Stop Brother laser printer ‘Replace Toner’ message

January 23, 2015

Printer companies want you to buy their toner, and they want you to replace that toner long before it runs out. They do this by various means; typically beeps, popup screens, warning messages on the display panel of the printer etc. How they gauge when the toner needs replacing varies by manufacturer too — some alert you based on number of pages printed (assuming that you are printing an entire page of solid toner every time), others use a laser beam through a hole in the printer cartridge (true! — see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK9qUeH1AVU), and still others by means I’m not aware of.

My Brother MFC 9210CN (and more recently, my MFC 9330CDW) multifunction laser printer warns me when it decides the toner is running low, and if I don’t replace the toner (either black only or all FOUR colour cartridges at once) within a time/usage frame it considers acceptable, it locks me out from printing by beeping a lot, displaying a ‘Replace toner now’ message on the printer and my computer screen, AND by physically NOT printing my print jobs.

Well, I’m sick of it. There’s plenty of toner left in the cartridges (since when do I fully print a page as I would if I was printing photos every time?). And at more than $100 each (I have five in the machine), replacing cartridges every few months is not cheap.

Off to Google…. where I found out how to reset my printer so that it thinks my cartridges are still fine. I found the answer here: http://blog.tonerboss.com/how-to-reset-brother-mfc-9320-mfc-9120cn-and-mfc-9010cn/, and it worked. I decided to take photos of the controls and write full instructions for anyone else trying to do this. Maybe I can get another 500+ pages out of my toners this way.

The instructions for the MFC 9330CDW come after the instructions for the MFC 9120CN.

How to reset the toner cartridge settings on a Brother MFC 9120CN

  1. Make sure the printer is turned on.
  2. Open the cover using the blue ‘handle’ at the front of the machine. You don’t need to open it much — you’re not getting into the cartridge area and you’ll need to access the control panel.
  3. Press the Clear/Back button on the control panel.
  4. Press the up or down arrow key to scroll through the list of toners. Note: K = Black, M = Magenta (pink), C = Cyan (blue), and Y = Yellow; each has an option for STD and STR.
  5. When you get to the toner you want to reset, press the OK button. I chose K. TNR-STD to reset the message about my black toner cartridge and allow me to print again.
  6. You get two options for your selected toner — 1 to reset and 2 to exit. Press 1 on the numeric keypad of the control panel to reset the toner.
  7. Close the cover. The printer will go through its warm up cycle again and your beeps, messages, etc. should be gone AND you should be able to print again using your existing cartridge.

Of course, at some point your cartridge(s) will really run out of toner and will need to be replaced. But if you can get another 50 to 500 pages out of your existing toner, you will have saved yourself some money on a replacement you didn’t need at the time the printer told you you needed it.

How to reset the toner cartridge settings on Brother MFC-9330CDW and MFC-9340CDW printers

Some Googling found me this information on how to reset the toner on more recent Brother laser printers: http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R21X5O6QYB4IFQ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt

In case that URL ever goes missing, here’s this information copied from it on 20 March 2016:

  1. Get to the home screen. If you are stuck at the “Toner Low” or “Replace Toner” message, just press the red X.
  2. Press the FAX button on the touch screen (you may also need to press the Sending Faxes icon). This is ONLY to light up the numbers so you can LOCATE and only locate, don’t press, the * (asterisk) button. You know where it is now, somewhere to the right of the red X button. I put a sticky ‘sign here’ note tab to point to the *.
  3. Press the glowing Home button to get home.
  4. Open the top as if you were going to change the toner, but don’t remove any toner.
  5. With the top open, press and hold the now UNLIT * (asterisk) button for at least 5 seconds.
  6. Keep the lid open — the Toner Reset menu will show on the screen.
  7. Reset your ‘low’ or ’empty’ toner by pressing the color and type to reset, all with the lid open. (e.g. cstd or C.TNR.STD = cyan standard, cstr or C.TNR.STR = cyan starter, and one other for high yield [e.g. C.TNR.HC], etc. Just reset to whatever type you have installed. Note: C = cyan [blue], M = magenta [red], Y = yellow, and K= black)
  8. Close the lid and wait about 40 seconds per toner that was reset (i.e. 80 seconds if you reset two toners, 120 seconds if you reset three).
  9. Once the normal touchscreen controls are displayed again, the Toner Low message should be gone. Eventually you will have to replace toner, but you’ll be able to tell by the quality of the print.

NOTE: As at 20 March 2016, I have not tried these instructions, but next time I get a low toner message I will and will report back here.

Update 14 Jul 2016: I got my first toner low message for my three color toners, and have now reset as per the instructions above. So far, so good. Now to see how long before the toner REALLY runs out.

