Updated 28/11/2017

If your HP printer is giving you an error message such as HP cartridges locked or any other message that mentions something about HP cartridge protection, then it sounds like you have fallen victim to a printer firmware update and you will definitely be having trouble using compatible or remanufactured inks. You may also see a message like ‘ Used or counterfeit ink cartridge detected ’.

We understand your frustration, and agree that everyone deserves to choose for themselves whether or not they want to use third party inks in their printer without having their HP cartridges locked to another printer. Don’t worry, I’m about to show you how to fix this issue and remove HP Cartridge Protection so that it can be bypassed…

HP Cartridge locked

Here’s what you’ll learn on this page:

  1. What HP cartridge protection means.
  2. Why this happens and why HP locked cartridges.
  3. How to remove cartridge protection setting and bypass it in 2 easy steps.
  4. Which printer models and ink cartridges this affects.

Why are my HP cartridges locked / What is HP cartridge protection?

HP Cartridge protection or the message, ‘ ink cartridges locked to another printer ‘, is the message that appears on your printer when one or both of the following things happen:

The ink cartridges that you are trying to use are not original HP ink cartridges and….

  1. Your printer has the cartridge protection setting enabled
  2. The chip on the cartridges you are trying to use were made from empty original HP ink cartridges that have been used in a previous printer with the cartridge protection setting enabled. This in turn locks those cartridges to the last printer it had been used in rendering them unusable in your printer.

Why does this happen?

With new printer models that are continuously connected to the internet, software and firmware (permanent software that is built into hardware devices) updates are routinely installed. These updates can change the way your printer operates or as in this case add new features.

If you see the message HP cartridges locked and you are experiencing this issue then it’s very likely that you have recently had a printer update to enable cartridge protection or you have a brand new printer with this feature already built in.

Why did HP introduce this?

Whilst HP cares about their customers and your satisfaction, they also above all else are a business and need to protect themselves. One of the largest issues that HP have as a business that costs them millions of pounds if not billions over the years is the problem with counterfeit or fake inks being produced and sold across the market.

Counterfeit cartridges, not to be confused with third party or compatible cartridges are completely fake copies of the original HP cartridges and are being sold as though they are the original HP cartridges. This is why HP introduced the update. To protect you as their customer and themselves as a business from counterfeit cartridges.

Also HP now provides a service called ‘instant ink’ where you pay a monthly fee instead of buying ink one cartridge at a time when you run out and this enables them to make sure you are purchasing genuine HP cartridges.

Unfortunately, this does also stop the use of compatible or remanufactured cartridges, however we are legally entitled to use a compatible or remanufactured cartridge if we choose to so there is a way of switching of cartridge protection and prevent the HP cartridges locked message from appearing.

How to remove cartridge protection in 2 easy steps

To remove, disable or bypass the cartridge protection setting on your HP printer you will need to use either the settings on the printer control panel (for printers not connected to the internet) or you will need the printers i.p address for printers that are connected to the internet.

  1. For non-internet connected printers – Find the devices and printers section in your control panel, then select your hp printer. Find the cartridge protection tab in the HP toolbox and click the disable cartridge protection option & save.
  2. For internet connected printers – Go to your printer and in the settings menu find your printers i.p address. Note this down and type it into a browser search bar which will take you to your printer configuration page. Click settings and disable cartridge protection.

Please note that when your printer updates again, this setting could be auto enabled again so you can prevent updates by switching them off in the web services section.

HP Cartridge locked

This should resolve your issue and any new cartridges that you install won’t be protected however if you do install a compatible or remanufactured cartridge that has been previously protected by another printer, this will not work and you’ll need to get a replacement from your supplier.

Unfortunately, if a cartridge has been previously locked to someone else’s printer then you won’t be able to use them in your printer as the lock cannot be removed from a cartridge. You’ll need to contact you ink supplier and get a replacement sent to you.

Which inks & printer models does cartridge protection affect?

The printers that seem to be affected by the HP cartridge protection setting are the HP Deskjet models, HP Envy, models, HP Officejet, HP Officejet Pro and HP OfficeJet Pro X models of printers listed below.

Printer Range Models
Envy 4500 range HP Envy 4500, 4502, 4503, 4504, 4507, 4508
Envy 5500 range HP Envy 5530, 5532, 5534, 5535, 5536, 5540, 5542, 5543, 5544, 5546
Envy 5600 range HP Envy 5640, 5642, 5646
Envy 7600 range HP Envy 7640, 7644
HP Deskjet 1000 range HP Deskjet 1000, 1010, 1050, 1510, 1512, 1514, 1517
HP Deskjet 2000 range HP Deskjet 2050, 2054, 2510,2540, 2542, 2443, 2544, 2545, 2547
HP Deskjet 3000 range HP Deskjet 3000, 3050, 3052, 3054, 3057
HP Deskjet F range HP Deskjet F2410, F2418, F2423, F2430, F2476, F2483, F2488, F2492, F2493, F4583
HP Officejet HP Officejet 2610, 2620, 4630, 4632, 4634, 4636
HP Officejet Pro HP Officejet Pro all models
HP Officejet Pro X HP Officejet Pro X all models

So there you have it. Hopefully this will have helped with your frustrations and stop the HP cartridges locked meesage. Please comment below if you need further help or have any other points we may have missed. We’d love to hear from you!

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