Epson ink cartridges cannot be recognised? Nov 03, 2010 10:39 by Matt Bird

The most common error for an Epson printer, it is a simple enough issue to solve and doesn’t mean there’s any damage to your printer so don’t fret!


How to fix compatible Epson ink cartridges not being recognised

  1. Remove the cartridge/s you have just installed and turn the printer off for 30 seconds. This resets your printer memory.
  2. Check the copper banding on each of the cartridges. This is their contact chip and what communicates with the printer. Give them each a gentle wipe with a cloth to ensure they are clean and dust free.
  3. Reinstall the cartridge to your machine.

This should remove your recognition error 99% of the time!


Tips to avoid compatible Epson cartridges that cannot be recognised

Try to avoid installing more than 1 cartridge at a time. If just one cartridge has a recognition issue, the printer may alert you that all have a problem and you end up replacing cartridges perfectly able to print!

And the best advice of all? Don’t panic! The unrecognised Epson cartridge will simply be a fault on that individual chip, and a replacement will fix the problem. If you have purchased from a retailer such as Stinkyink, the cartridges are performance guaranteed and a replacement will be readily available to solve your problems.

Hope this helps, happy printing :-)

Leave a Reply


  1. Anonymous says:

    My sx535wd still refuses to recognize. Iv’e done them individually, and all together as you adivise .. nogo.

  2. Barbara Smith says:

    ohhhhhh please help I have replaced the ink cartridge’s on my Epson stylus photo PX 650 and it is refusing to recognise them I have done all that was suggested ( above ) and still inks are not being accepted I usually purchase from Stinkyink but these were given to me by a friend & I think they had them from unielectronics Ltd. !!!! Barbara Smith. :)

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Barbara,

      If you tried installing them one at a time and ALL of them reported not recognised then odds on they’re either:
      – the wrong type of cartridges
      – really old so the chip is out of date.

      Sorry I can’t be more help than that.

  3. Les Moore says:

    Sorry Matt, but that’s a load of rubbish! For a start, only an incredible design fault could result in “if just one cartridge is faulty it can report all of them having a problem”.

    If you let an Epson service centre check an Epson printer that has never had anything other than genuine Epson cartridges, and is now refusing to recognise Epson cartridges, they will run enough tests to empty all the cartridges, then tell you that it’s a “known problem” and there’s really nothing they can do to fix it (I eventually got that statement from them).

    They will suggest that you, once again, buy another full set of genuine Epson cartridges and, when the same problem persists, they will eventually suggest that you buy a new Epson printer! Amazingly, some people who have been victims of this abysmal and uncaring Epson customer service, do actually pay out again for another Epson printer!

  4. sue says:

    I have tried 3 different cyan cartridges and the printer won’t recognise any of them. They are the same brand that I’ve used for years with no problem. All other cartridges went in fine. I’ve tried turning the printer off. unplugging it overnight, cleaning the chip. Nothing works. Any other ideas?

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Sue,

      The best starting point is to try an Epson original. If that works, you know it is something to do with the cartridges (likely your printer has had a firmware update that is blocking their chip).

      If the genuine version does not work it’s an issue with the printer itself, and cleaning the chipreader inside the printer should help.

      • sue says:

        Thanks for taking the time to reply but it appears that it’s not the cartridges, but the printer. My husband took the cartridges out and we noticed a tiny piece of metal which had obviously broken off the bit where the cartridge slots in. I decided that as the printer is just over 10 yrs old, it was maybe time to buy another. For me, I chose another Epson as I have never had any problems with the other until now. So I chose the XP225 and hopefully it will give me as good a service as the old one.

  5. Les Moore says:


    Well put!

    I have commented previously in this forum, and I wish I had expressed it as clearly as you have done.

    It is now clearly established that genuine Epson Printers will frequently not recognise genuine Epson cartridges, and genuine Epson service agents will charge good money to empty genuine Epson cartridges and then say “See, it’s the well known genuine Epson problem, for which there is no known solution. But, you surely must feel better having spent large amounts of money on extra genuine Epson cartridges, and then on genuine Epson service, to learn that your genuine Epson printer (which cost you about $1000) will never operate successfully with genuine Epson cartridges – or any other cartridges – again!”

  6. Mark Anderson says:

    Epson – a Company so ashamed of the various products it sells to an unsuspecting public, it ensures that items within its product range do not even recognize each other!

