How to Install Ink Cartridge in a Printer

Installing a new cartridge is quite easy and takes only a few minutes. Once you get the hang of it, changing the color cartridge or a black ink cartridge can be done quickly without help. This article explains everything you need to know about Ink Cartridges and how to install them in a printer.

What is an Ink Cartridge?

An ink cartridge is a container that holds the ink used by printers, especially inkjet printers. Laser printers or dot-matrix printers do not use these.

Laser printers use powdered toners, while dot-matrix printers use ink-soaked ribbons.

Types of Ink Cartridges

Generally, there are two types of Ink Cartridges, black and colored Ink Cartridges. The colored cartridges come in magenta, cyan, yellow, and black.

The printer has a sophisticated sensor that alerts the user when the Ink Cartridges need to be replaced. In addition, some stores allow cartridges to be refilled; this can be very economical.

How to take care of Ink Cartridges?

Cartridge’s can be expensive, so it is essential to take proper care of the Ink Cartridges. These steps will ensure better print quality, lasting ink, etc.

#1- Do not touch the metal strip and the ink nozzle

Ensure not to touch the gold contact chip on the side of the cartridge holder. This chip enables the cartridge to communicate with the printer. If needed, clean it with a cotton swab or a lint-free cloth.

#2- Follow instructions

If you have not done it before, it is better to have the new cartridges installed by someone who is aware of the process. You can also follow the instruction leaflet provided by the printer manufacturer or follow this article carefully to do it correctly.

#3- Storage

An ink cartridge will dry out if not in use. Therefore, storing the ink cartridge holder in a dark closet or drawer is essential. It is better to reseal an opened cartridge when not in use. Use plastic tape or plastic wrap to store the unused cartridges.

#4- Prime the cartridge

Before use, make sure to prime the cartridges. It means to tap it softly a few times or shake it. With prolonged use or storage, the ink may settle down in the cartridge, which results in poor-quality prints.

Prepare for installation

When you realize you need to replace your Ink Cartridges, consider the following before you start.

  1. Make sure the ink cartridge is empty before replacing it. Sometimes the cartridge needs a soft shake to perform well.
  2. When in handy, keep the cartridge holder in an upright position.
  3. Removing all the cartridge packaging is essential for your new cartridge to be installed. Remove the plastic film, the protective tape, the yellow tape, and the plastic clip. For some cartridge holders, you need to twist the colored tab to remove it.
  4. Do not touch the ink nozzle, as it may result in ink clogging, ink failure, etc. Note: Avoid contact with the metal strip on the side of the Ink Cartridges.
  5. Load a stack of paper on the main paper tray, ready for printing.
  6. Keep a cloth or a paper napkin handy. Now, let us begin.

Things to keep in mind while installing Ink Cartridges

Installing an ink cartridge is easy and takes just a few minutes. But it must be done correctly to avoid leaks and waste of ink or paper.

Here are some pointers that can help you with good prints.

1- Precautions

Certain precautions must be taken regarding the metal strip on the side of the ink cartridge. This metal strip is key in the communication between the cartridge and the printer. This is very important.

If there is any dust, fingerprints, or scratch, the printer will not be able to identify the cartridge, which will be useless. To avoid such issues, make sure not to touch the metal strip.

2- Ink cartridge nozzle

The ink cartridge nozzles should not be touched; it may cause clogging, drying of ink, or problems with the print head. In addition, a new ink cartridge is expensive; it is wise to store and take care of these cartridges properly.

3- The Print carriage

If the print carriage does not move to the replacement position when you press the start button, you should wait for some time or press the Ink change button on the front panel of the printer.

Do not try to move the cartridge carriage manually.

4- Same brand

Make sure you buy an ink cartridge of the same brand as the printer. There may be issues with compatibility if the brand of the cartridge differs.

5- Refill cartridge

Some stores, such as the HP store, allow customers to buy HP products and refill toners and black and color cartridges.

6- Check before using

Once Ink Cartridges are installed into the printer, it is essential to run a test print. Now, you can check the print quality, if the printer’s printhead aligns with the sheets if the print is clear of any smudges, streaks, empty spots, etc.

After these points are checked, you can install the Ink Cartridges to your printer and have a smooth printing experience.

How to Install Ink Cartridges in HP Printer?

Most HP printers come with a top lid; this is the scanner. Just below it, you can find the ink carriage or the ink tray. You can easily buy a new cartridge or any HP product from an HP store.

Step#1- Like most printers, the HP printer must remain switched on while replacing the Ink Cartridges. Now, open the ink tray or the ink cartridge access door.

The Ink Cartridges will slide to the printer’s center for easy replacement position.

Step#2– If an ink cartridge cover is on the old cartridge, lift it to release the lock. Press the cartridge holder that needs to be replaced until it clicks and pops up.

Pull it out from its slot and keep the empty ink cartridge aside.

Step#3– The new Ink Cartridges will come in either a blue top lid or a black top. To install the Ink Cartridges, slide the new cartridge into the slot with the ink nozzle facing the carriage.

In the HP printer, the tri-color ink cartridge goes to the left side, while the black ink cartridge goes to the right side of the printer.

Once the new cartridges are secured in their slots, you will hear a click sound.

Step#4– Close the ink cartridge door of your HP printer; you will hear the cartridges slide and reposition.

How to install an ink cartridge in a Canon printer?

The Canon printers come with a top lid that is the scanner. Just below it is the ink tray or the ink cartridge carriage.

The Canon printer uses fine Ink Cartridges like in the MX or MG series. You will have a center paper output cover above the output tray.

Step#1– Make sure the printer’s power button is switched on for the Ink Cartridges to slide in view for easy replacement, that is, to the right side of the tray.

A Canon PIXMA printer uses several individual cartridges. After opening the printer’s lid, the cartridge holder will slide to the middle of the operations tray.

Step#2– Remove the empty cartridge. You need to press the cartridge down until it pops out. Now, you can replace the old cartridges with new ones.

Step#3– Remove the new ink cartridge from its packaging, and remove the protective tape or the protective tab before inserting it into the printer.

Canon printer uses only two types of cartridges, black and the tri-color one in the MX series. On the other hand, the Canon PIXMA printer uses several cartridges, one for each color.

Step#4– After the protective film is removed from the new ink cartridge, make sure not to touch the metal strip on the side of the cartridge or the ink nozzles. Touching the ink nozzles will cause clogs or ink failures.

Step#5– To install the Ink Cartridges to the printer, insert the cartridge with the nozzle facing the carriage. You can insert the color cartridges in the left slot, and the black ink cartridge goes to the right side of the ink tray. A click will ensure that the ink cartridges are secured in the printer’s slot.

Step#6– Close the ink cartridge door. Once closed, you will hear the cartridges slide and take their position.


Printers are a great help in offices and homes; if appropriately used, the ink cartridges can give better performance and improve the quality of the prints, which is the primary goal.

This article has explained everything about installing Ink Cartridges into the printer.

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