No Color Ink? Print Black and White Anyway - Brother Printer




Just a dude making videos and tutorials.

Hey Fixers! I got a problem. I wrote a letter to Brother Printers and I can't print it. My Brother MFC-J430W printer won't print in black and white because of a color ink error. " Not enough ink to keep print quality". Let's temporarily fix it together. Hand in hand. Mano a mano.

I hope you enjoy my Instructable! If you want to watch the video version, check it out on my YouTube channel:

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Step 1: Unplug. Take Out Ink Cartridges. Protect Desk.

So first what we're going do is unplug the printer. Safety first here guys. We're no Nikola Tesla... electricity is not our friend.

Now like a boss, flip open the hatch on the front right of the printer. Dude.. you're so cool. Where did you buy those jeans?

Now remove the three color cartridges. Cyan, magenta, and yellow. Like the 80's dayglo that everyone is going crazy for right now.

Be careful with the cartridges. They can be messy. The ink flows out of them like a melting Otter Pop. Place them on a sheet of paper or a rag. We need to keep them from staining the writing desk you inherited from your aunt Smelly Betty.

Let's move on to the next step!

Step 2: Google It. Smile.

I'm going to break from my all knowing instructor character and tell you guys this straight. I had no idea what to do at this point.

Enter the savior of many a generation: Google. I pointed my browser to and typed in "trick brother printer no color black and white".

I clicked a few of the sites, but The Signal Theorist really helped me find my way (

It basically said cover the clear window with dark tape.

Step 3: The Dark Tape. Scissor Saviors.

The dark tape

will trick the printer into thinking the cartridges are full.

What you're going to do is cut a piece of tape that's the same size as the clear window and thread it underneath the plastic thingerbobber that latches the cartridge in place.

So thread it through, and then push the tape down. If you did it right you're an adult and you should no longer be able to see the clear plastic window on the cartridge. No more problems.

That was it, hard parts over.

Step 4: Put It Back Together Again. Shamelessly Plug Your YouTube Channel.

If you missed it, thread it through, push it down and that's all.

Error's gone. Let's print something! My letter printed no problemo.

Thanks for reading through my Instructable! If you liked it, consider checking out my YouTube channel and good luck with all your fixing adventures! :)

DISCLAIMER (UH OH): Brother says that printing in this fashion will make it so your color ink lines will dry up and you won't be able to use them properly in the future. That's probably true, so only do this if you don't have plans to print in color again, or you're really in a jam (no not a paper jam). I'm not responsible for the health of your printer bro.

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    6 Discussions


    8 months ago

    What a great tip!! Worked on my Brother LC75!!!


    9 months ago

    Hello! Great tip! Although worked on my J67200 for one page only. Not sure why as it didn't fall off... tried a Sharpie too - that didn't work dang.Super cool tip though thanks :)


    Question 1 year ago on Step 3

    I almost never need to print in color, so I was wondering if I could replace the offending yellow cartridge with another black cartridge. The sensor knows only levels, right? not color? I'll just keep switching in a full black cartridge when the others go low. Hope you're still getting these messages/questions. (Oh, and did I mention that this is the LAST Brother printer I'll ever own?) Thanks!


    1 year ago

    Thanks! Worked like a charm. I'm gonna follow you now and be your biggest fan!


    3 years ago

    Haha, good to know! I had the same problem few months ago :)

    The detection is probably made with light sensor..


    1 reply