  7. Shannon Black says:

    After 40 years in IT and personal computer usage with related devices such as printers, I have come to conclusion that printers are fast reaching the ‘disposable stage’ if not already there but . . . surely there’s more to life than trying to print something important to yourself (career breaking potential) for hours on end because you have to deal with the frustration of replacing genuine Epson ink cartridges with genuine Epson ink cartridges, one after the other, trying all of the suggested solutions, only to come to the last suggestion of returning the printer to the manufacturer because ‘IT DOESN’T WORK’! Please don’t suggest an alternative because at the point in time that you reach this “EPSON EXPLOSIVE’ attitude, you don’t really care about trying anything else. Everybody just needs a simple reliable printing device that doesn’t have built-in ink cartridge security, how obtuse is that? How much did it cost EPSON to program the cartridge chip sets? They are F… ing morons. I WILL NOT BE BUYING EPSON BRAND AGAIN! To hell with their product obsolescence, I’m tired of wasting my money on cartridges.

  8. Sharon says:

    Purchased a brand new Epson XP-520. I followed the instructions using the ink that came in the box. The magenta cartridge is not recognized. I have tried every trick you suggested here plus some I found on the Internet. I really could smack myself for not being more proactive in researching this. I live an hour away from the store I purchased this at and I don’t have time to dick around with try this, try that, a new item should work. I guess I am off to the store to return and possibly try a Canon since I can’t stand my HP either. Even if customer service solves this for me I do not want to go through this every time I need to reload ink.

  9. Anton says:

    Hi Matt,

    I bought epson stylus dx4850 compatible ink cartridges from Stinkyink and now, when trying to print something, it just prints out blank pages. I tried the head cleaning and that kind of stuff and it sounds like it’s printing something but in fact the pages stay blank. When I check the Epson Printer Utility it shows me half-full cartridges with the description of all the colours and their codes T0614 etc. I don’t think it doesn’t recognise my cartridges, it’s just something else. The only fault I clearly found is that it says Epson Stylus DX4800 although my printer s an DX4850. Any advice on how to start printing?


    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Anton,

      It sounds like an issue of a dried up cartridge or printhead – your best bet is to buy another black (I’d recommend a genuine for the added lubrication) and see if that can print.

      If that still doesn’t push ink through it likely means you have a blocked printhead and you’ll need to contact Epson. I hope that helps and you get it sorted :)

      • Anton says:

        Hi Matt,

        Thx for the reply! I just bought an original black cartridge for my printer. Hope it starts working after I’ve received it!

      • Les Moore says:

        I have commented before, but every time I see something else added to this site, I feel I should retell my experience.

        My Epson R1900 was perfect for a few years (it’s now out of warranty). It has never, ever, had anything other than genuine Epson print cartridges in it. Then it started to reject cartridges which it had been using for months, telling me that they are “unrecognised” and that I should not use anything other than genuine Epson cartridges (which I never have done). I bought more genuine Epson cartridges, only to have them all rejected one by one. Then I contacted Epson, who directed me to their service agent. The service agent emptied all my cartridges, and some spares that I took in as well, an told me that “it’s a known problem – they’ve seen it many times – but there is no known fix”.

        There is no way of over-riding the warning message and saying “go ahead anyway, because I know the cartridge is genuine”.

        I am not prepared to keep buying more and more cartridges with no real hope of the printer ever working again, so it remains unplugged in my office until I decide to drop this $1,000 dollar monstrosity into the garbage.

        If you decide to persevere with Epson and continue to spend money on more and more cartridges, I suggest that you set yourself a limit. For example, when you spend more than twice the value of your printer on genuine EPSON cartridges and they are all rejected, with no possibility of overriding the rejection, I suggest that you cut your losses and buy a Canon printer.

  10. Les Moore says:

    I love your confidence (“The unrecognised Epson Cartridge will simply be a fault on that individual chip …”).

    My R1900 randomly refuses to recognise various cartridges at various times. Sometimes it refuses to recognise the replacement as well, then also the next replacement. Then, later, it will accept the first one it rejected. It does seem that, when one cartridge is running low suddenly, in the middle of printing a document, a different cartridge will become “unrecognised”and printing stopped. Replacing it will result in the “low ink” cartridge becoming “unrecognised”.

    Epson Australia were no help. They did mention that this is not an uncommon problem, and suggested I take the printer to their nearest service supplier. They charged $66 to give a “quote” – which turned out to be not a quote, but some advice. Firstly it seems to be a common problem, and they have never been able to fix it. Secondly they suggest replacing all the cartridges at once (something I now have to do anyway, because they have virtually emptied all of the cartridges, as well as some spares I took in with the printer as well). But nothing is fixed! It still does the same things!

