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The 'Incompatible Cartridge,' 'Incorrect Print Cartridge,' or 'Print Cartridge Problem' Message Displays on the Control Panel

  • PrintPrint
This document applies to the HP Officejet J4500 and J4600 All-in-One Printer Series.
After a new cartridge installation or during normal use, the printer does not print. The attention light ( ) or the cartridge status indicator light ( ) might blink, or one of the following error messages displays on the printer control panel:
  • 'Print Cartridge Problem '
  • 'Incorrect Print Cartridge(s) '
  • 'Incompatible Cartridge '
These errors can occur with the correct HP cartridges under certain circumstances. The cartridge might need to be reinstalled, the electrical contacts could be dirty, the cartridges might need to be aligned, or there could be a failure of the cartridge or printer. If you need to print immediately and the quality of the printouts is not a concern, you can print in backup mode .

Video of Resolving an 'Incompatible Print Cartridge' Message that Displays on the Printer

The following video demonstrates the troubleshooting steps for an 'Incompatible Print Cartridge' message that displays on your printer.
NOTE:This video shows the HP Officejet J4680 All-in-One printer, but the steps are the same for your printer.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .

Step One: Check the Cartridge Compatibility

Follow these steps to check the cartridge compatibility.
HP recommends that you use genuine HP cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges or refilled HP cartridges. If you do not use genuine HP cartridges, the following solutions might not resolve your print quality issue.
To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper .
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country or region location is correct.

Step Two: Remove, Inspect, and then Reinstall the Cartridge

The cartridge might not have the full electrical contact it needs. Follow these steps to remove, inspect, and then reinstall the cartridges.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
  3. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 1: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  4. Make sure that there is not any clear protective tape on the cartridge.
    Figure 2: Remove the plastic tape
    Image: Remove the plastic tape.
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Plastic tape with pink pull tab (must be removed before installing)
    3 - Ink nozzles under tape
  5. Slide the cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty cartridge slot. Push the cartridge in firmly until it snaps into place.
    • Install the tri-color cartridge in the left slot.
    • Install the black cartridge in the right slot.
    Figure 3: Install the cartridge
    Image: Install the cartridge.
  6. Close the cartridge access door.
  7. Check the control panel to see if the error message still displays.

Step Three: Clean the Contacts

Ink can build up on the cartridge and carriage contacts. Follow these steps to clean the cartridge and carriage electrical contacts.
  1. Gather the following materials:
    • Distilled water (tap water might contain contaminants that can damage the cartridge)
    • Cotton swabs, coffee filter or other soft, lint-free material
    • Clean sheet of paper
  2. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
  4. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out.
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper electrical contacts or the ink nozzles.
    Figure 4: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  5. Place the cartridges on a sheet of paper with the copper strips facing up.
    CAUTION:Clean the cartridges one at a time. Do not leave a cartridge outside of the printer for more than 20 minutes.
  6. Unplug the power cord from the rear of the printer.
  7. Clean the copper-colored contacts.
    1. Lightly moisten the lint-free material with distilled water and squeeze out any excess water.
    2. Gently wipe the cartridge copper contacts clean.
      CAUTION:Do not touch the ink nozzles. This can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
      Figure 5: Ink nozzles and copper-colored contacts on the cartridge
      Image: Ink nozzles and copper-colored contacts on the cartridge
      1 - Ink nozzles (do not touch)
      2 - Copper-colored contacts
    3. Repeat this process on both cartridges until no ink residue or debris appears on the cleaning material.
  8. Clean the carriage contacts.
    1. Lightly moisten the lint-free material with distilled water and squeeze out any excess water.
    2. Clean the electrical contacts in the carriage that holds the cartridges.
      Figure 6: Electrical contacts inside the carriage
      Image: Electrical contacts inside the carriage
  9. Wait 10 minutes to allow the cartridge and carriage electrical contacts to dry.
  10. Reinstall the cartridges.
    1. Slide each cartridge at a slight upward angle into the carriage until the cartridge snaps into place.
      Figure 7: Install the cartridge
      Image: Install the cartridge.
  11. Plug the power cord back into the rear of the printer.
  12. Close the cartridge access door.
  13. Print a test page to see if the same message appears.
    1. Press the Setup ( ) button.
    2. Press the Right Arrow ( ) button to highlight Print Report , and then press the OK button.
    3. Use the Right Arrow ( ) button to highlight Self-Test Report , and then press the OK button.

Step Four: Repeat the Cleaning and Reinstalling steps

Repeat the steps to remove, inspect, and reinstall the problem cartridge , clean the contacts , and then try to print again.

Step Five: Reset the Printer

Follow these steps to reset the printer.
  1. Press the Power button ( ) to turn on the product.
  2. With the product turned on , disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  3. Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
  4. Wait at least 15 seconds.
  5. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
  6. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  7. If the product does not turn on by itself, press the Power button ( ) to turn it on.

Step Six: Replace the Problem Cartridge

Follow these steps to replace the problem cartridge.
If you have a defective cartridge or printhead, it might be under warranty. To check the warranty on your ink supplies, go to hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies , select your country/region, and then review the limited warranty information for your supplies.
  1. Load unused, plain white, U.S. letter or A4 sized paper into the paper tray.
  2. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  3. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
  4. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out.
    Figure 8: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  5. Remove the new cartridge from its packaging, being careful to touch only the black plastic. Gently remove the plastic tape by pulling the pull tab.
    Figure 9: Remove the plastic tape
    Image: Remove the plastic tape.
    1 - Copper-colored contacts
    2 - Plastic tape with pink pull tab (must be removed before installing)
    3 - Ink nozzles under tape
    CAUTION:Do not touch the copper-colored contacts or the ink nozzles. Touching these parts can result in clogs, ink failure, and bad electrical connections.
    Figure 10: Do not touch the copper contacts or ink nozzles
    Image: Do not touch the copper contacts or ink nozzles.
  6. Slide the new cartridge at a slight upward angle into the empty slot, and gently push it until it snaps into place.
    • Install the tri-color cartridge in the left slot.
    • Install the black cartridge in the right slot.
    Figure 11: Install the cartridge
    Image: Install the cartridge.
  7. Close the cartridge access door.
  8. Follow the instructions on the control panel to start the cartridge alignment. The printer aligns the cartridges and prints an alignment page.

Step Seven: Service the Printer

If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.
Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .
  • If your product is in warranty , contact HP.
  • If your product is out of warranty , fees might apply for contacting HP.
If you need to print immediately and the quality of the printouts is not a concern, you can print in backup mode.
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  2. Open the cartridge access door. The carriage moves to the far right side. Wait until the carriage is idle and silent before you proceed.
  3. Remove the problem cartridge. Press down on the cartridge to release it, and then slide the cartridge out.
    Figure 12: Remove the cartridge
    Image: Remove the cartridge.
  4. Close the cartridge access door. The control panel displays a message that one of the cartridges is not available for printing.
  5. Press the OK button to clear the message.