Does HP blocks 3rd party ink cartridges again on its printers (Jan. 2019)?

[German]Just a question to users of HP ink jet printers. There are signs, that HP again blocks third party ink cartridges on its ink jet printers (Office printers) since January 2019. The aim of this blog post is to find out whether there are any potential victims.


The ‘incident’ in 2016

In September 2016 it became public, that HP has begun to block third-party ink cartridges with a firmware update. HP had distributed a firmware update for various ink jet office printers on March 12, 2016. From 13 September 2016, the time bomb within the firmware became active. From that point on, third-party ink cartridges were no longer accepted on certain HP ink jet printer models. Those using third-party ink cartridges or refillable ink cartridges received an error message. The printer driver reports that the ink cartridge is faulty or damaged. Anyone using new third-party ink cartridges also received this error message.

I’ve blogged about that within my blog post HP printer firmware disables refill ink cartridges and other articles (see the links at the article’s end). The case created a slash back on HP. They was forced to release an update that overrides the ‘protection mechanism’. Had reported about that within my post HP: New printer firmware re-enables refill ink cartridges.

Also the site Motherboard has published the article Printer Makers Are Crippling Cheap Ink Cartridges Via Bogus ‘Security Updates’ in October 2018.

New signs in 2017 and 2018

In September 2017 I received feedback from a few users, reporting, that the 3rd party ink cartridge disaster came up again. But I wasn’t able to verify that it was a firmware update – maybe, an old firmware was accidentally rolled out to some printers.

Then in September 2018 I’ve published the blog post Is a HP Firmware Update blocking again Third Party Ink Cartridges?, because there has been similar signs, that another ‘blocking’ was active. But it seems, that this wasn’t a broader issue.

New feedback in January 2019

Now, on January 19, 2019 I suddenly received two independent comments, mentions the HP 3rd party ink cartridge issue. German blog-reader Andreas left a comment about his case. He is facing the situation, that his HP ink jet printer isn’t able to use 3rd party ink cartridges – but he found a source, where he was able to buy cheap original HP ink cartridges ‘whose expiration date has expired’. He intends to test these ink cartridges with his HP ink jet printer.


Andreas mentioned also two things. One, that he read about a case, that original HP ink jet cartridges refuse to work, if the expiration date is reached. I searched the internet and came across this German article (here is the English article) which says:

HP is blocking its own (HP no 302 and no 304) ink cartridges (some lots) for Deskjet, Envy and Officejet. There is a German support document from HP saying: Print cartridges manufactured before April 2017 may not be compatible with HP DeskJet 2600, HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 2600, 5000, and 5200, HP Envy 5000, and HP OfficeJet 5200 series printers manufactured after May 1, 2018 (depending on the model of print cartridge used, see below for more information).

And Andreas found the article How to downgrade firmware on HP OfficeJet Pro 8610 to allow using old or refilled cartridges – UPDATE (HP official fw fix) on Land of Brozkeff with some explanation, how to downgrade a firmware that blocks 3rd party ink cartridges.

And I received this English comment from blog reader Wallace who has two HP 8600 Pro Printers and offered me to use one of this printer as a guinea pig. I interpret this comment as ‘there is something with blocked 3rd party ink cartridges on HP printers raising in January 2019’. Therefor I like to ask: Are there other victims observing a failure on HP ink jet printers refusing older HP ink cartridges or 3rd party ink cartridges?

Similar article:
HP printer firmware disables refill ink cartridges
HP apologizes, new firmware update for printers soon
HP: New printer firmware re-enables refill ink cartridges
Firmware Update blocks again non HP Printer Cartridges
Is a HP Firmware Update blocking again Third Party Ink Cartridges?


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11 Responses to Does HP blocks 3rd party ink cartridges again on its printers (Jan. 2019)?

  1. Raphael says:

    I think I may be such a victim.