  11. Warren says:

    I use an Epson Stylus S22 printer with sublimation ink. The refillable cartridges have a small reset button to reset the chip once the ink need to be replaced. I don’t have an issue with resetting the cartridges but when I switch the printer on, it does not recognize the magenta cartridge. I must then press the reset button to reset the chip for the printer to recognize it. It will then work until I switch it on again the next day. Any suggestions on what the problem might be?

  12. tony dymott says:

    Is it true that you can only use compatible inks on an Epson printer a limited number of times before the printer insists on only genuine Epson inks? The costs of genuine Epson inks is ridiculous but we are getting frequent problems with our XP405 accepting compatibles. Also why wont it print in black and white when a colour ink is run out?

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Tony,

      That’s not true in the sense that after a certain amount of compatibles the printer will block them, that just doesn’t happen and we have customers who have used 20+ compatible packs without issue.

      However we do advise that every 4-5 compatible packs you use some original inks to ‘refresh’ the printer, as they have a special formulation that essentially cleans the nozzles you won’t find in compatible cartridges.

  13. Chris Liggins says:

    I used Isopropanol on a cotton bud to clean the contacts on both the printer and the cartridges, worked a treat :D

  14. mark gibbs says:

    Hi I have a Epson stylus sx415 we have new cartridges but it keeps telling us it does not recognise one or all the cartridges, we have tried turning on and off, cleaning the chips everything we can think off but nothing can u please help, thanks.

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Mark,

      Have you installed an entire new set? If just one cartridge is faulty it can report all of them having a problem, so it’d be a good bet to take them out and install your new inks one by one until you get the error.

  15. Paul says:

    Hi my father has an Epson xp-312 and all of the pictures are coming out all red and orange. I have installed new compatible cartridges and cleaned the head several times, they are all recognised but nothing works . Any ideas please

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Paul,

      You’ll need to do a test print page (should be able to do it through the same place you do cleaning cycles). It will print out blocks of the 4 colours, likely one of them isn’t coming through properly.

      When you’ve found which colour it is you can arrange a replacement with wherever you purchased it from. I hope that helps and you get it sorted.

  16. aire says:

    Hi, im having a problem with my Epson xp-205 printer, Its printing fine in colour but with the black there lines missing, I done load of head clean to the point I had no ink left however it is no making a difference with the lines it prints its not getting better or worse the colour ink is fine. IS there anything else I can do.

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi :)

      Has that only started happening since replacing the black? If so it’d be worth trying a different black cartridge to see if the issue is replicated (after a few headcleans with the new cartridge). Odds on it’ll just be an issue with that black, unless the printer has sat un-used for a while which may have lead to a blockage.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much, was almost banging my head against a wall. Printer has been fine all day then last two letters would not print, pages came out blank. Changed black cartridge, no joy, then one by one changed all of them, still no joy. Then found your website and sorted in two minutes.
    Thanks again

  18. Christine says:

    I have an Epson Stylus SX 125 and can’t get the cartridge out as it is not properly in line to do so. What should I do please.

  19. Sadly this didn’t work for me on two different Epson printers :(


    Hi I am having same problem as everyone else as it looks “cartridges not recognised” I have tried all the things people advise like cleaning green chip on the side ,usb cable out back in again ,everything! Help .Mo B

    • frank says:

      Problem solved,I bought a Brother printer for the same price as the Epson cartridges.Instead of replacing cartridges it is cheaper to buy a new printer with the cartridges in it.

  21. Joe Musich says:

    I am using an epson r300 with refilled cartridges. I keep getting a cartridge repalcement error message. Mac osx 9.2. I have returned the original refills and picked up new refills. Same issue.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have an Epson xp 600, my 1st ink change and I bought ink from amazon as refuse blind to pay epsons prices for ink, (works out more than the printer cost!!) the printer manager itself can see the ink but wen trying to print a document the software on the pc says printer not ready and doesn’t acknowledge the ink, any suggestions?

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi there,

      Sounds like the printer isn’t installed properly, did it work before replacing the inks? Otherwise if its printer related you should have an onscreen message for the printer giving more detail.

      Otherwise you’ll need to ask the supplier if it’s an issue they’re aware of, we’ve never seen it with Stinkyink cartridges.

  23. frank says:

    hi,I have an Epsom stylus TX300 using 74H cartridges.I am sick of getting ripped of having to buy new refills when there is still ink in the old ones..I am unable to reset the printer as it is stuck in ink replacement mode.what chip resetter do you recommend and where can I buy one.Thanks for your help.

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Frank!

