How to Reset and Unpause the Printer? The Ultimate Guide

Is your printer on strike ? Or you can’t get rid of an error message ? The waste ink container is (allegedly) full? If the printer has hung, a printer reset can often fix the problem. However, even resetting the printer will not solve a hardware problem. At least you have a clue that a printer repair might be able to help you. If you want to sell your toner then visit us.

We will show you for the most common brands whether and how a printer reset can be carried out. “Ob” because some printer manufacturers tend to put obstacles in the way of users . We have already summarized in the linked guide that printer manufacturers use tricks with ink cartridges . The fact that these tricks also affect other areas in the life cycle of a printer is shown by the handling of the options for a printer reset.

What happens with a printer reset?

If you can perform the printer reset, you will at least restore it to factory settings .


  • Errors in the software are often terminated because a printer often no longer works because it has “hung up”.
  • You can save yourself the often time-consuming search for a printer error .
  • Before selling, you should factory reset the printer.


All settings that you have made, such as network settings etc., will be lost and you will have to make them again . Like a new printer straight from the factory. Unfortunately, it does not mean that a reset offered by the manufacturer also sets counters (e.g. for the number of printouts with cartridges) to 0, which is often justified by the manufacturers with necessary maintenance.

Whether this maintenance, such as for the collection container for excess ink or ink for automatic print head cleaning, is always justified, we’ll leave it open…

How and why do I perform a printer reset?

Procedure varies from brand to brand

How you can reset your printer depends heavily on the manufacturer and also on the printer model. The models do not only differ from printer manufacturer to printer manufacturer , but the brands themselves also offer different printer model series , those that only have buttons and those that also have a (touch) display.

How the printer reset is performed and what happens depends on the printing technology – laser printer or inkjet printer

Inkjet printers

All inkjet printers have a waste ink container . This is where excess ink from the ink cartridge comes in, like that from the automatic printhead cleaning. But even with ordinary printing processes, superfluous residual ink is fed into this container.

Of course, at some point this container will be full and will need to be replaced. Depending on the manufacturer and model, the replacement can be quite complicated and become a “mess” – or, according to the manufacturer, is simply not independentfeasible. Such a device often also points you directly to a necessary service maintenance, which costs money.

Also, many printer manufacturers don’t want you to replace or empty the tank yourself and point this out, as research on a manufacturer’s website has shown.

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The common thing about the waste ink container: It is not uncommon for the waste ink container, also known as the ink collection container, not to be in danger of overflowing . Rather, the number of printouts is only counted by the printer software.

If the meter has recorded a certain number of printouts, a message is issued that the container is full – or an error message made up of numbers and/or letters or a reference to a necessary service maintenancedisplayed. A printer reset may also help with this printer problem so that you can print again without much effort.

However, this is now being prevented by more and more manufacturers with younger printer models by simply not being able to reset these counters .

Laser printers

In the case of a laser printer , the reset usually only refers to the printer’s software. However, the laser printer has the so-called drum reset , because the image drum can also be dependent on a counter. Some laser printers complain that the image drum has to be replaced after a certain number of prints.

It can still be the case that the image drum is still OK. If the print quality is still good, you can continue using the drum by performing a drum reset, if the manufacturer allows it. The counter is then reset. However, this guide refers to the printer reset.

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Reset printer: buttons or software

Whatever your reason for a printer reset, how you initiate the process varies. In many cases you have to follow a certain procedure and press certain keys simultaneously or one after the other briefly, for several seconds or longer. With some printers, you can also initiate a printer reset via the printer software instead of a key combination .

However, not every manufacturer allows the printer to be reset “just like that”. For example, with some manufacturer brands you can only trigger a “soft reset” via the printer software and reset certain settings, but not perform a reset that leads completely back to the factory settings PLUS counters to 0.

There is probably calculation behind it, because it is of course more attractive for a printer manufacturer if you take advantage of paid maintenance or repairs – or if you get unnerved and buy a new printer , which often also means new cartridges for good money, which the manufacturer collects at the same time.

Now you are well informed about various printer reset facts. Now follow the instructions or notes for various manufacturer brands:

Brother printer reset instructions

If you want to reset a Brother printer, it can vary slightly from model to model. A common Brother printer reset method works as follows:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the menu and start buttons.
  2. Without delay, press the plus button OR arrow up four times – the main menu appears.
  3. Go there to the point “Purge Counter” (<= this counts the printouts because of the residual ink container) or “Reset”. Your Brother printer will walk you through the necessary steps to reset it.

Canon Printer Reset Guide

Many Canon models allow a reset using the following method:

You have to press and hold the “Power”, “Formfeed” and “Print Mode” buttons at the same time until you hear a tone. This audio signal shows you that the reset was successful.

