How to Install Dell Printer Cartridges

Dell is one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. They make everything from small, portable black-and-white printers to larger home and industrial all-in-one models that copy, print, scan and sometimes fax. There are a basic set of steps for installing new ink cartridges that will work with all Dell printers, with slight variations. If you run into any problems specific to your printer, Dell has copies of printer manuals for all models, including older ones, on its website.


    • 1

      Purchase the ink for your Dell printer. You can buy it directly from Dell or from any other ink-sales website or store--just make sure the model number lines up with your printer model, which will be printed on the front, side or back of the printer.

    • 2

      Plug in and turn on the printer. Check the LCD screen on the top or front of the printer for the message about which ink cartridges are low. If it's an older model and doesn't have an LCD screen, it will have a button for each ink color with a red or orange blinking light next to it if the ink is low.

    • 3

      Open the printer lid. With a scanning and copying printer, the entire copy tray will lift up via a handle under the front of it. If there's no copy tray, it will just be the top lid that opens via a handle on the front or two on the sides. There may also be a plastic lid on the ink tray itself, which opens with a lever on the side or a latch on the front.

    • 4

      Pull out the old ink cartridges. Pinch the front and back of the cartridge and pull straight up. With the larger cartridges that fit flush to the back of the ink tray, push down on the front until it pops down, then pull up.

    • 5

      Leave the new cartridges in their plastic bag and shake a few times to loosen the ink. Remove all the packaging and pull off the orange or blue thin plastic tab on the bottom of the cartridge. A few Dell cartridges also have an orange plastic cap that needs to be screwed off counterclockwise. Place them in their color-coded slots in the ink tray and push down until you hear a click.

    • 6

      Close all lids and wait for a minute while the printer head resets. Leave the printer on and don't push any buttons until the whirring is finished. Then print or copy a test page to make sure the ink has set correctly. Sometimes it takes a couple of pages to finish setting in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check Dell's website for information on recycling old ink cartridges.
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  • Photo Credit printer cartridge image by hugy from

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