      That’s a foreign Epson so I’m not sure where the best place to get a decent chip resetter would be from sorry. Hopefully you manage to get it sorted though :)

  24. Dianna says:

    I have a Epson 520 workforce, bought all new ink cartridges, installed, now i’m told i bought the wrong one’s I bought the 125, but there is 9 prongs instead of 7, is there something i can do, best buy won’t take them back HELP

  25. drouid says:

    Hey guys so this is what I did to make my sx415 recognize the new “incompatible” inks. I removed the green chip (gently pry it off) from the genuine inks that needed replacing and installed them on the new non-epson inks. Worked like a treat after switching printer off and on again. However, the printer still thinks that the ink levels are low and is not really printing in color (very faded blue). Will try the head cleaning next and see where that gets me.

  26. Mike says:

    I have an Epson R280 – While printing it indicated one cartridge was dry and needed to be replaced. I put in a new on, ran the normal cycle and it reported it was still dry – took it out, put it back in – same trouble – took it out again and realized it was good old OPERATOR ERROR – I had goofed up and left the Yellow Peel Off tape ON! Removed it and still bad, tried another new ink tank – still bad! I know I caused it, how can I fix it?

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Mike,

      Have you got the exact error your Epson printer reports?

      Most issues to do with print quality can be resolved with printhead cleans. Epson advise doing up to 6 of them to fix a problem.

  27. Jason says:

    I Have an Epson SX435. The black cartridge was low so I replace it, then it said the Cyan one had gone, so I replaced this also. Not the soddin thing says magenta and yellow are not recognised when they are nearly new and still full. I think that this is Epson in stalling software to create problems so you have to pay for their over priced 3/4 full cartridges. I’m never buying Epson again they are s**t.

    • the555hit says:

      This is totally my own experience too. Cleaned the magenta chips having found ink rattling inside the cartridge I was informed as being empty. Now registers 1/3 full.. Now it’s telling me the cyan is out —- is clearly not and neither will respond to having chip cleaned. Everything over these 4 years of ownership points to epson installing sabotage tec. PEOPLE — STOP BUYING THIS EPSON RIPOFF TURDWARE. Did I libel you there epson? So sue.

  28. Nik says:

    Hi Matthew, following on from my earlier post yesterday when i do a Nossle check i normally get four colour boxes at the top of page, now im only getting the two outside ones Blue & Black which explains why pictures are coming out bluey/black !! how do i get back the missing middle ones Yellow/magenta, would a lump hammer help !!!

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Nik,

      Refer to my reply to your previous comment – your best bet is up to 6 printhead cleans to try to resolve the problem, or replacing the magenta/yellow inks. If you’ve recently installed them and think they’re faulty you’ll need to talk to the supplier they’re from.

  29. Nik says:

    hi, have a Epson stylus sx415 when i try to print a coloured picture it comes mainly bluey – black colour have done the nossle/head cleaning methods but still no luck, Help is needed please :-(

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Nik,

      Your best bet is to run some more printhead cleaning cycles – Epson typically recommend running up to 6 to resolve most issues.

      If this doesn’t fix the problem you’ll need to find which ink is causing the issue (so either too much cyan is coming out, or not enough magenta or yellow etc). The easiest way to do this is print a test page on your printer and you’ll see which colour isn’t rendering properly. That cartridge will likely need replacing.

      I hope that helps and you get your printer sorted :)

  30. Jeff H. says:

    Hi Matthew,-I am having ink compatibility problems with my Epson XP312-Version 12.01.-I have replaced the start up cartridges which came with the printer, and replaced them with compatibility types! – I now get the message”ink not recognised”, so I can,t use printer!- any ideas on solving this problem? Regards, Jeff.

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Jeff,

      The fixes outlined in this article should resolve your issue for you :)

      If you try cleaning the chips, restarting the printer etc and it doesn’t get you anywhere you’ll need to talk to the supplier you got them from and try some replacements! Hope that helps.

  31. Carol says:

    When I replace them one by one the cyan is recognised the minute all four are in cyan not recognised any help much appreciated it us a sx 435

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Carol – it should just be one of the inks causing the issue. If you do them one by one you’ll find that one of them causing errors to start appearing! I hope that helps.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Ive given up on epson, Had 3 epson printers, All gone the same way. Eventually they dont recognise compatibles or genuine epson cartridges. They want you to buy only genuine epson cartridges from the beginning. Do NOT accept updates and only install cartridges on the printer when computer is off. Take my advice and buy a Canon printer next time!

  33. Tadeusz says:

    This doesn’t work–I can’t get the cartridges to be recognised at all.

    Epson printers are crap. I had all the same problems about five years ago but decided to give Epson one more try when a friend gave me a higher spec model which I have been trying all week to use. All the same problems are there. What an utter waste of money on ink–more expensive than champagne, with none of the pleasure. I’m going to give the printer away.

