A cartridge or printer chips are devices that communicate to your PC to provide warnings when your ink cartridges reached certain levels or if any other issues arise. Thanks to this smart chip, your PC is able to pop up warning messages to let you know if your printer’s ink level is low, or any error occurred.

What exactly is a cartridge/printer chip?

  • Cartridge chips are the communicator between your devices to provide the status of your ink cartridges.
  • Cartridge chips communicate directly or use radio frequency with a machine.
  • They have memory storage for information, and sometimes with a processor to provide the correct responses.
  • Cartridge chips are typically mounted on a small circuit board.
  • They contain specific information of the ink cartridge, so your printer knows if the correct cartridge has been installed, and the cartridge yield is listed after installation.

How a cartridge chip works?

These smart chips are programmed for specific ink toner designs and will send out warnings and stop printing once a certain number of droplets has been reached. They read the ink levels by either monitoring your cartridge’s droplet count or memorizing the number of ink droplets that have been used so far when printing.

How will a cartridge chip affect the ink refills and toner replacements?

Sometimes, printer chips can cause some controversy and make it difficult to refill a printer’s cartridge. If this occur, you will have to reset or replace the chip in order to have your printer to allow you to print. This could become an issue for toner replacement and make sure that you have compatible inks and toners with a new chip installed to prevent this problem.

The good news is, 123ink cartridges offer compatible inks and toners that come with a new chip, you no longer have to worry about resetting the chip with our ink cartridges!


What printers come with cartridges chips?

  • HP inks and toners.
  • Canon inks and toners.
  • Some of Brother inks and toners (For examples, the LC103 Series.)

Troubleshooting for chip problems

We have seen some customers report issues with ink cartridges. Typically, sometimes the ink is not being recognized by smart chips, or the toner is read as empty by the smart chips while the cartridge still has droplets available.

To avoid these errors, you should always turn off your printer when doing any maintenance or replacing the ink cartridges. Improper installations of new cartridges or misconnections are also likely to cause many of these errors. Always follow your manufacturer’s instructions when reinstalling the cartridge and keeping the power off can resolve some of these problems.

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