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Handling ink cartridges and printhead

The following sections provide details for this topic.

About the ink cartridges

Ink cartridges store the ink and are connected to the printhead, which distributes the ink on the paper.

To purchase additional cartridges, see .


Observe precautions when handling ink cartridges because they are ESD-sensitive devices (see the Glossary). Avoid touching pins, leads and circuitry.

Check the ink cartridges status

To get more information on your ink cartridges, you can press the color of the cartridge on which you want information.

To view the ink levels of your ink cartridges, tap , then tap the cartridge that you want information on. There is a Replace ink cartridges option on the ink information page in case you want to do so (see also Remove an ink cartridge).

You can also get this information from the HP Utility or Embedded Web Server.

For an explanation of the ink cartridge status messages, see Ink cartridge status messages.

HP Utility procedures

This topic explains the concepts involved in this subject.

  • In the HP DesignJet Utility for Windows, go to the Overview tab, each cartridge's status is under Supplies Status > Cartridges.

Remove an ink cartridge

The following steps provide the complete procedure for this topic.

There are three occasions when you need to remove an ink cartridge.

  • The ink cartridge is very low and you want to replace it with a full cartridge for unattended printing (you can use up the remaining ink in the first cartridge at a more convenient time).

  • The ink cartridge is empty or faulty, and you must replace it to continue printing.

  • You want to replace the printhead, and there is not enough ink left in the ink cartridge to complete the printhead replacement process. In this case, if the cartridge is not empty you can use it again later.


Do not try to remove an ink cartridge while printing.


Remove an ink cartridge only if you are ready to insert another one.


Make sure the printer wheels are locked (the brake lever is pressed down) to prevent the printer from moving.


When a cartridge runs out of ink, the current job is not automatically cancelled: unless you cancel it manually, it will resume printing when the empty cartridge has been replaced. If there is a delay in replacing the cartridge, you may see some banding on the print.

  1. From the front panel, press , then , then Replace.

  2. Open the ink cartridge cover on the left- or right-hand side of the printer.

  3. Grip the cartridge you wish to remove.

  4. Pull the cartridge straight up.


    Avoid touching the end of the cartridge that is inserted into the printer, as there may be ink on the connection.


    Avoid storing partially used ink cartridges.

  5. The front-panel display identifies the missing ink cartridge.

Insert an ink cartridge

The following steps provide the complete procedure for this topic.

  1. Before removing the cartridge from its wrapping, shake it vigorously.

  2. Unwrap the new ink cartridge, find the label identifying the ink color. Check that the letter or letters (in these illustrations, M for magenta) marking the empty slot, matches the letter or letters on the cartridge label.

  3. Insert the ink cartridge into its slot: photo black, gray, and matte black on the left; cyan, magenta, and yellow on the right.

  4. Push the cartridge into the slot until it snaps into position. You should hear a beep and see confirmation that the cartridge has been inserted.

    If you have difficulty, see Cannot insert an ink cartridge.

  5. When all cartridges have been inserted, close the cover.

  6. The front-panel display confirms that all cartridges have been correctly inserted.

Although it is possible to use non-HP ink cartridges, this choice has several serious disadvantages. It may not be possible to determine with enough accuracy the ink level or status of used, refilled, or counterfeit ink cartridges. Any service or repair required as a result is not covered under the warranty. System ink flushing, color calibration, and printhead alignment are recommended. If you experience print-quality problems, HP recommends changing to Original HP inks.

About the printhead

The printhead is connected to the ink cartridges and jets ink onto the paper.


Observe precautions when handling the printhead because it is an ESD-sensitive device (see the Glossary). Avoid touching pins, leads, and circuitry.

Check the printhead status

The following steps provide the complete procedure for this topic.

The printer automatically checks and services the printhead after each print. Follow the steps below to get more information on your printhead.

  1. From the front panel, tap , then select the Printhead tab at the top of the window.

  2. The front panel displays:

    • Product name

    • Product number

    • Serial number

    • Status, see Front-panel error messages

    • Volume of ink it has used

    • Warranty status

You can also get some of this information from the HP Utility.

For an explanation of the printhead status messages, see Printhead status messages.

If the warranty status is See warranty note, this indicates that expired ink is being used. If the warranty status is Out of warranty, this indicates that non-HP ink is being used. See the limited warranty document provided with your printer for details of the warranty implications.

Remove the printhead

The following steps provide the complete procedure for this topic.


Make sure the printer wheels are locked (the brake lever is pressed down) to prevent the printer from moving.


