Replacing the toner cartridge, especially if you’re doing it for the first time, can be a bit tricky, but it’s not too complicated once you get the hang of it. However, if you’re still uncertain about some steps even after reading this article, we recommend checking out the manufacturer’s web sites which usually offer specific manuals for each model (Gestetner offers manuals on replacing Gestetner toners, so do HP and Epson etc.). The procedure varies slightly from model to model, manufacturer to manufacturer, but this general guide will help you changing your toner cartridge painless and in no time:

1.    Press the power button and turn on your printer – in most models the printer has to be turned on to access the toner cartridge.


2.    Determine the level of ink in the current cartridge – if it says ‘toner low’ you can use the remaining ink to print some more – it’s definitely empty when you get the ‘toner empty’ message/status – change your cartridge only then; otherwise you waste your toner and risk toner sensor errors.

3.    Access the toner cartridge – open the printer door. Some models require holding the release button and pulling the lid in your direction. Once the cover is lifted in most cases the carriage slides to the right side automatically so you can access the cartridge easily. Be careful; if you just used the printer some of its components will be very hot.


4.    Remove the empty cartridge from the printer – the exact procedure varies from model to model, but most often you’ll have to UNHOOK the cartridge’s cradle or press the release TAB INWARD TO UNLATCH the cartridge. Some models require holding down the release button (most often it will be a blue button) at the side of the cartridge’s cradle. Once you unlock it, pull the cartridge up and towards you and remove it. If you still don’t have a replacement cartridge you can observe the one you just removed out of the printer and write down its model number, so you’ll know to buy a new one.


5.    Reduce the cartridge’s exposure to light to a minimum. Don’t leave the front cover open; if the cartridge gets exposed to light for a longer period of time, the toner will end up damaged which will reduce printing quality. Keep them stored in a dark, cool place.

6.    If you already have it, put the new cartridge into place – Take it out of its box, but keep it in its plastic bag. Gently shake the cartridge – ink can sometimes occupy the toner drum, which results in bad quality prints. Shaking it will distribute the ink throughout the cartridge. Remove it from the packaging and pull the colored tab on the cartridge – this removes the protective tape from the bottom. Do not touch the imaging drum on the bottom because filth and smudges can cause print problems. Put the cartridge in – don’t use excessive force – if you’re doing it properly that won’t be necessary anyway, and pushing it too hard can cause printer damage. It should snap in its place and you’ll know you’ve done it right when the release button returns to its locked position. If your model has a locking cradle, shut it around the cartridge before you close the lid.

7.    If you’re replacing more cartridges, make sure you inserted them in their right positions – pay attention to matching the cartridges’ colors and shapes with the ones on the print heads.

8.    If you got toner on your clothes, wipe it with a dry towel and then remove the rest with using cold (not hot –it will set the toner into the fabric and make the cleaning virtually impossible!) water. Don’t use chemical cleaners or organic solvents.

9.    Test prints – most computers will recognize that you’ve installed a new toner cartridge and ask if you want to print a test page to see if the cartridge is functioning. We strongly recommend doing so – the printer should then print a color test page.

10.   Dispose of the old cartridge according to regulations; put it in a plastic bag in which the new cartridge was packed. Seal the bag to prevent the toner powder from spilling

With some patience, willingness to learn and given advice you’ll be able to replace your toner cartridge without problems; but remember it’s better safe than sorry – find additional information and help if necessary.

Author Bio: This article was written by Ana on behalf of Artonery, a company that sells toners and spare parts for copiers and printers.