  34. George hazell says:

    Epson sx235w only 1 year old & on 2nd batch of cartridges although we have only printed about 30 pages now printer saying Not recognizinge cartridges. Done every tip on here still nothing. Decided not to buy another printer & just go to local shop Internet cafe etc will work out much much cheaper & will never recommend epson to anyone.

    • BluBee says:

      Epson sx235w only 1 year old had the same software problem with it not recognising compatibles. I feel REALLY cheated by Epson, Been using compatibles for years in my old epson with no problems. Now I’m left with old crappy printer that prints badly and new shiny one that wont print at all. After reading about all the issues with Epson I am very reluctant to spend 50 quid on genuine inks. Think I may buy a different brand…Tricksy Epson must be losing a lot of customers.

  35. SouthEastLondonLion says:

    It’s a bloody nuisance that’s what it is. Purchased two magentas from ASDA and both times it failed. Other colours not really a problem ? Use an EPSON 405 and have had some problems before and believe they don’t even manufacture them anymore ? Tried a HP but it was too expensive to run, not paying 30 pounds for all colour inks when they run out after about as many printouts. People taking liberties that’s what it is.

    Spent about an hour in Currys or Staples (cant remember which) taking advice from assistants (18 year old kids) trying to buy the right model and lo and behold, when we were done – it was a wrong purchase.

    Bottom line is, printers are poor, inks are too expensive, you buy them from stores, and they don’t work every time. Feel I could bloody scream sometimes. Hewlett Packard is crap and a waste of money also – just avoid. Now Got to make ‘another’ journey to a store and seek a refund on inks that don’t work, or poor or lazy manufacturing. Not happy. Surprised my language has been so decent on this.

    • Tom Myers says:

      If you check the internet, the problem with Epsom printers are that they are updating your printer driver automatically via the internet, which will tell the printer only accept the new chip version on the cartridge. (after the ink has run out) Mine, sx215 is now a V7, the old one was V6 (this is written on the green chip) Even if you have a genuine V6 epsom cartirdge, it will not work, the idea being that you will complain and they will replace it with a V7 compliant cartridge without question. It will also make invalid all the non oem cartridges at a stroke until they catch up. (unfortunatley they will not tell you this as they want to sell you their old stock). If you go to the epsom website and check for the latest driver for your printer, if it is for instance 6.9, only chips higher will be recognised. i.e. v7. It would be recommended to disable the automatic updating facility on your computer.

  36. Allan Coaker says:

    Seems to be working now, thanks a lot…. regards, Allan

  37. Ann says:

    Unfortunately this advice has not worked . The black ink was replaced but ever since the printer will not recognise the cyan although it was working perfectly before installing the black. I have replaced the cyan with new cyan ,but still get the not recognised error.
    If anyone has any ideas I would be very grateful as I am at a loss :(

  38. John O Neill says:

    i know this is an old post, but i only bought one 3 months ago. if you use a non genuine ink cartridge, you have to make sure that the new cartridge doesn’t break a reader pin in the printer. the really cheap refills they sell on ebay and amazon have a plastic spike on the bottom of the chip that doesn’t be melted down to a smooth finish. when you take out the cartridge the pin will hook onto it and come off.

  39. kerry says:

    this doesnt work fed up of buying ink what a waste of money epson is charge you a fourtune for ink that then only lasts a few prints before not being recognised yet again looks like ive got to go out and buy yet another printer defently wont be getting an epson this time what a waste of money.

  40. sue says:

    my problem is i cant move ink as the catridge there go in on machine wont move plz help

    • Amy says:

      Sue – I wouldn’t bother. Look at the past comments. Epson is an expensive printer to maintain and they won’t even recognise these comments. Never again…. go Canon.

      • Aura says:

        I am from Romania not UK and have the same problem like you all with my epson stylus sx230 and I bought new genuine cartridges . Same old error … not recognized . I tried all the advice above. But it recognizes the old ink although is empty .

  41. ian says:

    hi, puchased my Epson XP-405 a month or so ago.
    my black has run low and epson printer refused to operate unless black is replaced.
    today i purchased a genuine black ink for the printer and replaced the ink and the printer still relays the same message to replace the black ink.
    i have removed the ink, re-inserted and restarted >>> same message.
    i removed the ink, switched the printer off for a few mins and restarted the printer, re inserted the ink and same message apeared to replace the black .

    any ideas guys ?…

  42. Former Epson Customer says:

    I am another unsatisfied former EPSON customer…I will never buy this crap againnn…
    Dear EPSON idiots keep your stuff in the warehouses and put your the ink cartridges up in the a**

  43. Hugh says:

    Quite frankly Epson are exploiting the consumer. I purchased an Epson DX8400 a few years back. When the colour catridges run out you cannot continue printing in black and white, i.e. photocopy. That printer didn’t last long. It ended up in pieces on the garden path after giving it the wheeee! treatment from my bedroom window. I’ll never buy an Epson again.

