911 Votes

Brother printer says: Toner is empty! How can I still continue printing?

Question by Guest | 2012-10-11 at 09:44

Until now, my laser printer from Brother has really always proved a faithful service. This went on until today.

Suddenly, my printer stopped, saying that the toner is emtpy and that just in the middle of a print job! The previously printed pages still had a top quality, so I assume that there should be still enough toner in the cartridge! However, nevertheless, my printer calls for a new cartridge! That can not be!

How can I still continue to print with the same cartridge? I have not found any settings or anything else solving the problem. In other respects, I was actually used with printers, that they display an empty catridge, but they were still printing with a reduced print quality.

17Best Answer19 Votes

This is really annoying and I already had the same problem. That time, I found two solutions, one or both of the solutions should correct the problem.

The Hardware Solution

  1. Turn off the printer
  2. Open the front and take off the part in which the toner is inserted (drum unit)
  3. Build out the toner cartridge from the drum unit
  4. On each side of the drum unit in the plastic wall, you can see a little hole having the size of a finger. The hole is mounted on the same level, where there is also a kind of small window in the toner
  5. This hole must be taped on both sides with black electrical tape
  6. Replace all things
  7. Now the printer should work again
  8. To this solution: If the printer can almost see through the hole and the cartridge, he thinks that the cartridge was empty. If we conceal his view, it works again.

The Software Solution

  1. Open the front of the printer (where you can also change the toner)
  2. Turn off the printer
  3. While holding the "Go" button, switch the printer on. Now, all the lights on the printer should be on
  4. Release the "Go" button again
  5. Press 2 times on the "Go" button
  6. Wait until the lights change
  7. Press 5 times on the "Go" button
  8. The toner light should go out
  9. The paper-empty light should go on
  10. Close the front of the printer again
  11. Now everything should work again
  12. To this solution: The solution performs a reset of the printer. Thus, the stored number of printed pages is set to 0, otherwise the printer stopps working from a certain number of pages on. The reset can also be carried out by inserting a new cartridge and then re-taking the old.

One of the two solutions should work for many models of Brother, such as the printers HL-1440, HL-1850, HL-2140, HL-2150 N, HL-2030, HL-2035, HL-2040, HL-2070, HL-2130, HL-2240 D, HL-5170 DN, HL-5250 DN, HL-5380 DN, HL-5370 DW, MFC-8380 DN, MFC-8460 N.

If you know any other printers, for that the solution worked successfully, fell free to write a comment. Then, I can add them to the list.
2012-10-12 at 16:02

ReplyPositive Negative
88 Votes

I want to mention how grateful I am for both solutions. It seems my printer had a software problem, but I did cover the holes as instructed above too.

What a relief to have such a service from knowledgeable people.

Thank You All so very, very much!
2014-03-04 at 21:02

Positive Negative
11 Vote

I googled looking for an answer and found this! Thank you! The first option worked perfectly!

Thanks for saving me $$ and a trip to the store!
2016-09-17 at 17:25

Positive Negative
11 Vote

Thank you very much. My problem was hardware. I was able to fix it as per your suggestion. Thank you!
2016-09-22 at 14:44

Positive Negative
11 Vote

Bless you! The second one worked for me. I don't know why these companies do this - don't they understand the principles of customer loyalty? Anyway, thanks for people like you.
2016-10-03 at 13:39

Positive Negative
11 Vote

Thank you! The hardware reset didn't work for me but the electrical tape over the holes did the trick.
2016-10-26 at 01:13

Positive Negative
00 Votes

Thanks, the software reset did not work, but the tape over clear plastic holes did the job. Thank you!
2017-03-16 at 18:04

Positive Negative
11 Vote

THANK YOU so much! The tape worked and I was able to print! I am grateful for your help. I appreciate your willingness to share!
2017-03-21 at 21:38

Positive Negative
00 Votes

Thanks for your help, tried both and that worked as you said. Really appreciate people giving their useful tips to everyone else.
2017-05-08 at 11:46

Positive Negative
00 Votes

Thank you so much! Tape worked for HL2130. The other trick only turned the toner light off.
2018-01-19 at 18:34

Positive Negative
11 Vote

Thank you your help, sorted out my problem successfully. I tried solutions from other websites but you explained thoroughly what to do properly.
2017-08-06 at 11:06

ReplyPositive Negative
00 Votes

I used to do this but now it no longer works. All printer lights keep flashing especially the toner. I've bought and put in several new cartridges and the printer registers each one as empty and will no longer print.
2018-01-15 at 19:54

ReplyPositive Negative
00 Votes

I took a cartridge apart and can confirm there is plenty of unused toner!
2020-08-15 at 12:10

ReplyPositive Negative
00 Votes

THANK YOU! Just replaced toner cartridge a month ago and now reading "toner empty." The brother website suggestions did not work. My ancient brother MFC 8440 printer does not have a "GO" button, so I used the "Start" button in your 2nd suggestion, but it didn't reset. But your first suggestion, to cover the holes, worked like a charm. I didn't have black electrical tape, so I just used black sharpie circles on paper and scotch taped over the holes on the outside sides of the drum in place, for now. You saved me from junking my beloved ancient brother 8440 printer, it is a work horse. I even bought another new color printer 2 years ago and used it ONCE, lol. I like my trustee never fail me old printer. Thanks for saving me time, money and printer!
2020-12-09 at 18:49

ReplyPositive Negative
11 Vote

I wish you had some pics to go with this info. I just can't figure out which holes you are referring to. You guess it, I'm a visual person. Thanks.
2022-05-05 at 13:41

ReplyPositive Negative

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Toner empty, how to print further?

Open Question | 1 Answer

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