Note: The following post applies to only the Brother brand of printers.
We've all had emergency situations where we need to print an important file or document as soon as possible. We save the file and press 'Print', when all of a sudden you realize that your cartridge is low on toner and the prints are coming in very light to the point where it's barely legible.
Well, have no fear! There is a way to trick your Brother printer to thinking the toner cartridge is full. without actually having to drive to the store and purchase a new cartridge - at least not yet.
Here are some tips on how to get more toner out of your (nearly) empty Brother toner cartridge and squeeze out a few extra prints:
1. Remove the combined toner and drum cartridge from your Brother printer.
Separate the toner cartridge from the drum cartridge and give the toner cartridge a little shake. This loosens the toner powder along the surface walls of the inner chamber and spreads them evenly. Be careful not to shake too roughly as the toner powder can spill out.
Lock the toner cartridge back into the drum cartridge and place the combined cartridges back into the printer.
Your prints should appear much darker and cleaner than before.
2. This other tip is more of a hack and can work for specific cartridge models.
Grab your toner cartridge and identify the clear, plastic, round lens on the side. The printer shoots a laser right at the sensor to trace how much toner powder is left. If the toner is low, the laser will pass through to the other side and notify the printer that the cartridge must be replaced. Once that happens, the printer will not allow any prints to be made unless a new toner cartridge is replaced - even though there is a fair amount of toner left.
To prevent this, get a small piece of black electrical tape or even a small pinch of modeling clay and cover the lens to prevent the laser from passing through.
Put the combined toner and drum cartridge back into your printer.
Congratulations! You have now tricked your Brother laser printer into thinking it still has toner. You should now be able to print normally without any notification to replace the low toner cartridge.
Hope these tricks work for you and Happy Printing!