Computers Printers and Scanners

How To Replace the Ribbon in a Printer


Faint print is a good indication that you need to change your printer ribbon. But before you get to the actual process of replacing the printer ribbon, there are a couple of precautions that you must take.

Step 1

1) Before opening the cover of the printer or touching anything, make sure that the printer is turned off.

2) If you have recently used your printer, then there is a good chance that the print head is still pretty hot. You have to remove this print head using your hands – thus wait for a few minutes for it too cool down before touching it.

3) Never move the print head if the printer is on – this can cause permanent damage to your printer.

Step 2

The actual process of replacing a printer ribbon is described below. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is accurate and comprehensive.

A) There are different types of ribbons for different printers. The first thing you must do is to determine which type of ribbon your printer uses. Not all ribbons are compatible with all printers. Make a note of the model number of your printer before going to the shop to buy a new ribbon. Ask the shop keeper to give you a printer ribbon for exactly same model.

B) Remove the cover of your printer (make sure that the printer is switched off) – this will enable you to see the print head. The print head is that movable part which actually delivers the ink onto the paper.

Step 3

C) Pay close attention to how the ribbon is attached to the printer. There is a slight difference in this attachment depending upon the type of your printer. Generally, there are two clips at the two ends of the section through which the print head moves. Loosen these two clips and move the print head to the middle of the section. The key is to loosen the print head (make sure that it is not hot)

D) Now remove the printer ribbon while paying close attention to how it is originally fixed in place. The ribbon is wrapped around a spindle and then moves onto another spindle while passing through a loop where it is anchored. One spindle is wrapped with the unused ribbon and the other is wrapped with the used ribbon.

Step 4

E) It can be tricky to attach the new printer ribbon in place. But if you paid careful attention while removing the old ribbon, then you have no problems with attaching the new printer ribbon. Match the ribbon chord with the ribbon spindle. Pass the ribbon through the print head and rotate the spindle that is wrapped with the used ribbon. Rotate till you see no head and all ribbon (head is the starting part of the ribbon which contains no ink).

F) Make sure that the printer ribbon is taut. There should be no creases in the ribbon.

Step 5

G) Push the ribbon head back to its place. A clicking sound will confirm that it is firmly attached.

H) Place the cover back on the printer.


Switch on the printer - test before use.

Sources and Citations


By Smita, published at 03/22/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
How To Replace the Ribbon in a Printer. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.


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