Brother MFC-9840 Toner Reset

I like the Brother MFC-9840 printer, but it’s got a really irritating problem: it gives up way to easily when it comes to toner. Often there’s still around 33% of the toner left in the cartridge when the printer comes up with the dreaded “Toner Life End” message.

It appears there are two solutions: #1 (which didn’t work for me) is to tape a bit of black tape over the window of the toner cartridge, or over the hole for the sensor in the toner tray. I left the tape on just in case it would do good in the future.

Here’s an article with a picture of the toner hole:

#2, which I found at proved to solve my problem. Here it is:

  1. With power on, open the toner access main door. You will get a “Cover is Open” message on the LCD.
  2. Press the “Clear/Back” button and you will be taken to the toner “Reset Menu”
  3. You can then scroll through the reset options for the printer’s toner cartridges:
    1. B.TNR-S – Black toner small cartridge (TN-110)
    2. B.TNR-H – Black toner high-capacity cartridge (TN-115)
    3. C.TNR-S – Cyan toner small cartridge (TN-110)
    4. C.TNR-H – Cyan toner high-capacity cartridge (TN-115)
    5. M.TNR-S – Magenta toner small cartridge (TN-110)
    6. M.TNR-H – Magenta toner high-capacity cartridge (TN-115)
    7. Y.TNR-S – Yellow toner small cartridge (TN-110)
    8. Y.TNR-H – Yellow toner high-capacity cartridge (TN-115)
  4. Select the cartridge size you have and the colour you want to reset, and press OK. Since I had small cartridges, I used the S options for all three colours.
  5. Each cartridge must be reset individually. Press “1” to reset.
  6. Press “Clear/Back” to get out of the menu, then close the door.

According to the link at, this works on the Brother MFC 9440 as well.

I wish I’d found this before I replaced my black toner cartridge!

Update: 2013-12-12 – I just learned that it’s possible to reset the values for other consumables on the printer as well. Hold down both 3 and 9 at the same time, and you’ll get a menu to reset:
Belt Unit
PF Kit 1
PF Kit 2

I haven’t had to do any of these yet, but will remember it for when the time comes!

96 Responses to Brother MFC-9840 Toner Reset

  1. GE says:

    Thanks for posting this you’ve saved me hundreds!

    • Wim Huysmans says:

      happy to say, this also works for the mfc9320cw

      • IS says:

        Worked great for my MFC-9320CW too, After replacing many cartridges the last straw was when I put a new magenta in and after printing about 3 colour pages over a two week period it told me to replace. That’s when I started searching and found the tape solution – which did not work. Your solution is spot on. Thanks a ton.

  2. Power Hungry says:

    Absolutely fantastic! I have often been annoyed at how fast the consumables appear to be “consumed”, even though they still have plenty of weight and toner is completely visible. You’ve made my day!

    Thank you.

  3. DIanna says:

    I love you. Truly I do! MFC-9320CW user.

  4. Dieter says:

    There´s is an additional info: an empty cartridge has exactly 605 grammes (original brother info). Everybody can get this information by calling the brother hotline. But really, it´s tricky cause you´ll never find it in the manual… greetings from germany

  5. angelo says:

    Grazie mille risolto il problema , le cartucce erano ancora provviste di toner .. MFC 9840 CDW
    grazie Dall’ ITALIA

  6. Ellie says:

    It worked – small nonprofit – limited budget, you’ve saved us a LOT of $$$. Thanks for the simple and easy to follow instructions.

  7. Dwane says:

    Works awesome on MFC-9460CDN!
    Thank you for a great tip.

  8. Brinker says:

    Dude. You. Rock. Worked like a charm. MFC-9320CW user.

    • Gail Thomas says:

      Didn’t work for me. What did I do wrong?

      • Bob Rentzer says:

        As with everyone else who thanked you, I add my thanks.
        I selected the H just to be sure I don’t see the message too soon.
        After all, I’m going to decide when I need to replace a cartridge based on the print quality and not some early warning. And then I will shake the cartridge which will restore quality until I can get a replacement via an internet on line order.
        Bob Rentzer

  9. JJ says:

    Thank you so much for the tip and great explanation. Worked great after toner refill on MFC-9840CDW. Many dollars saved.

  10. Chloe says:

    Awesome!! Thanks!! Thanks!! thanks!! worked!!

  11. Huacheetah says:

    Anyone know how to do the same for the brother mfc-j615w multifuntional printer? Thanks!!