    • helen says:

      I have had an Epson SX115 for 3 years. I have used it around 10 times to print. This printer is the biggest crock of shit ever. It is just a rip off it eats ink and then starts nagging ink cartridge not recognised. I know get all my printing done in a copy shop much cheaper than pourin ink into some shite device that does not know its arse from its elbow !!!!!

  44. annette says:

    tried the above, still saying not recognised ink cartridge, and i had only just done a print before, this happened after i did maintenance, i.e clean nozzles etcetc.

  45. Yvonne says:

    The simple truth is, Epson has made mugs out of us. It has produced cheap printers, and is relying on the fact that we need to use extorniately priced Epson cartridges to make them work, and it seems even they don’t work in the long run. My old Canon inkjet served me well for years, and years, until it gave up the ghost…it didn’t matter what ink was used, it didn’t matter if the colour ran out, I could still use black ink for text..Thois is just palin rip off..Epson are laughing all the way to the sodding banks. I won’t be buying Epson agin either. It will all turn around on them in the end, they are starting to get a very, very bad name! Badly done Epson….badly done!

    • annette says:

      beginning to agree with you, this is the 2nd epson i have had that has done exactly the same, and my daughter, who also has an epson, hasn’t used hers in over a year,

  46. John Hooper says:

    I have tried both solutions and drawn a blank

    • Chris says:

      Bought an Epson Stylus SX235W last year that came with Epson ink and it worked fine. The black ink cartridge ran out so I decided just to buy four compatible cartridges that were supposed to work with the printer. Since replacing the cartridges it wont print at all. All I get now is the error message ‘Cartridges not recognized’, or something similar. I’ve searched online for a solution to this, followed the all advice given, yet nothing has worked.

      When I bought the printer I also downloaded software from Epson, so that may help explain the problems I’m having. Still, I think it’s very unfair that compatible cartridges don’t work with Epson printers, even with software downloads. If I could uninstall everything I downloaded when I bought the printer, I would.

      Epson ink is much more expensive than compatible ink, hence my purchase, however this has been a complete nightmare. I used to own a Brother printer and never experienced a problem with compatible ink in all the years I owned it. Next time I need to buy a new printer, it will NOT be an Epson model.

      • amy chahal says:

        Your not the only one. Epson seem to think there is not a problem. I’m on my 3rd printer since November 2012. UK printer, UK cartridges, not recognised. And the low ink light comes on when there is more than half of the ink left on each and every printer. I’ve stopped printing as I don’t need to currently. Let’s see what happens when I do…

  47. vid shin says:

    I tried your method, but it just doesnt work. I thought the cartridges were faulty. So took my printer to pc world and tried their compatible ones in front of their technician. They too failed to be recognized.

    Is it possible that on Epson Stylus SX130, nothing but only genuine works? I also now fear buying genuine ones lest they should also be not recognized.

    If you have any other solution, kindly advise.

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Vid,

      Printers can occasionally download updates that block the use of compatibles, which would lead to constant not recognised errors in everything but an original cartridge. Is it always giving the error across the different cartridges, or do you have the issue with just one of them?

      You should never get a Not recognised error with a genuine cartridge, and if you did it would highlight something is wrong with the printer itself.

  48. silje momrak says:

    Didnt work for me either. The printer worked perfectly until i had to change my black ink, and then i got the message, Ink cartridges cannot be recognized. Is it something wrong with the ink i bought.

    • amy chahal says:

      Epson printers only work with Epson cartridges. Make sure they are UK cartridges if the printer was purchased in the UK and not foreign, if the printer is foreign, not sure. But I am now on my 3rd UK Epson printer with UK Epson cartridges since November 2012. Let’s see what happens when this cartridge runs out! Perhaps printer number 4? They are too sensitive and cannot handle average printing let alone anything else (my experience only). I tried all the walk-throughs and guides sent to me and nothing worked, :(

  49. rk says:

    just tel me how to make chip reseter fo epson me 101

  50. amy chahal says:

    I’ve tried all of this. Removed the cartridges, switched off the printer for 10 mins. Wiped the chips, reinserted the cartridges. Still not recognised. Tried 3 times and still not recognised, They are bona fide Epson cartridges and the printer still doesn’t work or recognise it’s own cartridges.

