How to Replace Brother Printer Ink Cartridges?

Brother printers are known for their reliability, print quality, and cost-effectiveness. However, when it comes time to replace expired Brother printer ink cartridges, the process can seem complicated to some users. This article will walk you through the complete process in simple, easy-to-follow steps.

How to Replace Brother Printer Ink Cartridges?

Why Replace Ink Cartridges?

Over time, the ink in cartridges is used up during the printing process. Replacing expired cartridges is important for several reasons:

  • Maintain Print Quality: Old cartridges lead to faded texts and graphics. Replacing them restores vibrancy.
  • Avoid Print Head Damage: Running your Brother printer with dried ink can clog and damage the print head.
  • Reduce Waste: Refillable cartridges cut down on plastic waste from disposable ones.

Gather Compatible New/Refilled Cartridges

Before replacing your Brother ink, ensure you have new cartridges on hand that are compatible with your printer model.

  • Locate your printer model number on the front or top of the machine.
  • Use the table below to identify the right cartridge sets, based on popular Brother models:
Brother Printer Model Compatible Ink Cartridge Sets
HL-L2300D TN-730 / TN-760
HL-L2340DW TN-730 / TN-760
HL-L2360DW TN-730 / TN-760
HL-L2395DW TN-730 / TN-760
MFC-L2700DW TN730 / TN760
MFC-L2740DW TN730 / TN760
  • Purchase replacement cartridge sets from Brother directly, or compatible alternatives from third-party manufacturers.
  • Consider buying refill kits to use with empties instead of new plastic cartridges. This is a cost-effective, eco-friendly option.

Prepare Workspace and Printer

Replace ink cartridges properly to avoid messes or damage:

  • Clear a flat space near your Brother printer to work. Cover the area with paper towels in case of spills.
  • Open the top cover of the printer until it locks into place. This provides access to the cartridges.
  • Remove any paper from the main tray. Leave the output tray empty as well.
  • Check that the print head is fully rotated out and parked on the far right side before beginning.

Remove Existing Ink Cartridge

  1. Locate the cartridge slot Furthest to the left first. Black ink cartridges are often on the far left.
  2. Pinch the top of a cartridge and gently pull up to remove it. Lift straight up gently.
  3. Set it on a paper towel and repeat the process for all expired cartridges from left to right.

Prepare and Install New Cartridges

  1. Unpack a new ink cartridge, remove the protective tape from the underside, but Do not touch the gold contact points.
  2. Hold the cartridge with the label facing up and the gold points toward the printer.
  3. Gently lower the cartridge straight down into the empty slot from which you removed the old cartridge. Push firmly until It clicks softly into place.
  4. Repeat with remaining new cartridges from left to right. Check that all cartridges Are fully inserted and aligned evenly.
  5. Gently push the print head back into place and close the top cover.

Complete the Reset Process

  • Turn on your Brother printer and wait for it to cycle through its startup routine. The display may prompt you to verify that new genuine cartridges were installed.
  • Navigate the display prompts using the arrow buttons to complete the reset process for your printer model as below:
Printer Model Reset Process
Single Function Select “Yes” at the reset menu
Multifunction or All-in-One Select “New Cartridge” under the ink menu
  • For wireless models, you may need to repeat the connection or setup process for your Wi-Fi or router. Refer to your user guide for directions.
  • Run 1-2 test print jobs, such as a sample page, to verify print quality and functioning.

Recycle and Store Old Cartridges

  • Place used Brother ink cartridges in an airtight plastic bag or container. Store them out of reach of children and pets since residual ink can stain.
  • Locate recycling centers in your area that accept used printer cartridges before throwing them away. Retail stores such as Staples or Best Buy also often have collection bins onsite.
  • Properly recycling cartridges gives the materials a second life and diverts plastic waste from landfills.

Key Takeaways

  • Replace expired Brother ink cartridges in time to maintain print quality and avoid clogs or gear damage.
  • Confirm you have full sets of replacement cartridges compatible with your printer model before starting. Consider eco-friendly refill kits.
  • Remove old cartridges gently, install new ones carefully into vacant slots, and complete the reset process fully when prompted on the display.
  • Recycle depleted cartridges responsibly to reduce environmental waste.


