How to Replace Printer Toner Cartridges

By: Derek Rogers

Laser printers are a good buy because they can last as long as a year and sometimes beyond depending on the model. Laser printers do not use ink cartridges like the inkjet printers, but the output looks as if a good inkjet printer was used to print the copy. In fact, the quality of these printers is usually better and the print doesn't smudge since it is powder that is used.

You won't be noticing any degrading of print quality until after a year when you see the text slightly fading even if economy settings aren't used. This is a sign that your toner cartridge finally needs some replacing and it you might feel intimidated to do it if you have never had to do so before. Even if you know how to replace ink cartridges, toner cartridges require a bit more effort, but aren't really that difficult to do in general.

Reading the Manual and/or Online Help

A good start is to read the manual or any online help file that comes with your printer software. Some manuals may be comprehensive in teaching you the process of replacing a printer toner cartridge step by step while others might use illustrations and diagrams to aid you. The process of replacing the printer toner cartridge is pretty much the same as other models, but there might be some variations to certain steps depending on where the toner cartridge is stored as well as the size of the toner cartridge. Online help files are also useful because some printer software may have a special wizard function that interactively guides you through the process of replacing a printer toner cartridge.

Taking the Toner Cartridge Out

Assuming that you already bought a suitable replacement, you won't be able to install the new toner cartridge if the old cartridge is still inside. Taking the printer toner cartridge out may serve as a quick lesson on how to place the new one inside. Refer to the manual if you do not want to take any risks or slowly experiment with ways on how to remove the toner. Just be gentle when moving delicate parts like the toner even if it is empty so you won't damage any components by accident. There are no laser printers that require you to forcibly yank the toner out of the cartridge.

The general process starts with you opening the cover so you can see the toner. Observe the toner to see if there are any clips that are holding the cartridge in place. If you are not sure what to do with these clips or hooks, consult the manual. Look around the toner for any marks that serve as guides on how you should hold the toner. Slowly detach these clips and be careful not to get any ink on your fingers.

Placing the new Toner In

If you carefully took note of what you did as you removed the old toner cartridge, you should already know how to place the new one in. As long as you are careful with the delicate moving parts and obstacles, you should have no problems in installing a new toner cartridge whenever needed.