My Printer will not Recognise my Canon Compatible Ink Cartridges

Sometimes when we insert a compatible, remanufactured or non-original ink cartridge into a Canon printer, the printer may not recognise the ink cartridge or the ink volume levels of the cartridge. Typical error messages include:

1. ‘non-original cartridge detected’
2. ‘non-original Canon cartridge detected’
3. ’ink running low’
4. ’low ink’

Any of the above messages will prevent you from printing.
Below is a quick guide on how to overcome this issue followed by more helpful information:

Error messages and easy Quick Fix:

Ink Cartridge Not Recognised:

Cartridge not recognised

Ink is running low:

Ink running low

Ink has run out:

Ink run out

Quick Fix:

Press and hold the printer’s Stop / Reset button for at least 7 seconds to clear error message.

Printer Reset Button

The first thing you can do is remove the cartridge and try re-installing it to see if the printer will recognise it, if it will still not recognise the cartridge then simply hold down the stop button (this is the button with the triangle inside a circle) for a minimum of 7 seconds. This will disable the printer’s cartridge recognition facility and you should be able to print happily without any further interruption. It may be that the ink volume will not display after you have done this (although sometimes it will continue to do so) but that is a minor inconvenience when you weigh up the savings on the cost of the compatible Canon ink cartridges. If the printer says the cartridge is damaged or will still not recognise the cartridge then remove the cartridge and gently wipe the copper area or the cartridge with a dry soft cloth (the area known as the ‘chip’) to remove any static that may have accumulated on it and re-insert to see if it will solve the problem.

The vast majority of the compatible Canon ink cartridges will work first time but on occasion you might have to try a bit of trouble-shooting to get it going. It’s also possible that the ink cartridge may be faulty so if you have tried all of the above suggestions and have a second cartridge then it would be time to try that. If you don’t have a second cartridge then contact your supplier to see if a replacement cartridge can be issued but make sure you make a note of the error messages that are coming up on the printer each time you insert the ink cartridges as this will help them identify what the problem is. If you are covered by a money-back guarantee then you will have no problem and you will find that the supplier will do all they can to resolve the issue for you but will refund the money to you (after the return of the faulty cartridge) if they run out of options.

All good online ink cartridge suppliers will do all they can to help and usually will resolve the situation and you will be happily printing with Canon compatible ink cartridges that didn’t cost the earth!

Not all Canon ink cartridges will give an error message when installed in a printer but it is more likely to occur in remanufactured ink cartridges. A remanufactured ink cartridge is a cartridge that was once an original Canon cartridge that has been factory cleaned, repaired if necessary, refilled and had its ‘chip reset’ and re-packaged. The cartridge ‘chip’ is located in the actual cartridge and not the printer which makes the empty cartridge valuable for recycling or remanufacture. The remanufactured
Canon PG540XL black and CL541XL colour ink and the remanufactured Canon PG545XL and CL546XL ink are these such cartridges and may sometimes show the error message ‘low ink’, ‘ink has run out’ or ‘ink cartridge cannot be recognised’. This is because the printer is having difficulty reading the information on the reset ‘chip’ and needs a helping hand by the user resetting the printer by holding down the stop button for approximately 8 seconds as described above.

There are also Canon compatible cartridges that are direct copies of the original genuine Canon inks and are different from the remanufactured cartridges in that the ‘chip’ is lcoated in the printer and not the cartridge. Compatible Canon inks such as PGI550XL / CLI551XL and PGI570XL / CLI571XL are made by third party manufacturers with no connection to Canon but who have the sole objective of producing a cartridge that is a lot cheaper than the original Canon ink but at the same time maintains the quality. These compatible inks are sets of 5 and 6 inks (some printers use an additional grey colour cartridge), the idea being that they are branded as photo printers and produce high quality prints on photo paper as opposed to the printing of general purpose everyday A4 plain paper printing.

Paul Johnston

Paul Johnston is a Partner and co-founder of
Paul had vast experience gained in the graphic design and print industry for 15 years prior to his venture into on-line retailing in 2010 with ink and toner replacement cartridges. Paul enjoys writing blogs, social media for small businesses, internet marketing and above all sharing the latest information he deems helpful to fellow bloggers.