  12. fastlorenzo says:

    Also works on Brother DCP-9010CN!

    Thanks a lot

  13. vanessa says:

    You’ve made my day!! Thanks from Stuttgart!

  14. Gail Thomas says:

    HELP!!! I have MFC-9320CW printer and it tells me my cartridges must be replaced. I have hardly printed anything color. I can’t afford this. PLEASE HELP!

  15. Dan says:

    These instructions worked beautifully!! I kept getting the Toner End Life error for the Magenta Cartridge only and it was driving me crazy – would not let me print anything. Thank you so much for providing this fix!!

  16. Lori says:

    I did try this fix and now my mfc-9320cw is giving an error message saying print unable 25. I have turned it off, unplugged it. no luck still reads the same message. any suggestions?

  17. Georg says:

    Works for the Brother DCP-9010CN as well

  18. Bir, calif says:

    Thank You, Thank You
    you saved me a lot
    Thank You

  19. livin' says:

    Thanks this worked great on my MFC 9970 CDW !

    • Chris says:

      how did you get it to work on the MFC-9970CDW? I have that printer and there is no “Clear/Back” button. I tried punching all the buttons I saw but no luck.

  20. sara says:

    I won’t bother you with my 10 hour total w cust service/$160 on unneeded cartridges sob story to get back to printing after alarm to replace the black cartridge. 1 year later my mfc-9320cw says replace black again and now all the colors, too. I reset all of them according to above directions, guessing on the toner code and it WORKED! Prints just fine in BW/color! Thank you soooo much!

  21. Jacqui says:

    i had a problem with my Brother MFC-9460 CDN saying “Replace Toner” after I had just replaced it with a new one and I tried your solution AND IT WORKED!!! THANK YOU.

  22. Kathy Kadow says:

    My hero! Thank you so much. I had two sets of cartridges that I was refusing to throw away, I knew they weren’t empty!

  23. Terry says:

    My printer had STD for small and H for large capacity in the reset menu. Your solution worked like a charm! MFC9320cw. Thanks

  24. Dr. John says:

    Andrew: Thank you so much for the post. This works on my Brother MFC 9560 Copy/Fax/Scan machine. This is one of their best machines and I really depend on it. Great info!

  25. 9970 says:

    A question for LIVIN’ – How did you get it to work with your 9970 – mine does not have a “clear/back” button? I only have “Stop/Exit, Black, Start, Redial/Pause, Print data/Job cancel, Fax-Scan-Copy, & a Keypad.” I tried #2 directions with all these buttons, but could not access a “toner reset menu.” I also went into the LCD’s menu & tried a “Printer reset” & a “Calibration reset” but nothing has worked so far. Can you give me directions for specific to the 9970? Thanks!

    • Jan says:

      Hi. I just fixed my MFC 9970.
      1. OPEN the Cartridge door
      2. Pres # 1
      3. select each line after turn and when asked if you want to reset, you press the YES.
      Greetings from Denmark

  26. Doug says:

    This works on the MFC-9560cdw also. Thank you!

  27. Josie says:

    OMG. I’m so thankful. I was getting so pissed off at my brother 9440. I knew I was low on all three color cartridges, but I just replaced the black one and it wouldn’t let me print just black. So stupid. Really makes me mad that they rip us off like this leaving so much in the cartridge. This was so easy. I have to have my thesis done this weekend, and it wouldn’t print. Just saved me $90 x 3, which I didn’t have, nor the time to rush out.

  28. THANK YOU!!!!
    Just wish I’d found this three years ago, we’d have saved hundreds…but it’s still much appreciated.

  29. CB says:

    Worked great, thanks for the tip!

  30. inottalking2you says:

    Thanks!! Saved me some time AND money! MFC-9325CW

  31. Jodi says:

    Yes…thanks indeed!!

  32. Michelle says:

    I only just bought my Brother MFC 9325 printer and it was up to its 6th ink cartridge in the space of a month. Thought I’d made an expensive mistake. Tried the tape method (didn’t work) but your reset did – just had to experiment with the cartidge name until I got the right one. Turns out my cartridges are TNR-STR. Can’t thank you enough!

  33. joe says:

    It is amazing how much you can get out of a cartridge that is “empty and needs to be replaced.”

