How to Remove “Replace Toner” Message on Brother Printers?

When a Brother printer displays a “Replace Toner” message, it means the toner cartridge is low and will need to be replaced soon. However, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try before replacing the cartridge.

How to Remove "Replace Toner" Message on Brother Printers?

Determining Which Cartridge Needs Replacement

The first step is to identify which toner cartridge the printer is referring to when it shows the “Replace Toner” warning. Brother printers that use multiple cartridges will specify “Toner Black”, “Toner Cyan”, “Toner Magenta”, or “Toner Yellow” on the LCD display. Make a note of which color toner needs replacement.

Checking Toner Levels

Open the front cover of the Brother printer and locate the toner cartridges. Most Brother toner cartridges have a small window on the side with indicates showing the amount of remaining toner.

Check the fill level – if it is below the dotted line near the “Replace Toner” message, then the cartridge does need to be replaced soon. If the fill level is above the line, the cartridge may still be able to print and the warning message can sometimes be temporarily cleared.

Cleaning the Corona Wires

Before replacing the Brother toner cartridge, try cleaning the internal corona wires:

  1. Open the front cover of the printer.
  2. Gently remove the toner cartridge(s) and drum unit.
  3. Locate the corona wires (thin wires with a protective coating).
  4. Use the included cleaning tool or a dry cotton swab to gently wipe the coronas wires to remove dust and debris.
  5. Reinstall components and close front cover.

Cleaning the sensitive corona wires can help improve print quality issues caused by dirt buildup and may allow more toner to transfer to the drum unit properly.

Resetting the Replace Toner Message

On most Brother laser printers, you can temporarily reset the “Replace Toner” warning message to continue printing without replacing the cartridge using the steps below:

  1. Press the Menu button on the control panel.
  2. Select “General Setup” using the arrow buttons.
  3. Scroll to “Replace Toner” and select it.
  4. Choose the color cartridge you want to reset.
  5. A confirmation message will appear allowing you to reset the replace toner message.

After resetting the message, you can continue printing but print quality may decline as toner gets lower. The warning message will return after printing approximately 50-100 more pages.

For Brother inkjet printers, you need to physically replace the ink cartridge as there is no way to reset the replace ink message.

Checking Other Issues Before Replacing Toner

Here are a few other issues to check that could be incorrectly triggering the warning message on Brother printers:

  • Run a Drumdot Print Test to confirm that the drum unit is not worn.
  • Make sure you are using official Brother TN cartridges – third party toner cartridges may cause issues.
  • Check that the cartridge model numbers match – using the wrong model cartridge can cause printer errors.
  • Inspect inside the printer for paper jammed near the toner cartridge area.
  • Clean the printhead glass strip inside the drum unit with a dry cotton swab if printer has print quality issues.

Addressing other printer problems first before installing new toner cartridges can often save unnecessary expense on replacement Brother toner.

How to Replace Toner Cartridge in Brother Printer

Once you have determined that a Brother toner cartridge does need replacement, carefully follow these steps to install a new cartridge:

Supplies Needed:

  • Replacement Brother TN toner cartridge
  • Paper towels or rag
  • Clean, dry cotton swabs
  1. Open the front cover of the printer.
  2. Gently pull out the drum unit assembly.
  3. Hold the green handles on the toner cartridge and lift up and out.
  4. Unpack the new toner cartridge but do not open the toner seal or remove protective cover yet.
  5. Slowly rock the new cartridge side-to-side 5-6 times to distribute the toner evenly inside.
  6. Pull the seal completely out to open the toner outlet port. Remove any protective cover.
  7. Line up the cartridge guides in the printer and insert the new cartridge.
  8. Insert the drum unit back into the printer and close the cover.

The first few pages may print with light toner until filled, but print quality should quickly return to normal.

Be very careful not to spill toner and immediately clean any spills inside the printer using paper towels to soak up toner. Change clothes immediately if toner gets on your skin or clothing to avoid permanent staining.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify which Brother toner cartridge needs replacement based on displayed warning message
  • Check the toner level windows before replacing cartridges
  • Clean the internal corona wires and run print tests to confirm issues
  • Reset “Replace Toner” message in printer menu to temporarily continue printing
  • Make sure to use Brother original toner cartridges to avoid issues
  • Slowly rock new toner cartridges before installing to distribute toner
  • Be very careful not to spill any toner inside printer during replacement

Following these troubleshooting tips when you see the “Toner Replace” message can help resolve many issues without needing to insert new cartridges until they are fully depleted. Always use official Brother TN replacement cartridges for best print quality and yield.


