Ink Cartridge Refill Help Center

Canon 250, 251, 250XL, 251XL, 550, 551, 550XL, 551XL – Low Ink Warnings & Reset Procedure

Canon 250-251 and 255XXL Cartridge Set_sm

Your printer/computer may display ink alert messages, such as “remaining ink cannot be correctly detected”. Press “OK”, “Yes” or “Close” to dismiss alert prompts, or press “OK” on the printer. If you refilled your ink cartridge at one of our retail refill labs then the Canon cartridge chips should have been reset via the Canon C2 Resetter (special photo lab equipment) and ink level monitoring will be available – you may disregard the information below unless you observe flashing lights or low ink error messages. If you need to manually bypass the alerts then perform the following steps.


NOTE 1: “Low Ink” and other ink cartridge nuisance messages are COMPLETELY NORMAL for all Canon 250, 250XL, 251, 251XL, 550, 551, 550XL & 551XL  ink cartridges (tanks) which have been refilled and installed into the printer!  While at first this may be considered an unusual workflow, it does allow print operations to proceed. ‘Grayed-out’ ink tanks will be displayed on the LCD screen or Windows pop-up screens when ink levels are checked – this is NORMAL.




To activate refilled Canon ink cartridges (and resume printing), simply press the “Stop/Resume” button (down arrow/triangle-circle) on your printer, for 5-8 seconds, until the low ink indicator goes out, the power light stops blinking and the printer resumes printing.   ‘Red X‘ cartridge empty indications should then disappear from Windows prompts/messages.  Repeat procedure when each refilled cartridge is installed into printer. Refer to video below.


Canon 250-251-255_Cartridge Reset Workflow

For printers that feature a LCD/Touchscreen (i.e. Canon MG6320 printer, etc.), then select ‘Touchscreen Printer Reset Procedure’ button below to enable the refilled ink cartridges:

Touchscreen Printer Reset Procedure


Additionally, your printer or computer may display ink alert messages, such as “remaining ink cannot be correctly detected” or “printing under the current condition may damage the printer”. Press “OK”, “Yes” or “Close” to dismiss alert prompts, or press “OK” on the printer, so that the printer resumes its normal operation. These types of annoyance messages will randomly appear and should be expected when using refilled ink cartridges. Refer to video below for more information.

NOTE 2: If the printer is allowing copies to be made, it should mean that the tanks are not at the “ink out” level that requires the clearing of the ink level indicator by holding down the Stop/Resume button.

NOTE 3: Received faxes which are stored to memory will not be printed – though you can manually print out any fax contained within memory. You can change this setting to forcibly print all incoming faxes.


Canon 251BK/251XL BK/551BK/551XL BK (Photo Black) Refilling Tip: 

You will need to ensure the Canon 251BK / 251XL BK / 551BK / 551XL BK (photo black) ink cartridge is really empty before bringing in for refilling, otherwise the cartridge may be ‘rejected’ by your refiller. Photo Black is only used when printing photos so this color will typically last much longer than the other colors.  If the cartridge is not completely empty, an accidental overflow of the photo black ink cartridge may occur during refilling. Under the printer’s Maintenance menu, activate the internal self-test print (i.e. Nozzle Check) to verify which color, or colors, are missing.

Canon 250-250XL-Photo Black (BK)_empty check

You may activate the Nozzle Check from either the printer’s LCD maintenance menu or from the Windows printer driver menu (iP printer models):

Nozzle Check_Windows prompt_with circle


NOTE 4: Canon does not allow an automatic reset of the electronic chip on the cartridge after a refill, so the ink level indicator is sending a false message that the ink level is low. Your cartridge is not low on ink, and nothing is wrong with your printer or cartridges. The ink level indicator usually cannot be manually re-set, so the ink level indicator is often not usable. However, losing this feature is not necessarily significant, because the ink level indicator usually has substantial usable ink remaining when it shows “low on ink”. Ink level monitoring is primarily for planning purposes only – it is not required to support printing.



The Canon PRINTHEAD will eventually fail over time with usage and age (may or may not be replaceable – refer to User Manual)*

Possible Printhead Failure? 


PRINTHEAD FUNCTION AND FAILURE (select your Canon 250-251 ink-series printer model)  

Canon Pixma MX922 Printer, Canon Pixma MG5420 Printer, Canon Pixma MX722 Printer, Canon Pixma MG5450 PrinterCanon Pixma MX725 PrinterCanon Pixma MX925 PrinterCanon Pixma iP7220 PrinterCanon Pixma iP7250 PrinterCanon Pixma iP8720 PrinterCanon Pixma iP8750 PrinterCanon Pixma MG5520 PrinterCanon Pixma MG5550 PrinterCanon Pixma MG5620 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6320 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6350 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6420 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6620 PrinterCanon Pixma MG7120 PrinterCanon Pixma MG7150 PrinterCanon Pixma MG7520 PrinterCanon Pixma iX6820 PrinterCanon Pixma iX6850 PrinterCanon Pixma MX922 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6450 Printer  


PRINTHEAD FUNCTION AND FAILURE (select your Canon 550-551 ink-series printer model)  

Canon Pixma iP7250 PrinterCanon Pixma iP8750 PrinterCanon Pixma iX6850 PrinterCanon Pixma MG5450 PrinterCanon Pixma MG5550 PrinterCanon Pixma MG5650 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6350 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6450 PrinterCanon Pixma MG6650 PrinterCanon Pixma MG7150 PrinterCanon Pixma MG7550 PrinterCanon Pixma MX725 PrinterCanon Pixma MX925 Printer,  



Canon 250/251 Compatible Printers (select your printer): 


*Typically the Canon PRINTHEAD (which is customer replaceable in many higher-end Canon models) should not reach it’s end-of-life until after a minimum of 10 or more complete sets of cartridge changes. While some printheads may last 15,000+ pages others may only last 3000 pages, actual results will vary. The printhead will eventually fail in time from an internal micro-electronics failure due to the following leading factors: general customer print usage and printer care, printer duty cycle (i.e. # pages printed per month), printing frequency (i.e. time between each print job), print mode (i.e. draft vs. normal) and content printed (i.e. photos vs plain pages) and color mode (black and white only vs. color/greyscale printing). Paper types used (i.e. plain paper, photo papers & matte/heavy bond papers) and paper edge curl (due to age in printer or low relative humidity) can also quickly lead to premature printhead failures due to physical ‘head strikes’ of the paper edges making repeated contact with the printhead nozzle plate.

Help Out Your Friends...Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on Google+