    I bought 3rd party ink cartridges for my HP 8720 back in December (an Ikong set of four 952XL (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black)). At the time, I only needed yellow, so I replaced it and it worked fine. Yesterday, my magenta ran out, so I tried to replace it and got a “Remove and reinstall the indicated cartridge, making sure it is correctly installed. If this message continues to appear, replace the indicated cartridge” message. I then tested the Cyan and Black and got the same message.

    Although I didn’t actively update my firmware, I remember one morning when the printer had a message saying that it had updated itself. So now I’m stuck with no magenta.

    I contacted Ikong and they wrote back that the reason for the malfunction is the firmware update (they called it “[a] market attack [on] the compatible ink cartridge (third-party ink sellers)”) and that they don’t yet have new cartridges to work with the new firmware. They offered a refund instead, which is nice of them.

    Is there anything I can do, except buy original HP cartridges as cutthroat prices?

  2. Bob Neely says:

    I’m being told by Costco that my cartridges (HP952 B,C,M & Y) are no longer refillable due to a recent firmware download by HP.


  3. Olaf says:

    HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 with Firmware: EDWINXPP1N002.1912A.00 blocks 3rd party ink.
    This version is newer than 1849A available on HP´s website. Installing the older one is prevented.
    Kind regards

    • EP says:

      firmware version 1912A is available on HP’s web site instead of 1849A as I recently checked the Officejet pro 7740 downloads page myself.

      also note that recent models of HP printers automatically download & install firmware updates without any user input, including new firmware that may block 3rd party inks. if you don’t want your HP printers to be updating themselves, disable or turn off automatic software updates on the printer’s control panel on the printers themselves to prevent them from silently updating their firmware

  4. JJL says:

    Shame on HP.
    My 7740 updated itself to the last firmware (April 2019) and starting from that moment all the compatible inks I was completely satisfied with stopped working. I was forced to buy a new Epson in order to replace my 7740 that became useless (160€ per set of original cartridges).
    If this is not enough, notice that I tried to reset the 7740, with the result that the printer does not conclude its setup without original cartridges (Stuck at setup). At all, now, without these originals my printer is broken (I’m forced to buy at least a set of originals in order to not throw the printer in the garbage and wait for a firmware downgrade). For sure I’ll never buy an HP product again in my life. I was damaged for 350$ with this update.

  5. JJL says:

    If anybody will find a way to downgrade a 7740, please drop me a line.

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  7. Patricia Phillips says:

    My HP 8720 will no longer use 3rd party cartridges. I disabled the HP Update in Control Panel and now, it does not print at all, even with HP cartridges. 123 Inkjets is giving me a refund, but so far, they do not have a new cartridge that bypasses this. Office Depots advised that they are launching a Class Action Lawsuit, if anybody wants to get in on this. My printer is now useless. No more HP’s for me, but what a shame. This is what happens when a company gets greedy. Not even sure what to purchase next. Any ideas?

  8. Mike Dennison says:

    I have an HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 printer, which I have had since July 2017. I have used 3rd party cartridges in it for most of that time – with no issues whatsoever.

    I stupidly clicked OK to upgrade the firmware a couple of weeks ago and since then it won’t work with non-HP cartridges. I had non-HP cartridges installed and the printer warned me that black was low. As soon as I inserted a new cartridge it complained of a faulty cartridge. I have tried cartridges from 2 different suppliers with no joy.

    After wasting ages on line, I finally rang the HP UK support line and they confirm that there is no way to downgrade the firmware and they won’t do anything at all as I am not using HP cartridges.

    That’s the last HP equipment I am buying!

  9. JJL says:

    UPDATE, I had to buy a 120€ full original set of cartridges in order to let the printer start working again.
    Help is welcome. Drop me a message for a possible solution to this shame.

  10. MLD says:

    Also my HP officejet pro 8600 plus doesn’t work anymore since I use not original hp ink cartridges. Until may I didn’t have any problem to use the cheaper copies.
    I think it is really bad from HP to treat customers like that. Epson has alternativ printers, which use large inktank, maybe this will be the right time to change the printer…

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