How to Undo the Update That Blocks the Use of HP970/HP971 Recycled Toner Cartridges

HP 934/935, 950/951 and 970/971 cartridges are extremely important ones, both for HP and for third-party inkjet suppliers. This is not simply because they are used in a wide range of Officejet and Officejet Pro devices sold in recent years, but also because these printers tend to be used in more voluminous environments.

Printer firmware updates that prevent the use of remanufactured, refilled and compatible cartridges are nothing new. Such updates are beneficial from a manufacturer’s point of view, but they can be frustrating to end users who use replacement cartridges, as shown by the flurry of online articles written by upset users in response to the HP update. For chipmakers and replacement cartridge manufacturers and resellers, OEM firmware updates are both incredibly disruptive and costly. If a firmware update is serious enough, third-party chips must be redesigned, and cartridge manufacturers and resellers must replace old cartridges with new ones while ignoring customer complaints about the old cartridges.

Changing the 970/971 HP Cartridge

If your HP printer gives you an error message such as “HP cartridges locked” or any other message mentioning something about HP cartridge protection, then it seems like you have fallen victim to a printer firmware update and you will be having trouble using compatible inks. You may also see a message such as “Counterfeit ink cartridge detected.”

The empty cartridge must be replaced to resume printing.

The printer is equipped with a physical ink sensor that will prevent a printer from functioning once an ink cartridge is physically empty. If this occurs, even once the cartridge is full and reinstalled, the printer will not accept it. Follow these steps to “unlock” the printer in this situation:

  1. Remove the completely empty rechargeable cartridge.
  2. Install another cartridge in its place and close the cover to allow the printer to accept this second cartridge. Follow the on-screen instructions. Any cartridge can be used: an original HP cartridge, a compatible cartridge, or another rechargeable cartridge of the same color. Wait until this second cartridge is fully accepted before continuing.

Note: If this second cartridge is also completely empty, it might take you several attempts to complete the procedure.

The empty cartridge must be refilled before continuing with the remaining steps. Resetting without refilling the cartridge will result in the same error.

After the reset, the printer will stop automatically. Turn on the printer manually and wait for approximately 15 minutes to allow the printer to calibrate before it’s ready to use.


Compatible HP 970/971 Printers:

  • HP-Officejet Pro X451dn
  • HP-Officejet Pro X551dw
  • HP-Officejet Pro X476dn
  • HP-Officejet Pro X576dw
  • HP-Officejet Pro X576dw
  • HP-Officejet Pro X476dn All-In-One
  • HP-Officejet Pro X476dw All-In-One
  • HP-Officejet Pro X576dw All-In-One
  • HP-Officejet Pro X451dn Color Printer
  • HP-Officejet Pro X551dw Color Printer
  • HP-Officejet Pro X451dw Color Printer
  • HP-Pagewide Enterprise Color MFP 586dn
Categories: Printer, Ink Cartridge

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