Ink Cartridge Refill Help Center

Canon 270, 271 Low Ink Warnings & Standard Reset Procedure


Remove protective cap and insert cartridge into your printer.

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.

NOTE 1: “Empty” and “Low Ink” alerts are COMPLETELY NORMAL for all Canon 270, 271, 270XL, 271XL ink cartridges which have been refilled!  While at first this may be an unusual workflow, it does allow print operations to proceed.



Ink Cartridge Activation & Usage:

  • After refills, the printer cannot track the ink level; ink level indicator will falsely signal empty. If ‘Support Code: 1600/1689/1700’ alert messages are displayed or the low ink indicator blinks and stops printing.


  • PRESS AND HOLD the “STOP” or “STOP/RESUME” button (down arrow/triangle-circle) on your printer, for 5-8 seconds, until the low ink indicator goes out and printing resumes. Refer to pictures below.
  • For many of the newer Canon MX & MG printer models, you will need to hold two buttons down – not just the stop button. You need to PRESS AND HOLD the COLOR and STOP/RESUME buttons down for 5-8 seconds to reset the printer….this will enable the refilled ink cartridges to function.

NOTE: For printers that feature a LCD/Touchscreen display, refer to ‘Touchscreen Printer Reset Procedure’ button below:

Touchscreen Printer Reset Procedure




    • DO NOT select “Cancel Printing” if prompted by computer.
    • Ignore printer ‘damage’ or ‘malfunction’ warning prompts; select ‘Yes’ to release the function to detect remaining ink level and continue printing.
    • Continue to print until the print quality fades; various nuisance messages may appear at random when using refilled cartridges.

 Nuisance Messages_sm


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.

Cartridge Activation Instructions & Additional Usage Tips:

Canon 250/251 - Low Ink Warnings



Cartridge/Printer Care

For refilled Canon cartridges which are not in use, ensure the protective cap is securely attached to bottom of cartridge to prevent cartridge from leaking or drying out. Install a new ink cartridge immediately after removing an expended one. Also, leaving cartridges uninstalled (in the printer) can dry out the PRINTHEAD and may prevent the product from printing.*

Canon 250-251 with protective cap

Cartridge Error Recovery Steps (NOTE: assumes the ‘Stop/Reset’ button has already been depressed for 5-8 seconds and printer still rejects cartridge):

1) Remove cartridge from printer and thoroughly clean gold contacts of cartridge chip (pictured below).

Canon 250-251 underside_polished with circles_sm


Canon 271BK/271XL BK (Photo Black) Refilling Tip: 

You will need to ensure the Canon 271BK /271XL BK 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? 


Canon 270/271 Compatible Printers (select your printer model)

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