Brother Printer Cannot Detect Ink [Solutions]

If your Brother Printer cannot detect ink, then you need to read this article. It offers you practical solutions on how to fix this problem without calling a technician.

Why Brother Printer Cannot Detect Ink and Solutions

The following are reasons your Brother Printer cannot detect ink and the corresponding solutions:

1. Brother Printer Needs an Internal Memory Reset

By this, we do not mean a factory reset. Sometimes, when your Brother Printer cannot detect ink cartridge or toner, all you need to do is unplug the power cable from the electric outlet.

Allow the printer to remain that way for about 20 minutes. After this period, plug it back into the outlet and turn it on. Then check if the issue has been corrected.

In most cases, this action should reset the Brother Printer’s internal memory and cause it to detect ink. However, if this fails, check the next issue…

2. Ink was replaced when Brother Printer was Turned Off

This is a common mistake many people make. When you replace your ink cartridge or toner when the Brother Printer is turned off, it might not detect the ink.

You can correct this issue by removing your ink cartridge or toner and then reinsert it. Make sure you do it while your Brother Printer is turned on.

When reinserting the cartridge into an Inkjet colored Brother Printer, follow these steps:

Step 1: Insert the cartridges one after the other. Make sure you start with the black cartridge.

Step 2: The printer will show a prompting: “Did you replace the black cartridge?” Press “Yes” to continue.

Step 3: Insert the next cartridge and repeat the process until you have reinserted all the cartridges.

Make sure you insert the color cartridges in their correct position. Folks who have the “Brother Printer cannot detect yellow ink” issue make mistakes at this step.

Also, make sure you always respond with “Yes” to the printer’s promptings.

Step 4: Close the cartridge door when you are done.

3. Faulty or Out-of-Date Microchip

Very new Brother Printer models have microchip cartridges. These microchips connect to the printer to ensure perfect printing conditions.

If these microchips are out-of-date and you just updated your printer driver/software, your printer might not detect such cartridges. This is because they have been removed from the database.

And if the microchip is faulty, your Brother Printer will not be able to communicate with the cartridge.

Therefore, the solution to this issue is to use cartridges or toners that have an up-to-date microchip. And if yours is faulty, get a new one that is currently supported by your Brother Printer.

4. Dirty Metal Contacts in your Printer

The metals that contact the microchip might be dirty. This is one of the reasons your Brother cannot detect ink volume.

To get your Brother Printer to work optimally again, you have to clean the inside of your printer.

Check out this article to learn how to clean your Brother Printer.

5. Generic Cartridge or Toner – Brother Printer Cannot Detect Ink

The use of generic cartridges or toners might be the reason your Brother Printer cannot detect toner or cartridge.

Certain protection settings that come with your printer firmware might prevent you from using non-supported cartridges or toners on your Brother Printer. Hence, if you purchase such cartridges or toners and these settings are enabled, the ink won’t be detected.

What is the solution? Simple, buy only genuine Brother Ink cartridges and toners.

6. The Protective Cover on your Cartridge hasn’t been removed

There is a protective cover at the top of a new ink cartridge. This strip or cover as you might have guessed protects the ink within the cartridge from drying up.

Before installing the cartridge into the printer, the protective cover must be removed. Failure to do this will cause the Brother Printer not to register the new cartridge and it won’t detect ink.

Therefore, check if you forgot to do this when installing your ink cartridges. If you didn’t remove it, do so and then reinstall the cartridge.

We recommend that you watch the video below…

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7. The Ink Level Window has a Jammed Float

This is usually a rare occurrence; however, if the above doesn’t solve the problem, you need to consider this.

Certain newer Brother Printer ink cartridges have a little float that rests on the upper part of the ink just inside the small window just at the cartridge’s front.

If this float gets jammed, your Brother Printer will not detect ink.

You can deal with this issue by removing the jam. And if the float is damaged, then you’ll have to get a new ink cartridge.

8. Updated Brother Printer Software

In some cases, updated software can also stop compatible cartridges from not being detected by the printer. This is used by many printer manufacturers including Brother to stop the use of cartridges that have been refilled.

While you need updated software, it has its disadvantages especially if you are using non-Brother cartridges.  

You could choose not to update your software or you could choose to use a genuine and brand new Brother Ink cartridge. As far as we are concerned, we recommend you go with the latter option.

If you want further help, you can check out Brother Contact Support.