Printhead replacement must be performed with the printer powered on.

  1. From the front panel, press , then select the Printhead tab, then Replace.

    The front panel may ask whether the replacement printhead is new or used.


    You can cancel the process at any time by pressing .

  2. The front panel asks you to open the window.

  3. The carriage moves automatically to the left side of the printer.


    If the carriage is left in the removal position for more than three minutes without inserting or removing the printhead, it tries to move back to its normal position in the right-hand end.

  4. Raise the blue printhead cover.

  5. Pull the blue cover back towards you, raising the black piece to which it is attached.

  6. Leave the black piece approximately vertical.

  7. Grasp the printhead by the blue pieces on each side.

  8. Lift the printhead out of the carriage.

Insert the printhead

The following steps provide the complete procedure for this topic.


You cannot insert a new printhead successfully if a connected ink cartridge has not enough ink to complete the printhead replacement process. In this case, you should replace the ink cartridge before inserting the new printhead. You can use the old cartridge later if it still contains some ink.

  1. Remove the orange protective caps by pulling them down.

  2. Insert the new printhead.


    Insert the printhead slowly and vertically, straight down. It may be damaged if you insert it too fast, or at an angle, or if you rotate it as you insert it.

  3. Check that the printhead is correctly aligned with its ink connectors.

  4. Lower the black piece over the printhead.

  5. Close the blue cover and make sure that it is properly closed.

    When the printhead has been inserted correctly and is accepted by the printer, the printer beeps.


    If the printer does not beep when you insert the printhead and the Replace message appears on the front-panel display, the printhead may need to be reinserted.

  6. Close the window.

  7. The front-panel display confirms that the printhead is correctly inserted. The printer starts checking and preparing the printhead. The default routine process takes 10 minutes. If the printer finds problems in preparing the printhead, it takes longer, up to 45 minutes. After the printhead is checked and prepared, the printhead realignment procedure runs automatically if paper is loaded, see Align the printhead.

  8. You are recommended to perform a color calibration after inserting a new printhead. See Color calibration.

Storage of anonymous usage information

Each ink cartridge contains a memory chip that assists in the operation of the printer. In addition, this memory chip stores a limited set of anonymous information about the usage of the printer, which can include the following: the date when the cartridge was first installed, the date when the cartridge was last used, the number of prints printed using the cartridge, the print coverage, the frequency of printing, the printing modes used, any printing errors that may have occurred, and the product model. This information helps HP to design future products to meet our customers' printing needs.

The information collected by the memory chip does not include information that could be used to identify a customer or user of the cartridge or printer.

HP collects a sample of the memory chips from ink cartridges returned to HP's free return and recycling program (HP Planet Partners: http://www.hp.com/recycle). The sampled memory chips are read and studied in order to improve future HP products.

HP partners who assist in recycling ink cartridges may also have access to the information. Any third party possessing the cartridge may be able to access the anonymous information on the memory chip.

If you are concerned about providing this anonymous information, you can tell the printer not to store the information in the memory chip. To do so, access the Embedded Web Server, and select Security > Security Settings, then in the Printer Settings section toggle to Anonymous usage information. This does not prevent the cartridge from working normally in other respects. However, if you change your mind later, you can restore the factory defaults to resume collecting printer usage information.

Safe mode

Under certain conditions, including printer operation outside of environmental specifications, and when a used, refilled, or counterfeit ink cartridge has been detected, the printer will operate in safe mode. HP is unable to warrant the performance of the printing system when operated outside of environmental specifications or when a used, refilled, or counterfeit ink cartridge is installed. Safe mode is designed to protect the printer and the printheads from damage due to unexpected conditions, and is in operation when the icon is displayed on the printer’s front panel and by the Embedded Web Server and HP Utility.

For optimal performance, use original HP ink cartridges. HP DesignJet printing systems, including original HP inks and printheads, are designed and engineered together to provide uncompromising print quality, consistency, performance, durability, and value—with every print.


This printer is not designed to use continuous ink systems. To resume printing, remove the continuous ink system and install genuine HP (or compatible) cartridges.


This printer is designed for ink cartridges to be used until they are empty. Refilling cartridges prior to depletion might cause your printer to fail. If this happens, insert a new cartridge (either genuine HP or compatible) to continue printing.


Dynamic security enabled printer. Only intended to be used with cartridges using an HP original chip. Cartridges using a non-HP chip may not work, and those that work today may not work in the future. More at: http://www.hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies.






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