    These instructions did not work for me however. The menus allowed me to reset the hardware but not toner. To get toner i had to follow these instructions:

    With the 9970cdw, if you have already reached replace toner stage, you will only be able to get to the reset menu as follows:

    Open cartridge door
    Power off
    Wait 5 seconds
    Power on
    When display says close door
    Hit 1

    You cannot hit 1 when it is telling you to replace toner.

  34. Profiscor says:

    Thanks for the tip. This worked also for a Brother DCP-9055 CDN.

  35. I had the person who I bought the machine from as I had put a new cartridge in and it was showing empty, then another, he told me to send the machine back to Brother for repair (my cost to send and return) they then look for 12€ and probably do what you mentioned above. The he told me don’t do that it is better to buy a new machine!!!! must be on commission!. Anyway now I am up and running again. THANK YOU , THANK YOU AND TRIPLE THANK YOU.

  36. Seemed to work on 9325cw printer as well. Thanks for the info….

  37. Jonfletch says:

    Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant! Worked on the 9450 also.
    Thank you.

  38. johnzva says:

    Awesome!! Worked perfectly on my MFC9320 !!Thank-you SO much!

  39. Kpena009 says:

    Thank you for posting this!! No info on Brother site. You are awesome!! I had replaced toner and kept getting error message to replace toner.. This fixed mfc 9320 cw. You rock, Dude!!!

  40. RobH says:

    Yahoo! This worked perfectly! I was about to go out and buy a new printer thinking I had no other choice when I found this post. Your a life (and money) saver!! “Thanks” does not say enough! You, and this info were a real blessing. I mean that sincerely! Thank you!

  41. bx says:

    Thank you! This little trick extended my so called “empty” cartridges another 9 months!!

  42. joan says:

    Thanks Andrew. worked great .

  43. phil says:

    Thanks! It worked perfectly on my MFC-9320cw as well.

  44. supervivek says:

    Thanks a ton! Worked perfectly for my MFC9840CDW

    Was getting frustrated that “Low Toner” message kept coming up and thought it had something to do with the sensors

    Thanks again!

  45. Mary Willetts says:

    Hi, Many thanks I just wanted to know how to reset after taking the toner out for a paper jam and putting it back in and the “Press Clear/Back button” appears to have done the trick. Mary

  46. GDN says:

    Great idea,
    We just ignore it until the colour starts to look poor, had this unit long enough to know now what color is getting too low for presentation.

  47. Ian J says:

    Works well on 9325. Thanks heaps.

  48. julie says:

    can anyone explain where the sensor eye is that i’m supposed to cover with electricians tape?

  49. Thomas says:

    Many thanks! A real saver!

  50. Fran says:

    I have a MF9320CW, replaced all the cartridges and the only one that keeps says “Replace” is the cyan. I cleaned the wires, did the reset manuver you suggested (actually, with every color) and the cyan still won’t work. Now what?

  51. Fran says:

    Okay, I called Brother Customer Service today and they helped me easily and quickly. Back in business.

  52. antomarsh says:

    Thanks – worked perfectly using method #2

  53. Jack says:

    Want to add my thanks to this long list. I’ve had my 9320CW for two years, have been through a few reams of paper, just used your instructions once again to reset my black cartridge for the second time and am still on the original cartridges that came with the printer.

  54. Nearbroke says:

    Have used this process twice on the MFC-9325CW with great results. I suspect getting multiple times the output from a cartridge. Blocking the holes with tape seemed to have no impact at all for me

  55. PTR says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for the helpful hint #2. I didn’t know I could reset the machine itself to recognize that the toner really isn’t out. You saved us LOTS of $$$.

  56. peter says:

    very helpful.

  57. Marco says:

    Great!! Works also on my Brother DCP-9010CN! Thanks

  58. John says:

    Method #2, another satisfied customer! MFC-9325CW (which, apart from these annoying messages, I absolutely love).