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Canon PIXMA reset instructions

For Canon PIXMA models, the reset is a bit more complicated. Before resetting, make sure paper is loaded. Then follow these instructions step by step:

  1. Press and hold the Cancel/Stop button while pressing the ON button. Do not release both buttons until the device turns on and the LED on the control panel lights up.
  2. Continue to hold the ON button , but release the Cancel/Stop button.
  3. Now quickly press the cancel/stop button five times. The LED lights will light up. Now you can release the ON button.
  4. You will hear various noises coming from inside the printer. These are different functional tests. It may crack – that’s not a problem! The process will take a while and the green LED will eventually go out because the Canon PIXMA printer will turn off after the reset. Now you can switch it on as usual.

Did the reset of your Canon PIXMA printer work? Then it is reset to the factory settings. If it didn’t work and there is still an error message, for example, then unplug your device. Now press the Cancel/Stop button and the ON button simultaneously while plugging the power cord back into the outlet and repeat the process above.

Tip: If you don’t want to reset the entire device, you can also reset your Canon PIXMA for individual points via the menu, but this procedure is not useful if you have an error message that you want to get rid of. Targeted resetting of certain settings or functions is a good idea if you want to sell your printer and want to delete the network data, for example.

Here’s how: Go to “Settings” via the control panel menu and from there to “Device settings” and then to “Reset setting”. Depending on the model, you will be offered different options for resetting, such as the WLAN or LAN settings mentioned and others. If necessary, you can also select “All settings” from the control panel. Confirm each time with “OK” when you have made your decision.

Epson printer reset

Unfortunately, Epson doesn’t offer a key combination or a way to reset it via the control panel or the supplied printer software. This is quite annoying, especially since it is not uncommon for Epson inkjet printers to display the following:

“The ink pads in the printer are empty. Please contact Epson support.” Or in short: “Ink pad service. Contact Epson.”

In many cases, the ink pad, which is comparable to the ink collection container or waste ink container, is not in the least so loaded that it can no longer absorb ink. This applies not only to printers from Epson, but also to other manufacturers. On top of that, it’s annoying when the Epson printer is an Epson multifunction device, because the device no longer reacts at all – the scanner can no longer be used either.

If you contact Epson, they will offer you maintenance that can cost you up to 100 euros. Of course, you can also give away or sell the printer to hobbyists, or just dispose of it (the latter would be a huge waste of resources) in order to buy a new printer.

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Another option is certain software that resets the so-called “waste ink counter” – literally “waste ink counter” – on Epson devices. However, it is NOT official software from Epson , but comes from third parties, which of course entails a certain risk. If you still decide to take this measure, you must be aware that the ink pad could actually be saturated.

Note: If you decide to perform an Epson waste ink counter reset using third-party software, only obtain it from trusted sources to avoid getting malware onto your computer. Search the internet for experiences with the software you are considering. By the way, there is free and paid software.

HP Printer Reset Instructions

HP has a “soft” reset that you can use, for example, the ” HP Print and Scan Doctor ” for Windows. With some HP models, it is possible to reset the printer to factory settings via the control panel . Depending on the model, you have to go to items such as “Printer maintenance”, “Restore”, “Service”, “Restore default settings” etc. See the printer manual for more information.

“Soft reset” means that no counter is reset. If you use an HP Laserjet , after 50,000 prints you will be forced to have it overhauled by an affiliated HP workshop.

With some HP printers you can perform a reset via the hidden service menu , but beware: there are many functions stored there that ordinary users know little about. Therefore, you should proceed very carefully there in order not to create new problems.

To find out if you can get to a hidden service menu, use your trusted search engine with the terms “[your printer model] + [service menu]” and similar.

Samsung printer reset

Samsung has been owned by HP for a number of years now. Much of what applies to HP when it comes to printer resets also applies to Samsung. However, with a Samsung laser printer (CLP680dw), we were already successful in resetting an error with the paper detection (the multipurpose feeder was accessed instead of the paper cassette).

To do this, we unplugged the Samsung printer and held down the power button for 10 seconds. The power button lit up very briefly and then went out. After that, we plugged the Samsung printer back in and turned it on. The reset apparently worked, because we had to redo all the settings, starting with the date.

Our printer problem had also resolved itself. Unfortunately, we do not know whether this can be reproduced with other Samsung printers.

Conclusion on the printer reset

A printer reset can be very useful to solve printer problems . But even before selling a printer privately, it makes sense and is advisable to reset the device to factory settings. Unfortunately, some printer manufacturers get in the way when it comes to resetting counters that at some point may require service maintenance make necessary.

If you instead pass the printer on to hobbyists or even dispose of it, you not only need a new device, but often also new, expensive cartridges. Before taking this step, however, it may be worth scouring the internet for solutions if our instructions weren’t sufficient. One such solution can be to find a hidden service menu for service technicians.