easier.

It's not working for this Epson xp 100 :(

I have never once commented on a blog or post BUT I had to say you are a freaking life saver! I was at work, the black ink ran out so I go to office depot, they give me the wrong ink, I run back and exchange for the right ink, and get back to office and I still can't print because the yellow is empty! Brother customer service was a joke and said their printers can not print unless all cartridges are filled- something about air getting into the printer which I think is just a ploy to make more money! I cut up a sticky note and did exactly as you suggested and it worked!!!! No other suggestions I found online worked but yours! You're truly a life saver :) Thank you so much!

Do this works for a HP 2300 series all in One two cartridge of ink printer?

Sneaky!  I've never seen an optically read ink cartridge before.  Now I have!

1 reply

My thoughts exactly. I don't really know of any cartridges that work like this.

Thank you this helped me so much. because i have a computer shop but i seldomly monitor the supplies of my units. sometimes I forgot to buy ink supplies and I easily get upset if the costumer get mad. But now always have plan B for my ink stuff thank you. In this situation you visit ink for printers for more reliable and quality
information. Thank you

Genius. Thanks a lot!

 Seriously this helped me so much. Thank you! i am only out of stupid magenta but i can't print in black and white! 

Really nice steps to work in case of emergencies, but you should keep track of your inkjet cartridges and you can look at the printing quality that will become lighter when they are finishing. At this stage it is always better to order your inkjet cartridges either the original ones or the remanufactured inkjet cartridges. These cartridges are cheap and also available online.

Our Brother Fax uses similar ink, but when I examined an empty one, it really was empty. A couple of sheets perhaps, but not much more.
For squeezing the last drops out this is great.
I guess if you keep running it to dryness it will suck air in and the machine will need "priming" after the new cartridge is installed?