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Amy,

      That typically only happens in the following 3 circumstances:
      1) You have a foreign printer – the cartridges just won’t work even if you wipe the chips etc
      2) You’re installing the wrong cartridges for your printer. Double check the code on the cartridge against your printer on our website to check they’re definitely the right items.
      3) There’s a problem with the printer and we’d advise talking to Epson. They have pretty good customer service so you will hopefully get sorted

      Hope that helps!

      • amy chahal says:

        The printer isn’t foreign, bought in the UK as well as the Epson Cartridges via a link when I print and it tells me the ink is running low. Only original Epson cartridges purchased. Seems to be a problem with the make/model of the printer as I returned it. Seems Epson printers aren’t built to last as many others returned theirs as well according to the store I went to. Just as well I have 3 years replacement cover so will get it replaced free of charge up until then. At least it lasted 4 months and I am not even printing everyday.
        Thanks for the suggestion though. My next printer will not be Epson I’m afraid.

      • amy chahal says:

        Well, my second Epson printer complete with Epson cartridges has only lasted 6 days and the same error has happened again when I changed the cartridge (that wasn’t even empty even though the warning light came on)! :( :(

  51. ann mallen says:

    my epson sx115 will not reconize genuine ink when i shone a torch and looked at chip contact one piece has broken off thiis is the one were it will not reconize cartridge.

  52. Jim Skeen says:

    Hi. Just changed all my inks at the same time, the printer went ape. I did as you recommended and did them one at a time. Simples!! Thanx

  53. hayley.s says:

    i figure that my stylus sx415 wont regognise the yellow cartriges i have is because the chip reader inside is missing a prong, anyone know where i can buy one of these from or a replacement cartridge holder thingy? sorry for not being technical with it

    • max elvis says:

      Had same problem and thanks to you I checked the prongs and – yep – one was missing. I found it in the tray below the cartridges and gently slid it back in place using swiss-army-knife tweezers which are very thin. You have to push the prong down gently into place. My printer now recognises cartridges!
      .If you can’t find your displaced prong you could ask for a broken epson on a freecycle website.

  54. Nadir says:

    Hi I replaced my ink cartridges a few nights ago with track compatible cartridges and they worked fine until now it’s coming up the magenta cartridge is not recognised and is not installed correctly iv tried all the tips given but no luck it’s still coming up the same thing any suggestions as too what’s wrong as I need the printer to work ASAP. Thanks !!!

  55. Deb says:

    Thanks worked first time

    • Lucy says:

      I have replaced all the ink cartridges that the freaking printer says not recognized. Now it does not print black anymore even though the ink is totally full. The printer only prints Yellow at this point, which really frustrates me. What can I do in this case?

  56. Karen reilly says:

    Honestly…. I have tried everything at least 40 times and I keep getting the same crap and the same crap advice. I have been frustrated and epson have let me down when I needed some important items printed in a minimal time frame. I have only used epsom cartridges and I know I have replaced fresh cartridges with new ones in an effort to print important stuff quickly and the printer has failed time and time again. My son has a life changing appointment tomorrow and has received crucial information to be printed. So far… 5 hours with new cartridges and the stupid printer telling me to use compatible or the cyan is depleted…….FFFrrriicckkeenn really??????

    End of buying Epson…. Cartridges cannot be recognised and I am no longer recognising EPSON as a viable option

    • Matt Bird says:

      Hi Karen,

      That does not sound good at all. Are you having the problem with Epson originals? Or third party cartridges?

      If you’re getting it with originals consistently it’s possible there’s an issue with what reads the chip in your Epson printer. If you take your cartridges out of the printer, look into the cradle and see where the cartridge chip would be making contact when installed. You’ll see what reads the chip, if you can manage to clean that contact in the same way you’d clean the contact chip it should hopefully resolve your issue!

      • Zaheer says:

        Guys I am having the same issue whenever I need to change the cartridges. Last time after trying the same cartridge number of times it worked. Now ink has ran out, got new cartridges but not recongnized.


  57. fede says:


    • glen says:

      i had to replace my black ink, after doing so the blue ink says its not recognized, i have tried everything suggested on here, i cant take it back as its only just happened after changing the black, what shall i do? as this has effected me being able to print anything.

      • Huw Carrington says:

        Hi Glen

        If you had those inks from us then get in touch with the team at helpdesk[AT]stinkink[DOT]com and we’d be happy to help as per our guarantee, however otherwise all I can suggest is repeating the process with both the black and the cyan cartridges, as it’s possible that one of them is affecting the other.