  59. Mike says:

    Want to know how much toner is in your TN-110 or TN-115 cartridge? According to Brother service manuals, when your cartridge weighs 595g, it is “empty” – but NOTE that at 595g, there’s still 60g of toner inside! It is not possible to run your cartridge down to 0g without major print degradation. Depending upon your cartridge model and serial # (for starting weight values), here are some weights for you to use (in grams):

    (TN-110, TN-130, TN-150) BK (2.5K) Y (1.5K) M, C (1.5K)
    Brand New Toner Cartridge Weight 645g (±10g) 630g (±10g) 625g (±10g)
    Toner Weight at “Brand New Toner Cartridge” 110g 95g 90g
    Toner Cartridge Weight at “Toner Near Empty” 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g)
    Remaining Toner Weight at “Toner Near Empty” 80g 80g 80g
    Toner Cartridge Weight at “Toner Life End” 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g)
    Remaining Toner Weight at “Toner Life End” 60g 60g 60g

    (TN-115, TN-135, TN-155) BK (5K) Y (4K) M, C (4K)
    Brand New Toner Cartridge Weight 695g (±10g) 675g (±10g) 670g (±10g)
    Toner Weight at “Brand New Toner Cartridge” 160g 140g 135g
    Toner Cartridge Weight at “Toner Near Empty” 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g)
    Remaining Toner Weight at “Toner Near Empty” 80g 80g 80g
    Toner Cartridge Weight at “Toner Life End” 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g)
    Remaining Toner Weight at “Toner Life End” 60g 60g 60g

    (TN-115, TN-135, TN-155) BK (5K) Y (4K) M (4K) C (4K)
    Brand New Toner Cartridge Weight 685g (±10g) 681g (±10g) 653g (±10g) 670g (±10g)
    Toner Weight at “Brand New Toner Cartridge” 150g 146g 118g 135g
    Toner Cartridge Weight at “Toner Near Empty” 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g) 615g (±10g)
    Remaining Toner Weight at “Toner Near Empty” 80g 80g 80g 80g
    Toner Cartridge Weight at “Toner Life End” 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g) 595g (±10g)
    Remaining Toner Weight at “Toner Life End” 60g 60g 60g 60g

    Notes from Brother:
    – You can print about 500 pages with 10g toner. (A4 size, 5% coverage, continuous printing)
    – Toner cartridge weight is without the package and the protective cover.
    – Toner weight may vary ± 1g.
    – The molding is different on each model so that the container weight is different.

  60. Peter P. says:

    Thank you so much for showing this hidden ‘service menu’ function.
    Our 9450 was complaining about an empty yellow cardtridge and was also refusing the new /full) one as empty. We suspected a
    defective sensor. But resetting ht ecartridge worked.
    Apparently, the cartridges are somehow coded and we got two with the same code. And the printer didn’t measure the content (despite of the toner windows on both sides of the cartridge and the lenses inside the printer) but just decided to refuse these cartridges as being empty. After the cartridge reset, all was well.
    Shame on you, Brother!

  61. Janet Bates says:

    Wow-that is fantastic-thanks a million.

  62. Kevin says:

    Thaaaaak Yooooou!!!!!!

  63. Jim says:

    Thank you. It Works!!

  64. Brian says:

    Thank you… worked on my MFC-9840CDW like a charm. Enabled me to keep using expensive color toner cartridges that the printer said were end of life but still work fine.

  65. Sen says:

    4 Years on and this thread is still helpful.

    Thanks, saved me a fortune with my MFC-9320CW

  66. kathy says:

    Thank you!!! It worked and saved me a service call! 🙂

  67. drawik says:

    Thank You. On Brother MFC-9840CDW the second solution works perfect. Great work!!!

  68. Marc Oberman says:

    I have a Brother MFC-9130CW, and am having no luck with either the tape or reset. Anyone have any advice?

    • Grey says:

      Not sure if you figured this out yet but I just came across this and worked for me!
      1. Press the Fax button to make the numeric keypad visible. Then, locate and don’t click on the Asterisk (Star) button on the numeric keypad. It is important to remember its location as it will not be lit up later when needed.
      2. Press the Home button to return to the main menu.
      3. Open the front cover of the printer (to access cartridges).
      4. With the front cover open, press and hold the unlit Asterisk (Star) button for 5 seconds.
      5. The reset menu will now appear on the LCD display.
      6. Scroll through the menu to select a color and yield to reset.
      7. The LCD will read “Accepted” once the reset is complete.

  69. Chris says:

    Has anyone had a noise problem after replacing a toner cartridge? I just changed, for the first time, the black toner cartridge. when I close the lid, the machine makes a rattling noise on the left side near the black toner cartridge. Help!

    • Dieter says:

      Your toner cartridge is probably damaged. I have had the same problem with a new original HP (!) cartridge. After changing the cartridge the noise was gone.
      If you have an old cartridge, try this first.

  70. Angie says:

    Seriously, you are my hero.

