Reset ink levels for Epson CIS Systems. Fix the error Cannot recognize the following ink cartridge(s).

Epson printers estimate ink levels by counting printed pages.  A chip keeps the count. When a printer expects the cartridge to be empty, it will stop working until a new cartridge replacement is done.

We may see messages says: "Epson WF-2650, WF-2630, WF-3520, WF-3540, WF-3640, XP, XP-434, I380, T60 ... cannot recognize the following ink cartridge" but there is ink. Here are some possibilities:

1. OEM Cartridge, First Use

We are using an original Epson cartridge but printed too many pages. No matter if the cartridge has ink or not, the printer will mark this cartridge as "inoperable." To solve this problem, we can use a chip resetter to override the counter back to zero. You can see how it is done by clicking the troubleshooting link here. If you have a model like Stylus or Workforce, 330, 2630, 252, 2650, 3520, or XP 420, 1390, 1430, 5620, wf-7610, 610, 600, 2750, 2760, 4530the above link will solve it.  Sometimes, this happens when you upgrade a cartridge from regular to XL, like 8550, 2540,  wf-7110200, wf2760, 7511, 3620, 3720, 7620, 7611, 1100, wf-2750, wf2660, r380.  It has nothing to do with firmware or drivers.

2. OEM /Refillable / CIS Cartridge, New

Most likely, we have a system connection problem. The printer is not reading the chips. Push down the cartridge hard, until you hear a clip. Also, we will clean the connection pins on the printer. We will use our fingers to jiggle the pins and make sure it is not loose. If we've done these, we should contact Epson or the third-party manufacturer. We may have a malfunctioning chip.

3. Refillable / CIS, CISS Continuous Supplies First Refill

Recently, we received a "low ink" warning. We refilled the cartridge. The printer is working but doesn't recognize the ink level to be full. The solution is in the article: "Refillable Cartridge with Auto Reset Chip (ARD).

4. Refillable / CIS, First Refill

The printer does not recognize cartridges after a refill, and we had a working cartridge. Many printers have "Change Cartridge" function. You may need to go to printer's home, then click Set Up, and then Maintenance. There should be an option called "Change Cartridge." Click it and follow instructions.

5. Refillable / CIS, Refilled Before

We have reset the cartridge many times, but it developed this problem recognizing a cartridge. We've tried all the suggestions above. If this is the case, the printer's memory may be stuck at the old cartridge. We can force the printer to forget the old cartridge. To do so, we give the printer a new set of cartridges or let it run without any cartridge.  

Today we are going to show you how to reset ink levels for Epson CIS Systems with ARC chip. Also, we show you how to fix the error "Cannot recognize the following ink cartridge(s).".


The word ARC means Auto Reset Chip. Because it is auto-reset, you cannot reset it manually. The reset is triggered by an "ink depletion error." If the printer doesn't encounter the error, the ink level will not be reset. For example, if you see the ink level is low, and try to reset it. The cartridge won't reset because the low-ink is a warning, not an error. You need to keep printing until the printer encounters the error.

Once the printer encounters ink depletion error, it will ask you to change the cartridge. It asks you to open the printer lid and replace the cartridge. We will simulate a cartridge changing event. First, we remove a piece of paper that jams the lid trigger. The printer thinks the lid is opened.

The cartridge is moved to the changing position. A reset button disconnects the chip from printer temporarily. It makes the printer thinks you removed and reinserted the cartridge. Once you press down, you can see the cartridge icon grayed out. And when you release it, the printer thinks a new cartridge is inserted. If you don't use the reset button, you can physically remove and reinsert the cartridge too.

Once you put the cartridge back, the printer should get back to work. However, we want to show you a typical problem during reset. The printer claims that the cartridge cannot be recognized. For this printer, the error happens few times a year. You may have this problem with new CIS installation too. Repeat the process will not help.

We just take out the cartridge. Let the printer run without any cartridge. You can also use OEM cartridges if they are available.

When we close the lid, the printer will be overwhelmed by missing cartridges.  We press the OK button to proceed. Open the printer lid. Install CIS cartridges. Close the printer lid. No more errors.

If the printer still can't recognize the cartridge.  Try these solutions:

Contact points

  • Make sure the cartridge chip is clean, free of ink smear and debris.
  • Make sure the printer's contact pin is clean, free of ink smear and debris
  • Verify that the cartridge is seated in the printer securely.  Push it down hard until you hear a click.  Once it is inside, wiggle it with your finger back and forth.  If the cartridge seems to be loose, insert folded paper to the back and thus push the cartridge forward to have good contact with the printer.


Possible Causes:

  • If you installed cartridge with power off, the printer won't know you changed the cartridge.  It will confuse the printer and thus cause cartridge error.  
  • Sometimes Epson printer won't erase previous error code.  When it has a depleted OEM cartridge error, and a non-OEM cartridge warning come together, it causes the printer to display "cartridge not recognized."

Things to try:

  • Install non-OEM cartridge early.  Do not wait till OEM cartridges empty.
  • Put the OEM cartridge back and use on-screen prompt to change cartridges.
  • Power off the printer and leave it about 1 hour then power it on
Mar 16th 2017 BCH Technologies

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