How to Load an HP Printer With Ink Cartridges

By Liz Turner

  • Overview

    Installing cartridges into a printer is a fairly straightforward task. While the details can vary slightly depending on the model of HP printer you have, a few general steps should cover the basics.
    • Step 1

      Determine which cartridges need to be replaced before opening the printer. If the printer is a monochrome printer, there is only one option. If it is a color or photo printer, you will have to determine which cartridge is empty by right-clicking the printer in the "Printers" section of your computer's Control Panel and choosing "Properties." Many newer HP printers also come with their own software to help determine ink levels.
    • Step 2

      Turn the printer on and open the print-cartridge door. The location of this will vary slightly depending on the printer, but it will usually be the top or front of the printer, and easy to spot.


    • Step 3

      Allow the print carriage to move until you are able to access the cartridges. Press down lightly on the empty cartridge, and pull it towards you. It should come out easily. If not, don't force it. Press until you feel it release. Place the empty cartridge into a plastic bag so you can bring it to a store or other location for recycling, or into a prepaid mailing envelop you may have received when you purchased the cartridge.
    • Step 4

      Open the package with the new cartridge in it. Remove any pull tape or plastic coverings, being careful not to touch the print head (the copper-colored contacts on the bottom of the cartridge) or any ink nozzles.
    • Step 5

      Slide the cartridge into the empty slot the same way you removed the other. Push lightly until you feel it click into place.
    • Step 6

      Close the printer door. The printer will most likely begin to align itself, and may print an alignment page. If not, print a test page to ensure the cartridge is seated correctly.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Replacement inkjet cartridges
    • HP printer
    • Paper
    • Return envelope or plastic bag
    • Tip: These steps are general instructions for HP inkjet printers. For more specific instructions for your model of printer, consult the paperwork that came with the printer.
    • Warning:
    • Due to special chips on HP cartridges, some aftermarket cartridges will not allow the printer to read the ink levels properly. This does not mean they are not inserted correctly.

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