How to reset Canon printer 'Ink absorber full' error

Canon printers are programmed to stop responding after a preset number of printhead cleaning cycles is executed. This is to prevent a 'waste ink pad' inside the printer overflowing and ink leaking out.

The error either presents itself with printer LED's flashing in different colours or with Ink absorber almost full message on the printer LCD. When this happens, the printer generally refuses to print or do anything else.

Note: There can be other reasons for the printer LED's flashing, apart from ink absorber getting full, so don't automatically assume it is the problem. Check the printer user guide or google for explanation of different errors. Counting how many times the LED's flash before changing colour usually indicates what the problem is.

If this is the first time you're seeing the ink absorber almost full message, pressing the STOP or OK  button should get your printer temporarily working...

Resetting Ink absorber full error

Most older Canon printers are easy to reset by pressing the printer buttons in the right sequence. Most BJ, BJC, S, i and iP can be reset this way.

1) Power printer off
2) Disconnect power cable from printer (or switch off at power point)
3) Press and hold power and resume buttons
4) While holding both buttons, re-connect power cable
5) Keep holding the power button, release resume button
6) Press resume twice then release both buttons
7) Green LED should flash then turn solid
8) Press resume 4 times
9) Press power button to turn the printer off
10) Press power button again to turn printer on.
The green LED should flash few times, then turn solid

That's it. The printer should work as usual. If the error displays again, try repeating the process. If the error comes up again, it's possibly something else causing it...not the waste ink.

Resetting the ink absorber error should get your printer functioning again, but sooner or later the ink pads will fill up and need dealing with.

Fitting an external waste ink bottle is generally easier than replacing the waste ink pads. Another option is to have the printer serviced, but it may not be economical.

Note: If you use a late model printer that the above process will not work with, you may have to buy a WIC reset utility instead.