  58. luca says:

    I recently changed the in cartridge of my NX420 with original epson ink and it continuously says it does recognize it. I have tried cleaning, taking out putting back in, turning it off and nothing.

    You would think a printer would print….

    • Huw Carrington says:

      Hi Luca

      I’ve just happened to spot your comment, and I have a thought. The NX420 is an American printer, so if you’re using non-American cartridges, such as ours, they won’t be recognised. This could be the source of the problem.

      Kind regards


  59. Ok4ever says:

    I used to love Epson printers but after this, well I’ve changed my mind.

    • Huw Carrington says:


      I don’t think the possibility of faults should put you off – you’re just as likely to see issues with HP, Canon, or any of the other big names too, but that’s not to say that problems are common.

      I’ve been using my Epson Stylus SX115 for three years now, and the only time I’ve had a problem with it was when a single cyan didn’t want to be recognised; I followed steps near enough identical to these, and got it working within about five minutes. It’s not the best machine, but it’s reliable, and it was cheap enough that when it does finally give up I won’t shed any tears!

      Kind regards


      • Yvonne says:

        Hi, after a massive saga with compatible inks , which I won’t go into ( save to say Staples we very helpful) I went and bought an Epsom Cyan today… and guess what … it did’nt recognises it’s own brand.! I’ve followed the turning the machine on and off and removing the cartridges thinf anout 3 times… and hurrah!! on the 4th time it worked !!! thankyou , the internet , persistence pays!!

  60. emoff says:

    I recently changed my black and magenta cartridges and first the printer rejected the currently installed and half used cyan cartridge, I did what is suggested here and it worked after a couple of attempts. However now it has rejected the yellow. After leaving the printer unplugged all night I still have the same problem and can’t fix it! These are relatively new cartridges that have been working perfectly for weeks! Please help…

    • Huw Carrington says:

      Hi. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a problem – I’ll do what I can to help.

      If you’ve had those inks from us, I’d suggest contacting our customer service team, either at sales[AT], or by calling them on 0844 414 41 41 – they’ll be able to assist more fully. If these are from elsewhere, contacting the retailer you had them from is probably a good bet, in case they know of any fixes specific to the brand that they provide. Otherwise, if they’ve started playing up having been working for a while, and these fixes aren’t working, it means a fault somewhere I suspect, though I couldn’t say if this is with the printer, the cartridge(s), or with something else.

  61. dave says:

    did not work. :(

    • Huw Carrington says:

      Hi Dave. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a problem. If these cartridges are originally from us, if you’d like to get in touch with our customer services team at helpdesk[AT], we’d be more than happy to help you. Alternatively, if these aren’t ours, I would suggest contacting the place that you got them from, as most good retailers will guarantee their products against this sort of thing.

      • Norman Riddle says:

        Half way through a print run (40 sheets) the printer stopped suddenly and displayed the cartridges not recognised message, showing all cartridges to be empty with the black one marked with a cross. I replaced the black and restarted. The ink levels were shown to be full (black) and one third full (CMY). One sheet later the process was repeated, this time highlighting the magenta. In all, I had to replace all four cartridges while they were still one third full. What’s going on?

      • Huw Carrington says:

        Hi Norman. Sorry about the slower than normal reply.

        I’ve seen it a few times with varying models of printer that when you change one cartridge it decides that it’s then time to charge another; I think it’s down to the charging process, that occurs whenever you change one, using ink each time, so it could push a low cartridge to the point where the printer thinks it’s empty. Alternatively, it could just be a misreading – when changing the other cartridge it’d be possible to get static into the works of the machine, which can cause non recognition errors like this.

  62. Mike says:

    I literally licked my finger rubbed old spots and replaced and the cartridges were recognized.

  63. John says:

    Hi Rick, what is a ‘forgen’ cartridge?

  64. rick says:

    can you garante that epson printer will reconise a ‘forgen’ cartrage? As all efforts have failed

  65. Matthew Bird says:

    Hi Doona,

    It sounds like you’ve got a faulty chip on one of the cartridges that is being temperamental. Have you recently replaced one of the cartridges?

    • queekd says:


      I have an Espon Stylus SX235W and after changing the blue yellow + pink and doing a nozzle check, it said my black was out too. But now I can’t change the black because no matter how many time I press that red triangle button, the inks will not move so I can access them. Do you know what I should do? Ive tried turning it off n on, unplugging the cable and pressing all the different buttons, but nothing seems to work.

  66. doona says:

    Tried your recommendation and it worked for 24 hours but now I have recognition problems again. Have tried removing and cleaning all cartridges to no avail. What now – help!