What To Do When Your Toner Suddenly Runs Out

Toner Tips by James Cai

It seems printers are designed to run out of toner when you need it the most, that is, when you have a lot of work to be done.

They tend to jam on the big day. However, there is an old trick that might just buy you some time.

In most cases, the printers lock up and refuse to print once the light comes on but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few more good print outs. Look, it’s simple.

Usually, toner cartridges have a small sensor hole on the non-gear side of the cartridge. Covering this up with a small piece of electrical tape is the trick you need to bring your printer back to life.

1. Remove and Shake The Cartridge

Cleaning the opening where ink comes out by rubbing a bit of alcohol or water using a piece of cloth is great. Care should be taken not to mix the printing colors in the process.

You should as well let the alcohol or water dry before assembling the toner cartridge back into the printer. Also, shaking the toner can be quite messy.

Both ink and the printing powder are dangerous and messy. 

Often, this happens when proper care is not taken while shaking the content of the toner cartridge where each cartridge has a small hole through which the printing materials do come out.

The tiny hole must always be covered with a paper towel or something similar so as to ensure the toner or ink doesn’t spill out.

Other than these two, the following might as well help you in case the toner suddenly gets finished.

3. Replace Toner

First, unplug from socket or switch off the printer/copier machine. This is both a safety measure and a matter of procedure. Take a moment till the machine cools down.

Then crack the printer open. Next open the front cover of the machine. You should be able to see the toner cartridge, which you will remove.

Now prepare the toner cartridge by removing paper inserts from area and touch it carefully by its handle to avoid any damages.

Just before you do a replacement, gently move and shake the new cartridge to ensure the toner is distributed in it evenly.

Replace the toner by using arrows and guides to insert the new one properly in its designated slot, and then close your printer/copier machine.

4. Redistribute Toner

That was the usual way; when at least you have something in stock. However sometimes it is not the case.

Still in a situation where the toner just finished, and your work is due; with high hopes you swiftly turn to the office supply closet and notice mouth a gap there is no toner nor any refill kit items.

Surely this is not the time for such disappointment. You desperately need to finish printing the documents to avoid landing in trouble with your boss.

However, you can still get a few more quality pages out of your printer. All you need to do is to redistribute the liquid in the existing cartridge.

The procedure is rather similar to that of replacing your toner. Turn off and unplug the printer. Open the front hatch, and gently pull out the cartridge.

Then roll the part around a few times to enable the ink to reach every spot of the cartridge, and then reinsert the cartridge right back.

If you happen to drop toner on your clothing, use cold water to remove it, and avoid rinsing with hot water, which may leave you with a permanent toner design on your favorite blouse.

5. Troubleshoot Printer

Other times it is not as obvious. Could be the printer stopped for another reason. Remember it works with a software, which may as well be the reason.

So if the printer/copier machine fails to work despite the above two, try something else, troubleshoot it. It may as well be the quick fix solution.

6. Stock Up on Supplies

And lastly on this, running out of toner is a tricky situation. But merely an inconvenience if you are prepared with a spare.

It is always best to know the exact page yield of your toner so that way you get prepared, and avoid the disappointment.

It is also important to know that; adjusting your spending traditions, employing certain behavior changes around the office, purchasing toner cartridges in bulk, encouraging members of staff to lay off excessive graphics and colors before printing and of course opting for toner replacement services will certainly save you the drama.

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