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How to Change Ink in Canon Printer: 4 Easy Steps

Has your Canon printer run out of ink? Are you unsure of how to change the ink cartridge? Do you want to know how to put the ink in your Canon Printer? If any of these questions are yours, you’ve come to the right page. 

Here are 4 simple steps to change ink in your Canon printer. Once you do it once, you will be able to easily change the ink every time. There are a few key details you’ll need to know.

How to Change Ink in Canon Printer

How to Put Ink in a Canon Printer

Here’s how to change the ink in a Canon printer in 6 easy steps. Follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Power Up and Remove the Paper

  • Turn the printer on and open the front cover.
  • Pull out the paper tray and remove all paper.

Step 2: Open Door to Access Ink Cartridges

  • Open the door protecting the inside of the printer.
  • When the door opens, the cartridge should move to the replacing position (middle of the door).

Step 3: Remove Old Cartridge

  • To remove the cartridge, gently press down on it until you hear a click. 
  • Remove the cartridge and repeat the process for the other.
  • The colored ink will be on the left and black ink on the right. 

What If the Cartridges Move? If the door to the ink cartridges is left open for more than 10 minutes, the cartridges will slide to the side. Close the door and reopen it to move the ink back to the replacement position.

Step 4: Reinstall Ink in Printer

  • Take the new ink packet from its box and remove the protective tape. 
  • Place the new ink into the slot by pushing it in at an angle until it clicks into place. 
  • Repeat for the other ink cartridge. 

Can I Install Canon Ink in the Wrong Slot? No. The color ink cartridge won’t fit in the black slot. And vice versa. They are made differently to prevent this mistake.

Before closing the door, make sure all cartridges line up equally. 

How much ink is left? Here’s how to check ink levels on Canon printers.

Canon Ink Questions

Below are the most common questions we hear about Canon printers and changing the ink cartridges. 

Which way does the ink cartridge go in the printer?

Never place your ink cartridges upside down in the printer. They will not fit if you try to do so. When replacing an ink cartridge, place it into the machine the same way you took it out. This is how to put ink in a Canon printer.

Most of the time, color ink is on the left and black is on the right. If you aren’t sure where the ink goes into the designated slot, refer to your printer manual

Can I put a black ink cartridge in a color ink spot?

No, the black ink won’t fit correctly in the colored ink slot.

And you shouldn’t try to switch the places of color ink and black ink. Putting the wrong cartridge in the incorrect slot could cause your printer to malfunction and produce a messy print result. 

Make sure you replace your ink by placing the cartridges in the same spot every time. You don’t want to print something black and have random streaks of color. 

How long do ink cartridges last?

If you have already popped the cartridges into your printer, it is best to use them within 12 months. Any longer and your ink could dry up, producing a low-quality print.

Some ink brands will last up to two years if correctly stored.

Can I use refillable cartridges?

Yes, but you can experience clogs if using off-brand ink cartridges. And because they don’t integrate with the printer, it can also make it harder to know when your ink needs replacement.

It is always best to buy brand-new ink cartridges when replacing a printer’s ink. 

Do all Canon printers use the same ink?

No. Not all printers use the same ink cartridges. Some Canon Pixma models use different ink. Make sure you research which ink your printer model requires.

You can find the correct ink using Canon’s Ink & toner search.

How can I make my Canon printer recognize that the new ink is there?

Sometimes printers will assumethat the ink cartridges are empty until the user has hit the reset button. 

When you see the message displaying that the ink has run out or is empty, hold down the stop or cancel button for 5 seconds.

This function will reset it and your printer will understand that the ink cartridges are full.

Keep learning: How to Clean Canon Print Head (3 Easy Methods)


Now that you know how to change ink in Canon printers, you should have no problem changing the ink package every time your printer needs it. 

Changing the ink is a simple process if done correctly. It only takes a few seconds. If you have any further questions about Canon printers and ink-related issues, you can check Canon’s support articles.

Curious what printer you have? Here’s how to know if you have an inkjet or laser printer.