Periodically, Epson releases updates to its firmware. These updates, usually done to disable third-party cartridges, have no real benefit to the end-user. The updates often break the third-party solution, OEM cartridges if the ink level is low, and can sometimes damage the whole printer.
Many users are unaware that printers are set to receive automatic updates by default, and that it’s possible to turn them off. But what exactly do Epson automatic updates entail, and how do you disable them? Let’s take a look.
What is a Firmware Update?
Firmware updates are software that affects your printer’s ability to function — whether for better or for worse. You can manually download these updates from your printer, but most of the time, they are automatically enabled when you purchase and set up the device.
Firmware updates can occur without the user’s knowledge. However, if you start receiving error messages informing you of a damaged cartridge, or a cartridge not being recognized, this is a red flag your printer is receiving unwanted updates.
What are Third-Party Ink Cartridges, and Why are They Used?
Third-party ink cartridges, simply put, are cartridges produced by someone other than the manufacturer of your printer. Third-party cartridges can come with some drawbacks, including reduced image quality and printer incompatibility — hence the trouble with automatic updates—but still, they remain popular for a reason.
Perhaps the most significant advantage to using a third-party ink cartridge is cost. These inks can often be purchased as refurbished or refillable options, and are usually sold at a discount. You can save a lot of money by skipping the expensive branded ink and sticking with cheaper, third-party cartridges.
Although most firmware updates don’t negatively impact third-party cartridges, some do, potentially ruining your printer. This occurs when there is a breach in communication between the printer and the cartridge. There are steps you can take to downgrade your software or reset your printer to its original, pre-updated settings, but it’s easier to just avoid the problem in the first place.
So, if you are using a third-party ink cartridge, it is highly recommended that you do not update your printer’s firmware. At the very least, you’ll want to disable automatic updates, as this will allow you greater control over the updates you may want to install.
How to Disable Updates on Windows
It’s clear that automatic updates can have a destructive effect on your Epson printer. To preserve the freedom associated with using third-party cartridges, you should consider disabling these updates.
First, to disable updates on a Windows device, do not select “update” when you install the printer on a computer. Uncheck “Allow Windows Firewall to unblock EPSON utilities,” and if there are other people who will use your printer, instruct them to do so as well when installing the software on their computer.
Next, select “Disable automatic checking” on the window that pops up after installation. You won’t need to do the “Windows taskbar” once you’ve done this, but you do need to do this for each installation. As with step one, ensure that all Windows computers connected to the printer are configured accordingly.
Note here that more advanced users can block the “EEventManager Application” from their Windows Firewall. Because most properly configured firewalls see system updates as viruses and try to stop them, you’ll need to click the “unblock” button to enable them. Make sure to click “keep blocking.”
At this point, you can disable the update from the computer system.
How to Disable Updates on Mac OS
In System Preferences > Software Update, you can disable the feature that automatically checks for or installs updates, thus allowing you to manage them on your own via the App Store. If instead of just clicking on the “update” button you choose “more,” it will bring up a list of available updates, including the printer updates. Here, you can select the updates you actually want to install — just be sure not to choose any of the printer updates.
Additional Notes for Windows
You can disable the Windows taskbar update on the lower right-hand side of the screen. Right-click the icon of the target Epson printer to reveal the menu, and then choose “software update settings'' and select “auto-update settings.”
A new window will pop up. From here, select “never” and click “apply,” and repeat this process on all Windows computers that have the printer software installed. If you can’t locate the status monitor, navigate to “device and printers,” find the printer, and select “printer preferences.”
Once in the preference window, click on the maintenance tab to reveal the software update option. Then click on “system update,” and it should run an update check. Do
not install any updates. Instead, select “update settings” and change the update checking interval to “never.”
How to Revert Firmware for Epson XP Series Printers
When possible, it’s best to prevent firmware updates from happening in the first place. If a damaging update has already been installed, however, there is no need to panic — it’s possible to downgrade this firmware by taking the following steps:
Step 1: Connect your printer and computer with an A/B printer cable.
Step 2: Remove your ink cartridge(s) from the printer.
Step 3: Turn the printer off and perform the following set of actions until the firmware update screen pops up:
- For XP-300 to XP-630 printers, push and hold the STOP, LEFT ARROW, HOME, and POWER buttons simultaneously.
- For XP-440 to XP-446/XP-640 to XP-646 printers, long-press STOP, LEFT ARROW, DOWN ARROW, and POWER at the same time.
- For XP-800 to XP-830 printers, press and hold the top right corner of the touchscreen and the POWER button together.
Step 4: Now, you can download your printer’s old firmware. Below is a list of Epson XP Series printers and their corresponding firmware.
- Epson XP-300 = RJ01G4
- Epson XP 310 = OJ28G1
- Epson XP-320 = SJ0764
- Epson XP-330 = JO10G3
- Epson XP-340 = MJ10H8
- Epson XP-400 = RM01G4
- Epson XP-410 = OM28G1
- Epson XP-420 = SM07G4
- Epson XP-424 = SM07G4
- Epson XP-430 = MO10G3
- Epson XP-434 = MO10G3
- Epson XP-440 = SO10H8
Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions from the firmware installer to complete the installation process. The printer will notify you once the old firmware has been reinstalled.
Step 6: Disconnect the power cable and restart your printer, installing the ink cartridge if prompted.
Epson’s automatic updates can spell trouble for printers utilizing third-party ink cartridges, but you can save yourself a huge headache by simply disabling them. This is why it’s important to take the appropriate steps to configure your printer according to your specific needs. You can also revert your firmware to a previous version that is compatible with your third-party ink cartridge. Printer firmware updates do not enhance the functionality of your printer, and may break it when it becomes incompatible with your refillable or third-party ink cartridge.