All late model Epson
printers are prone to ink cartridge cannot be recognised errors. And
receiving one of these messages can be most frustrating, because "cartridges
not recognised" error often translates into "printer not working". In other words...you're not printing anything until the error is
If your printer is
currently non operational - with "Ink cartridges cannot be recognised"
error (similar to above), don't
panic. The solution can often be as simple as switching the printer off and on again.
If that doesn't work and the problem persists...read on.
"ink cartridge cannot be recognised" errors?
There is no simple answer to
this...there can be so many causes. It can mean just about anything
from cartridge declared empty by the printer to outdated or faulty
chip, missing or incorrectly installed (not clicked in properly) cartridge,
ink on the chip or printer contacts etc etc..
It's perfectly normal to get "Ink cartridges not
recognised" error with genuine Epson cartridges - when empty.
"Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" mean?
Nine out of ten times, the "Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" or similar
message, doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the actual
All Epson (and most other makes) ink cartridges have "ink" chips these days and they're there for a reason...to complicate
using non-genuine cartridges, refilling cartridges or using a continuous ink
So what does "Ink
cartridges cannot be recognised" error really mean? It's your printer
telling you: "stop being difficult...get with the system...go and buy
ink cartridges...and I might let you use me for a while again".
"Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" error be fixed?
Generally yes, unless you
have received Epson driver update. If for example the printer fails to recognise one or more ink cartridges
after you enabled an update,
there may not be great deal can do about it, other than buy new Epson
cartridge(s). Once an update is in your system, there's no
getting rid of it. Printer driver update
can not be removed by deleting files, programs etc. Even formatting your hard drive
and re-installing the original printer driver (from disk) will not achieve
anything. Why? Driver update can
permanently change the printer firmware (in the printer itself) - and there
is no easy fix for this. The only thing you can do at this point is disable future updates
and either buy a set of genuine Epson cartridges, wait until updated compatible,
refillable or CISS cartridges become available, or throw the printer out and
buy another one. This time, take extra care and
don't enable driver updates
in the process. Find more information on Epson
driver updates here.
Note: Some printer model drivers
may not offer the option to disable driver updates during the set up
process. With these printers, you may have to manually de-select the updates
after the printer is installed and/or set up your firewall to reject any
system updates. Each printer and operating system deals with driver updates
in different way, but the general principle is the same.
If you suspect your printer
problem was caused by a driver update, you can confirm this by checking your Epson
printer driver version. You can find it in "Printer properties" on "Maintenance"
page (see below). To work with driver version 6.9 for example, you need cartridges/chip
version 6.10 or higher (eg 6.12). The version # is printed on some chips, but not
all. Usually it is written in the left hand top corner of the chip, in tiny
gold letters. If your chips are lesser value than the driver...there
is your problem - a driver update. if the chips are higher value
than driver version...read on.
How to fix
"Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" error?
Ink cartridges cannot be
recognised errors not related to printer driver update
- or an empty cartridge
that either a cartridge is not clicked in correctly, the chip is dirty,
the chip contacts (in printer) are damaged. Try following the steps
below to determine which it is. Make sure the printer is powered on -
unless advised otherwise.
1) Remove/install the "not
cartridge. Epson "ink cartridges cannot be recognised" error can simply mean
that the cartridges are not clicked in properly. Non genuine cartridges and
particularly CISS cartridges can need a fair amount of force when installing
- more than Epson genuine cartridges. Close the printer lid and/or press the
"Ink" button - when finished.
If the error disappears and the printer now says "Charging ink" or
returns to the usual "home" display, the problem
is solved. If the "Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" message returns, try
repeating this process once before moving to the next step.
2) Remove all ink
cartridges and inspect the cartridge chips. If inky, wipe all chips with
damp tissue then polish with dry. Fit cartridges back in printer.
If the "Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" message returns, go to next
3) Remove all ink
cartridges, close the printer lid and turn the printer power off.
Power the printer back on and fit only the originally "not recognised"
Close the printer lid and/or press the "Ink" button,, wait while the printer
is "checking ink cartridges" and
see if it now recognises the "faulty" cartridge.
If yes, fit all the remaining ink cartridges, then close the lid and/or
press the "Ink" button.
If the same error returns, try repeating this process once more, before moving on to next
4) If you have the original
cartridge set that came with the printer (or any
other cartridges) try installing that set. If the error clears, this would indicate your other "not recognised"
cartridges/chips may be faulty.
the same "Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" message displays with the
replacement (for same cartridge), go to next step.
5) Remove all cartridges and
inspect the chip contacts (in printer). Epson printers use a series of thin
gold plated wire contacts that the cartridge chip slides and presses against - when cartridge is
installed. These contacts can corrode, or stick to the chip, particularly if
they ever had any ink contamination. The wires can sometimes bend, or even
get pulled out - with cartridge, when it is removed. If this is the case,
there may not be that much you can do to fix it, other than getting the printer
Note: If you can find the
missing wire contact and it's not damaged, sometimes it's possible to push
it back in it's slot. It's fiddly and you need good eyes, but it can be
done. Be careful not to bend it or damage something else in the process
6) If all the wire contacts
appear ok, try cleaning them with damp cotton bud or similar until they're
all spotless. It is a good idea to unplug the power cord any time you're
working on the chip contacts, to prevent further printer problems. When
finished, install all cartridges back in printer, plug the power cord back
in, turn the printer power on.
If none of above steps fix
the "Ink cartridges cannot be recognised" problem,