HP exploits firmware update to make its printers reject third-party ink

The cost of refilling the ink on your printer quickly adds up, and HP has once again been caught using an official firmware update for its printers to cause them to reject third-party ink.

Back in March of 2016, millions of Inkjet and Inkjet Pro owners were issued a fake “security update” by the company that sat dormant on their printers for six months until it began to reject third-party ink.  HP owners were quick to voice their negative opinions over the company’s shady tactics and almost 15,000 complaints were received.

The company eventually released a statement in which it apologised and provided a link to a firmware update that restored third-party ink functionality to the affected printers.

Now one year on, HP has again been caught using the same tactics to prevent its printers from utilising third-party ink.

A new firmware update for the company’s Officejet printers appears to be identical to the notorious update released last year.  Now when users attempt to load their printers with third-party ink they receive a message which reads:

“One or more cartridges appear to be damaged.  Remove them and replace with new cartridges.”

Depending on the number of cartridges used by your particular printer, you may be able to use a few third-party cartridges without receiving the error but filling all of the slots completely will trigger the error and display the warning message.

So far the HP OfficeJet 6800 series, OfficeJet Pro 6200 series, OfficeJet ProX 450 series, OfficeJet Pro 8600 series and more have been affected by the new firmware and HP has not yet commented on the issue.

Check out our list of the best business ready printers

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.