Bypass Empty cartridge Brother Printer to Keep Printing

If you are like me, you bought your Brother scanner printer because you wanted a decent scanner and perhaps the odd black and white print.  Nothing more.  That’s why you didn’t pay a lot.

Well, built into the ‘cheap printer’ business model at Brother is a nasty little trick which says ‘When their colour cartridge runs out (which is really small) then stop printer from printing *everything* – including black and white – even though it’s full!”

Now that is just dirty.

I turned off colour printing on computer and it still refused to print with some bogus message like ‘cannot maintain print quality’.  Really?  I have a fully black and white cartridge and I’m not printing colour and it cannot maintain print quality?  I call BS, Brother.

Thankfully, the solution was super, duper crazy easy.  Thanks very much to these guys here

Just take some electricians tape (don’t bother with sharpie markers or other ideas as I tried other stuff on my desk) and get some small scissors (or exacto knife probably easier and more accurate) and cut some black electricians tape so that the tape *perfectly* covers the plastic clear window.

Note: you can see a small gap in this photo example which you should avoid.  Aim for 100% coverage of the window or it may not work.  I tried one with a slightly larger gap and it failed (their lasers are very accurate!)

Once the lasers kick in and hit the tap your screen will show a nice full cartridge and printing in Black and white (or whatever colour you have left) should work.


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6 thoughts on “Bypass Empty cartridge Brother Printer to Keep Printing”

  1. fantastic ! It works on mfc-j480dw. Just say yes when the printer asks if the cartridge is replaced.

  2. Thank You! This bypass procedure was successful on my MFC-J480DW, but I had a bit of trial-and-error. Brother is making the gap above the window very narrow. I discovered it must remain open for the laser check to pass through. I made sure to clear the gap by holding a thin nail and carefully running it back and forth to remove residual tape. I’m going to keep this ‘taped’ empty color cartridge as my bypass tool for future use in similar circumstances. Now I can proceed to print critical road detour info for my guests. All my other cartridges, including black, had plenty of ink! Thank you, Wayne.

  3. You’re a genius!! Worked like a charm. I can’t thank you enough! I’ve been SOOOO frustrated, especially after my brand new cyan cartridge ran out after cleaning and some test pages.

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