Canon printer does not detect the cartridge. What should I do?

 One of the most common problems with any printer is that the device does not recognize (does not see) the cartridge. There are various reasons for such a behaviour. In this article we will consider the main types of problems that lead to similar situations in Canon printers.

Printer does not detect new cartridges

It is not uncommon when, after the next replacement of cartridges or even the first time a new printer is started, the printer displays information that ink tanks are not inserted in the carriage. In such cases, the corresponding indicator lights up or blinks on printer (usually it is a light bulb with a droplet image).

Also, the printer driver installed on the computer may report this error when trying to print any document. Typically, such an error is displayed in the form of the code “1660”, “1682”, “1684”, “1687” or “E05” (depending on the printer model and driver version).

A light and/or flashes of cartridge indicator or an error displayed on the screen indicates a problem with the cartridges. Let us consider the main causes of such malfunctions connected with new ink tanks.

Чернила Canon

Installed cartridges are not compatible with the printer

Each Canon printer or MFP model uses specific cartridges. If the black ink tank is designed specifically for a b/w printer, then most likely it will not work on a color printing device, and vice versa. In order to find out which cartridges should be used with your printer, do the following:

  • Open the website of the official Canon online store -
  • On the right side of the page there is a search button in the form of a magnifying glass, you need to click on it, and then enter the printer model in the search bar - for example, PIXMA MG2540S.
  • On the next page there will be an icon with the image of the printer model you have entered, just click it.
  • On the page of the selected model, find the "Details" section, and then click on the link "Printers & Cartridges compatibility Chart". You will be promoted to download the PDF-document which contains all the necessary information about the cartridges.
  • If the link to download the PDF file is missing, go to the "More Information" section. There you will find printer’s specifications table, find the section "Cartridges and ink consumption". It enlists specific types of ink compatible with the selected printer model.

If there is one type of cartridges in the printer’s description, while another type are currently being installed, the obvious solution is to purchase the right product. Let us continue if your printer does not detect even compatible cartridges.

It is worth mentioning that a similar error can occur when using non-genuine cartridges manufactured by third parties.

Картридж Canon

Cartridge incorrectly installed

The correct installation of ink tanks should be done the following way:

  • First of all, you need to remove the protective film from the cartridges. This film is located above the electrical contacts of the ink tank in its lower part.
  • You should install ink cartridge until it clicks into place. If there is no click the cartridge or the cartridge holder may be damaged. In the latter case, you will have to contact the service center.

All left to be done is to turn the printer on ( restart, if it was turned on) and try printing. It does not work? Let us continue.

Foreign object or dirt on cartridge holder 

Even a small piece of paper, polyethylene, or any other small object can cause electrical disruption between the cartridge and the cartridge holder. Moisture or dried ink residues inside the cartridge holder  can cause the same result. The solution is obvious: carefully inspect the installation location of the cartridge, remove all foreign objects from the cavity and remove dirt.

Чистка принтера Canon

Often the printer does not detect refillable cartridge after the refill. This can happen due to various reasons.

The printer "did not understand" that a refilling was made

When the ink runs out, the cartridge automatically turns into a blocked state so as not to cause idle operation of the print head. Quite often after refilling, the electronic ink system remains in a blocked state and does not recognize the presence of ink. In this case, the printer may "think" that the cartridge is empty or there is no cartridge at all. To solve this problem you can try resetting the ink level counter in the ink tanks.

You can reset the counter with the help of buttons on the front panel. Each individual printer model has its own combination of buttons for this process. For example, for models MP 140/150/160/180/210/220/460/470/510/520 and MX 300/310 perform the following steps:

  • Press and hold the Resume button, the printer should be turned on (the icon in the form of an inverted triangle in a circle).
  • Press and hold "Power" button without releasing the "Resume" button.
  • While the Power button still being pressed, release the "Resume" button and press it 2 times.
  • Release the "Power" button. One of the indicators on the front panel will start blinking, which indicates that the printer is in service mode.
  • Press the "Resume" button 4 times, then press the "Power" button.
  • Next, you can run the subfunction If you immediately press the "Power" button, the main counter will be reset. If before pressing the “Power” button you press the “Resume” button one time, the absorber counter (“diaper”) will also be reset, 2 presses will reset both counters. If you only nee to reset the counter, you done need to run the subfunction.
  • After pressing the power button, the printer will turn off, which will indicate the success of the reset procedure.

For the Canon Pixma MFP perform the following steps:

  • Turn the printer off.
  • Find the 4 buttons on the front panel - "Power" button, "Resume" button , "Black" button (the indicator shows a white inverted cube with a vertical line inside) and "OK" button.
  • Press the 4 buttons simultaneously and hold them for 10 seconds, the printer should be turned off.
  • Release the "Power" button, but continue holding the other 3.
  • After a few seconds, the printer will turn on automatically, you can release the buttons now - you have done a successful reset.

It should be noted that this procedure only resets the black cartridge counter. To reset the color ink tanks press the color mode button instead of the b/w mode button.

Кнопки принтера Canon

Driver error

The printer software may have failed. In this case, you can try reinstalling/restoring the driver. In order to do this:

  • Follow the link support page).
  • In the upper right corner of the page, click on the magnifying glass icon, and then enter the printer model in the search bar.
  • On the printer page in the "Operating System" section, select the OS version (usually not required, because the site will automatically detect the version of your OS).
  • There will be a list of available drivers in the "Recommendations for you" section. Find the latest version and download it.
  • Run the installer and follow the instructions.

Cartridge is dirty

In case of the downtime the cartridges can dry out, namely their nozzles that are used to transmit the ink to the printer cartridge holder . Only ink tank cleaning can help in this case. The easiest way:

  • Pour 1-1.5 cm of clean water (bottled still water is suitable as well) in a shallow container.
  • Put a soft, lint-free cloth At the bottom of the container(gauze, for example).
  • Then put the ink tank to the bottom of the container, nozzle must face down.
  • Wait a few hours.
  • Dry the ink tank and install it in the printer.
  • Try printing.

If none of the above-mentioned helps, most likely the cartridge is broken. If the same problem arises with the new ink tanks, it could only mean that there might be serious hardware problems with your printer.