There’s also a YouTube video on resetting the MFC-9330CDW toner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIIdHbM2OX0





  1. Thank you SO much for this Rhonda. I have used lots of your tips over the past few years but this one has to be the most valuable. Although I have a different Brother MFC, between your instructions and Google I was able to reset my printers and the “Get new cartridges” message has gone. This has been one of my biggest frustrations especially because I have my printer set to black and white and I hardly ever print in colour and my cartridges weren’t lasting long at all. Do you still have the ‘buy me a cuppa’ option anywhere? :) Cheers Jane

  2. Glad I could help, Jane!

    Yep — there’s a ‘PayPal donate’ button in the yellow box above the top right sidebar of the blog page ;-)

  3. Thanks Rhonda, I was only looking at it on email so didn’t see it. Donation on its way! Thanks again. Jane

  4. THANK YOU very, very much for this information. I knew that my toners did not need replacing, thank you, thank you, thank you :)

  5. You are very helpful to the public. Thank you so much and your guidance works for me too!

  6. hi there! i really need help with my printer, I have a DCP 1510 Brother printer, and have tried resetting the printer, and clicking on the replace toner selection and still no luck. The toner has definitely run out too quickly, any ideas on how to fix this?

  7. Hi. I have brother MFC 1916 NW. I just refill toner then print successfully. But now The printer displays “Replace toner”. I searched google. but No way to reset it. Could you tell me the way to reset it.

    Thank you!

  8. Sorry, Phan — I can’t help you as I don’t know how to change this on other models. My info is for the MFC-9120CN only. It *might* work on other models, but only you can test that.

  9. Hi Rhonda. This tip has been so handy. Thanks again. Do you know if it’s ok to reset when I get the ‘replace drum’ message or am I likely to do damage if I do that (I have found a youtube video that shows how to do it – am just not sure if it’s recommended). Thanks, Jane

  10. how many times can you reset toner? 2 or 3? or more?

  11. Hi Jon

    I don’t know, but you’ll probably know when the toner runs out.


  12. thanks for rest toner toner cartridge settings DCP9010cn

  13. Brother lasers have an option to continue printing regardless of the toner warning. I’m using a 7820 and a 2250 over our lan. You can connect to the web based setup pages using the local ip address. Login with default user admin and password access. In printer settings the 2250 has an option to either stop or continue when the low warning appears. The default is stop which is why you’re all buying new cartridges too early. Change to continue and remember to lightly shake the cartridge occasionally to evenly distribute the remaining toner. The makes the prints quite decent right till the end.
    The 7820 is much older but still a decent printer/copier. It’s happy to run on empty if you let it and I can’t recall changing any settings all those years ago.
    Web front end is handy if you want to be emailed notifications from the printer – useful for a remote office. Not so good if you’re already sick of the on-screen warnings!

  14. Thanks for that info Rod! I now have a newer Brother (MFC-9330CDW) and didn’t realise I could do all the settings via the web interface! That will make adding fax numbers to the address book much simpler. However, I went through every single setting on that web interface, and for this model, there’s NO option to stop or continue on a low warning that I could see. Darn.


  15. Thanks to Rod and Rhonda. With my MFC7820 I used to get 3,000-5,000 pages per toner cartridge, and it would continue printing even with the ‘low’ msg. With my new MFC-L2740DW, it has stopped printing twice now, after less than 1,000 pages. Thanks to your suggestions, I went thru the LCD menu and found “General Setup” / “Replace Toner” / “Continue” – and it seems to now continue printing. Am thrilled that this seems to fix the problem! Hopefully I can get at least another 1,000 pages out of the current toner.

  16. It would be nice if there was more transparency with respect to what Brother is telling their customers. i.e. Low toner message! Of course they want you to replace the toner unfortunately. Wouldn’t it be fair if the message was apparent with only 100 pages left. If we do ‘turn off the message’ in the reset ‘how then will we know the actual’. Thank you for the great information. Very nicely written and concise.

  17. I have a brother DCP-L2520DW printer. How do I reset, or override the low toner message that has stopped my printing with what I know to be plenty of toner left in the cartridge?

  18. I suggest you do an internet search for your printer model with ‘reset toner’ in the search term. You should find something.


  19. Thanks, Rhonda! This procedure worked on my Brother MFC-L8600CDW.

  20. Could not find any suggestions to circumvent the toner alert on newer MFC L2700Dw brother machines

  21. Hi Marq

    I suggest you do an internet search for your printer model with ‘reset toner’ in the search term — you should find something. This post (and the comments) refer to specific Brother models, but perhaps not yours.


  22. 7860-What a piece of crap. Ink & drum cost is Ridiculous. You will spend enough every 3 months to buy a new comparable HP. It’s going in the trash a 1.5 years old. Never buy another Brother product.

  23. follow this step guys 100% working (DCP-1510, 1512 and so on replace toner, toner ended, toner low solution)

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