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What happens if you put in the wrong type of ink cartridge?

printer ink

When replenishing printer supplies such as ink cartridges, it is important to use caution. Mixing them up or discovering you bought the wrong refills can affect your device. Aside from costing you money, incorrect installation of cartridges may also cause a number of other inconveniences, including damaged hardware and discoloured printouts.

Printer Refuses To Work

Most ink cartridges have a microchip inside that communicates with the printer when correctly installed. Putting the wrong cartridge in your printer will affect this process and will most likely send an error message. In most cases, even if the wrong cartridge has been installed but is not needed for your current print job, for example an incorrect colour cartridge but you are printing only with black, your printer will not print at all until the error is corrected.

Possible Printer Damage

Ink cartridge case designs differ depending on its brand. This means the cartridges for one printer typically do not fit inside another. A good indication that you may have gotten the wrong cartridge for your printer is if you have trouble installing it. A correct cartridge simply slips into its spot, easily snapping into place. If you force a cartridge in and try to circumvent warning using a tape trick, you could damage both the cartridge and the printer.

Wasted Money

Replacing ink cartridges can be expensive. Purchasing the wrong type does not only negatively affect your printer, but your wallet as well. Even if you discover your mistake before installing the wrong cartridge, stores usually don’t take opened cartridges back. This means that you would need to spend more money to buy the correct one.

Minimise Problems

It is important to do your research first before purchasing replacement ink to avoid putting the wrong cartridge in your printer. Check your printer manual or the manufacturer’s website for the exact ink cartridge numbers you need. You can also check the cartridges still inside the printer for any identifying information, as most cartridges have their brand and numbers labelled on it. If you don’t have the empty cartridges to refer to, just write down the brand and model of your printer and take that information with you. Many office supply stores have ink cartridge guides attached to the display racks. You simply need to know what printer you own, and you can use their guide as a reference.

If you are looking for great deals on ink, don’t hesitate to contact us! InkSave offers a selection of branded goods from the manufacturer, or affordable but fully guaranteed premium brand alternatives. InkSave is a family-run business with a passion for great customer care and sound advice. Send us a message at or call us on 0800 9700 346.