While the process may seem complicated at first, replacing spent Brother ink cartridges is straightforward when done methodically. Following the steps for preparing your workspace, removing old cartridges, installing new ones, and resetting your printer will ensure a smooth transition. Completing test print jobs verifies full functionality restoration as well. Properly recycling depleted cartridges makes the process more eco-friendly. With a systematic approach, you can keep your Brother printer’s output looking sharp and vivid.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Why does my Brother printer display an “Ink Low” warning?
    This warning appears when one or more cartridges are running out of ink based on internal sensors. It’s advisable to buy replacement ink at this stage.
  1. Can I replace just one Brother ink cartridge instead of the whole set?
    While possible, it can lead to color imbalance issues in printouts. Replace cartridges as full sets for best results.
  1. Do third-party or off-brand inks work ok?
    Yes, most compatible cartridges work fine at significant cost savings, but check reviews to confirm quality.
  1. How often should ink cartridges be changed?
    On average, replace Brother ink cartridges every 12-24 months for moderate home printing. High volume users may need changes every 6-12 months.
  1. My printouts are streaked – what should I do?
    Streaks and missing lines indicate clogged print head nozzles. Clean the print head according to manual instructions then try a fresh compatible ink cartridge set.
  1. What is the chip on ink cartridges for?
    The chip stores info like ink levels and communicates to your Brother printer for monitoring. Aftermarket carts have a similar alternative chip.
  1. Is it ok to leave unused Brother ink cartridges stored a long time?
    Only leave sealed, unopened cartridges stored up to 2 years max before quality degrades. Either use ink within this period or carefully reseal open cartridges.
  1. Can I safely touch the ink cartridge contacts and print head?
    Avoid touching cartridge contacts or the print head as the oils from skin can damage sensitive components. Always handle cartridges by their sides/tops only.
  1. What is the best way to store partially used Brother ink cartridges?
    Partially used cartridges can be slipped back into emptied foil pouches, sealed in airtight plastic bags, or stored print head down in a cool, dry location out of sunlight.
  1. What happens if I put an ink cartridge in the wrong slot?
    Inserting cartridges into the incorrect slots can lead to accidentally mixing colors. This causes cross-contamination and unintended colors in printouts. Always match cartridge colors to the slot labels.
  1. Why does my printer display errors after replacing cartridges?
    If alignment, jamming, or sensor errors appear after a cartridge change, the ink may not have dispensed properly. Remove cartridges, wipe contacts with a clean damp cloth, reinsert, and try again.
  1. Can I clean and reuse old Brother ink cartridges?
    While difficult, some cartridge models can be cleaned and refilled with new third-party ink using refill kits. Check your cartridge type and research first before attempting.
  1. What should I do if ink spills inside my Brother printer?
    Blot up fresh ink spills inside the printer cavity using a dry lint-free cloth immediately. Dried ink may require isopropyl alcohol and swabs. Take care around any ribbon cables or electronic components.
  1. Why does my printed paper have missing lines or dots?
    Intermittent missing lines/dots signify blocked print head nozzles. Print a test page to confirm. Try cleaning the print head according to manual instructions. If the issue persists, replace old ink cartridges with a fresh set.
  1. Are Brother ink cartridges the same for all models?
    No, cartridge compatibility varies across Brother printer models. Always cross-reference your printer model to matching cartridge sets before purchasing replacement ink.
  1. Can I use original Brother cartridges along with generic cartridges?
    Yes, but print quality may show visible differences blending OEM and generic inks. Stick to one consistent ink brand for optimal output.
  1. How do I align replacement ink cartridges?
    Most Brother printers auto align cartridges after changes. Some may require manual alignment via the print settings menu. Follow prompts to print an alignment sheet and scan it.
  1. Why is my printer showing an ink cartridge error after replacement?
    If brand new compatible cartridges trigger errors about missing ink or faults, they may be defective. Try a different set of new cartridges. Persistent issues can also indicate corrupted internal firmware or bad sensors.
  1. Can I fly with Brother ink cartridges in checked or carry-on luggage?
    Yes, unopened cartridges under 100ml can safely fly per TSA liquid rules. Transport cartridges sealed in original packing or with absorbent material in case of leaks.
  1. How do I fix vertical streaks in printouts after new cartridges are installed?
    Pass multiple cleaning sheets through the printer to disperse ink more evenly. Align the print head again via printer menu if streaks continue. Checking paper type settings can also help.


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