The “Replace Toner” alert on Brother laser printers indicates toner is running low, but does not necessarily mean the cartridge needs immediate replacement. Check the toner levels visually first before replacing cartridges. Cleaning coronas wires inside the drum unit can often help clear up print quality problems that trigger the warning. On most models, the reminder message can be temporarily dismissed in the menu settings to squeeze out remaining toner. When print quality degrades and toner cartridges read empty, carefully replace them with new Brother branded cartridges, while taking precautions not to spill any toner. Following proper maintenance procedures helps ensure Brother printers continue printing high quality documents over the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why does my Brother printer say replace toner when toner is not empty?
    The “replace toner” message can be triggered before Brother toner cartridges are fully depleted. This is to alert users there is only 10-15% of toner remaining. The message can often be temporarily dismissed in printer menus to continue printing until quality degrades.
  2. How do I override replace toner on a Brother printer?
    Access the General Setup menu, select “Replace Toner” then choose the color cartridge you want to override. A message will appear allowing you to reset and dismiss the toner replacement warning, enabling continued printing.
  3. Can I use third party Brother toner cartridges?
    It’s not recommended. While less expensive, generic third party cartridges can cause print defects, toner leakage, and other errors. For best performance always use genuine OEM Brother toner.
  4. Brother printer says replace toner but prints fine?
    If print quality continues to be normal after the replace toner alert displays, you can keep printing without issue for awhile. Use the printer menu to reset the reminder message which will likely reappear after another 50 or so more pages are printed.
  5. What happens if toner spills in Brother printer?
    Toner is difficult stain to remove, so special care must be taken not spill or drip toner inside the Brother printer housing. Immediately wipe any spills with paper towels and an all-purpose cleaner. If toner gets on your clothes or skin wash immediately with cold water – hot water will permanently set the stain.
  6. Why does my Brother printer have poor print quality?
    Low toner levels can cause faded or streaky print quality over time, triggering the replace toner message. But other issues like dirty corona wires, clogged print heads, improper cartridge installation or worn drum units can also affect print quality and should be checked.
  7. Why does my Brother printer say no toner installed?
    If a Brother printer is indicating no toner cartridge installed even when one is loaded, the cartridge model number likely does not match the printer. Check that all the toner cartridges match the exact OEM part number compatible with that Brother printer series.
  8. How do I clean a Brother laser printer corona wire
    Open the front cover and remove the toner and drum unit. Locate the thin corona wire(s) near the cartridge opening with a green plastic shield. Use the included cleaning tool or cotton swab damp with alcohol to wipe along the wire to remove built-up dust and toner residue.
  9. Why does my Brother printer say drum error?
    The drum error indicates the OPC drum unit inside the printer needs replacement from extensive usage and wear over time. Brother printers stop printing pages when the drum unit’s page capacity maxes out at 20,000-30,000 pages.
  10. How do I reset the drum counter on my Brother printer?
    The drum counter tracks pages printed and cannot be reset. Once the max page count is reached, the drum unit must be replaced. Using non-OEM cartridges may cause the drum unit to reach its page count faster.
  11. Why does my Brother printer randomly stop printing?
    Intermittent printing issues can be caused by loose toner cartridge connections resulting in loss of electrical contact. Remove cartridge, wipe the electrical contacts, and firmly push the toner cartridge completely into its slot to ensure a proper connection.
  12. Brother printer says toner is empty but cartridge is full?
    This error typically results from using refilled third party cartridges instead of official Brother OEM toner cartridges. While less expensive, they lack original IC chips that properly communicate toner levels to the printer. Use genuine Brother toner cartridges to prevent this.
  13. Why does my Brother printer make squeaking noises?
    Squealing or squeaking noises coming from a Brother laser printer generally indicate one of the rotating parts inside has built up paper dust or is in need of silicone lubricant. Cleaning the inside, gears, and rollers can often eliminate annoying printer squeaking sounds.
  14. Brother printer screen says developing unit near end of life?
    The developing unit applies toner powder to pages during printing. When nearing approximately 50,000 printed pages the printer warns that this internal component must be replaced soon to avoid degrading print quality issues.
  15. How do I check my Brother toner cartridge chip code?
    The toner chip code which relays cartridge information to the printer can be checked by removing the cartridge and locating the small metal square chip on the bottom section. The model number and ID info is printed on the toner chip. Write it down when ordering replacements.
  16.  Why does my Brother printer make loud clacking or grinding noises?
    Loud and irregular clacking/grinding noises from a Brother printer generally signal an internal mechanical failure or broken gear such as the main drive gear assembly. The printer will require professional repair to resolve the defective part causing these loud unusual noises during operation and printing.
  17. Brother printer error unable print and scan?
    This functionality error during combined print/scan tasks is often the result of a defective scanner lower harness needing replacement. Simply printing or scanning separately may still work around the issue temporarily before the harness is swapped.
  18.  How do I check my Brother printer’s page count?
    To view the total printed page count on your Brother printer, press the Menu button, select Machine Info, then Page Counter. Tracking total pages both ensures proper maintenance is performed and indicates when replacement of wear items like imaging drums is nearing based on page capacity.
  19.  Brother printer flashing all lights at once?
    When all the LED lights on a Brother printer begin blinking continuously, this generally signals a critical firmware error making the device unable to function properly. Updating to the latest printer firmware release may help resolve this light blinking error code and restore normal operation.
  20. How can I get more pages out of my Brother toner cartridge?
    You can maximize the page yield from OEM Brother toner cartridges by using the 2-sided print mode for duplexing, printing in draft quality mode, changing paper type settings to plain paper, and lowering print density in the printer driver settings when acceptable print quality allows.


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