[HOWTO] Reset Your Brother Printer Cartridge (“Toner Low” reset)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 @ 1:07 am

If your last cartridge is low on toner, and you are not able to buy a new cartridge or want to make the most of your cartridge, follow this guide on how to reset your TN-420/TN-450 Brother cartridge, starring my wonderful thighs (I had to somehow hold the cartridge).

My Printer Info

  • Brother HL-2270-DW (a nice simple wired/wireless printer)
  • Accepts TN-420 and TN-450 cartridges (perhaps more but these are the most common)
  • This guide depicts a TN-450 cartridge

0. Requirements

  • a Phillips screwdriver
  • your printer cartridge
  • gripping device for the cartridge (e.g. your knees)
  • steady hands
  • some soap/water (if you get ink powder on your hands like I did)

1. Get your cartridge

You may need to take it out of the cartridge enclosure. You can do this by pressing down on the green lever like so.

Get Your Cartridge

2. Beware the Ink Roller

On the fat end of the cartridge is an exposed roller with wonderful laser printer powder. Try not to touch this unless you like arts and crafts.

Beware the Ink Roller

3. Locate the Correct Side

You will want to be staring at the side that looks like this. Note the two screws beside each of the two white circles.

Locate the Right Side

4. Unscrew the Two Screws

Unscrew the two fatter screws: the top-right most screw, and the bottom-right screw. Leave the two at the top alone.

(note: pictured below is another cartridge that I had lying around, so it looks slightly different than the above cartridge)

Unscrew the Two Screws

5. Carefully Remove the Cap

You will want to carefully remove the cap because the white rollers are not very secure. When I opened my cartridge for the first time, I was clumsy and did not have a firm grip on my cartridge. I recommend using your thighs and knees.

Carefully Remove the Cap

6. Telling When a Cartridge is “Low”

I’ve highlighted how you can tell when your cartridge level is “low”.

Telling When a Cartridge is "Low"

The longer piece of the reset roller (highlighted in blue below) would be pointing towards the bottom of the cartridge if you are “low” on toner.

All Marked Up!

7. Resetting the Cartridge

It’s quite simple, simply lift this reset roller out of its pin, rotate it so the longer piece is on the opposite side, then place it in the pin again.

Resetting the Cartridge

Note the position of the pin underneath the reset roller. If it ever comes loose, you will want it to be secure in its original position as shown.

Another angle of the pin’s original position:

Close-up of the Pin

8. The Resetted Cartridge (sans cover)

Here’s what it should look like.

The Resetted Cartridge (sans cover)

8. The Resetted Cartridge (with cover)

Carefully put the cover over the rolls and then screw back in the 2 screws.

The Resetted Cartridge (with cover)

9. Finished

The Finished Product

10. Loading Your Printer

Once you put your cartridge back in its enclosure and put it in your printer, your printer’s “Ready” light should be green.

If it still shows the toner is low:

  1. Turn the printer off
  2. Open the front cover (the cartridge cover) and leave it open
  3. Press and hold the GO button while you turn the power back on
  4. When all 3 lights are lit, release and press GO 2 times
  5. All lights turn solid – with all lights solid, press GO 5 times in a row
  6. The Ready light will turn red
  7. Close the front cover and your Ready light should be green