  71. Jer says:

    Andrew! Your advice is like the gift that keeps on giving (almost 4 years after the fact). Thank you! I’m a small business that _needs_ to get mileage out of consumables like this and your input appears to have worked on my MFC-9460. You da man

  72. Fla Mom says:

    Thank you, Andrew! I used your method for the toner cartridges, the drum, and the belt unit. You’ve provided a great service-

  73. adrianjharvey says:

    This works on the HL-4050 and 4040 as well, but the button sequence to get into the menu is different. After opening the front, press and hold Cancel. Whilst holding Cancel press and release Reprint. Release Cancel.

    Thanks for the info on what the menu items mean – the other sources didn’t have that….

  74. Appreciation says:

    I have gone through so many many toners. Not anymore! The 2nd option works perfectly. You’re a universal person, sharing to save money and keeping the world cleaner. Thank you.

  75. Brian says:

    Thank you so much

  76. michaeldvorscak says:

    Worked on Brother 9560OCDW. Thank you for helping me “hack” the syst3m.

  77. michaeldvorscak says:

    Thanks for helping me hack the syst3m. It worked on a Bro 9560CDW.

  78. Ron Wisconsin says:

    **Thanks for posting this fix because all the tech help lines are shut down for the weekend.**
    Ordered refill toner kits September 2013 for my Brother MFC-9460CDN. Just got around to refilling all the cartridges this eve (Jan 2015). Kept receiving “Replace Black Toner Cartridge” error. Cycled the printer several times hoping the error would disappear. Found this article, executed fix #2 but, I had a 3rd option “K.TNR-S.HC, so chose this one. Reset all cartridges. Will find out later the difference between HC & S.HC. -Ron Wisconsin

  79. Chris says:

    F***ng awesome help! Thanks a bunch for helping me hack my 9320 CW

  80. Stan says:

    I have an MFC-9320CW with the same “replace cartridge” message. I have found that installing a new cartridge will reset the machine so that it will again be working OK, as is to be expected. I can then remove the new cartridge and re-install the old “empty” one. The printer seems to think it still has the good cartridge installed.

    Apparently, installing a new cartridge performs the same reset function as procedure #2 does. So, if procedure #2 doesn’t work for you, try this method before giving up. It might be an easy way to get other models running too, if you can’t find the right procedures for them.

    So, here is the procedure I used:

    1. With power on, open the toner access main door. You will get a “Cover is Open” message on the LCD.

    2. Remove the old cartridge.

    3. Install the new one.

    4. Close the access door and let the printer initialize. The “toner empty” message should be gone.

    5. Open the access door again.

    6. Remove the new cartridge and put it back in its original bag.

    7. Put the “empty” cartridge back in the machine.

    8. Close the access door. The printer should continue to operate and NOT display the “toner empty” message.

    9. Save the new cartridge for a time when you will really need it.


  81. Vito says:

    Hi Andrew, I usually never leave any comments on a Blog with fixes, repairs and or suggestions as they are usually incorrect or do not apply to your issue. Not the case in this case as it worked and was exactly related to my problem.

    It is rare that you end up with some kind of problem and be able to look it up online and find a quick fix for it.

    Well I was having an issue with my Brother laser printer as I ran out of Toner on two Cartridges and although I replaced them the Printer kept telling me to Replace the Cartridges as they are at END OF LIFE.

    Well after a bit of frustration and the fact that I had no where else to turn to I resorted to the Internet in hope that there might be some sort of an answer.

    After a couple of searches I came across your Blog and was able to get a FAST, EASY, DESCRIPTIVE and PRECISE answer to my problem. After i followed your Instructions I was back up and running.

    Thank you very much for the fix,

  82. Debbie says:

    Andrew, THANK YOU SO MUCH. This is such a great find. I have been replacing my toner cartridges every time they said low or end of life. I did exactly what the instructions told me to do and I was printing again !! It is awesome to find a blog that is actually so helpful. Covering the sensor holes and reseting the cartilages is major money $$$ saving advice . Thanks again

    Debbie 🙂

  83. John Morris says:

    Worked after my MFC-9840cdw complained about a brand-new Brother cartridge. THANK YOU!

  84. Thanks dude awesome article really helped. Is it only compatible that can be reset?

  85. Ray says:

    Thanks so much . I needed to use both tricks , the cover all the light sensors ( 4 with my color MFC-9325CW) , and reset with the printer lid open . That combination worked like a charm.

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