How To Install An Ink Cartridge

Installing and using ink cartridges is second nature for many people. This guide is not aimed at those that have become accustomed to the installation and use of cartridges.

This by no means a technical guide, nor is it meant to be so. Instead, it is designed for the use of beginners, and hence is very simple, with few technical terms.

This short checklist which will hopefully act as guide to improve the chances of everything working first time. Due to the large range of ink jet printers on the market today it would be almost impossible to cover every detail of the specific print software supplied with every printer. As a result this guide is very general, and only addresses the most common errors and points of note in most printers.

Step One: Remove the seal

Remove the seal which keeps the ink in a storable state, this is usually a small plastic lip to be snapped off, or a sticky tape seal which is to be removed. If this is not done correctly the ink cartridge will either supply insufficient ink to the print job or simply not work at all. Also be sure to properly close the ink cartridge caddy covers. This may seem an obvious stage, but it is easily forgotten, and is critical to successful installation.

Step Two: Align the Heads

The second stage requires the use of the printer's software utilities. These can usually be found in Control Panel... Printers. Though it is normally an automatic process performed by the printer, you are able to initiate the process manually from the print utilities menu, and may need to if the automated function is not performed successfully.

Step Three: Clean the Heads

Once the alignment is complete it is recommended that you clean the printheads. Again, this is usually an automatic process. However it may need to be done more than once, the option for this is also found within your print utilities menu. If this is not done the print may appear to be missing lines or even missing entire colours, in order to stop this waste of ink and time please check the test page printed by your computer is satisfactory.

Step Four: Final Check

Having run the utilities in Steps 2 and 3, your printer should be properly and ready for normal operation. It is now possible to go ahead with any pending print jobs, however it is recommended that you print something colourful on to a plain piece of paper, and also some plain black text, just to check that everything is in working order before possibly ruining an expensive piece of paper. If you complete these tests with no problems then you have successfully installed your new Ink Jet cartridge(s). However should there be any problems with either of these test pages simply repeat the above steps, in particular step 3 Finally, as a general rule, ink jet cartridges should be used within the recommended 24 months from the date of purchase, and 6 months from the time the cartridge is installed into the printer

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