How to reset Brother HL-L3210CW Toner Cartridges

Josh Sherman
3 min read

It took nearly two years, but we finally “ran out” of black toner for our all-time favorite printer, the Brother HL-L3210CW Laser Printer.

More on why “ran out” is quoted in a moment ;)

Personally, I hate owning a printer. I only print stuff out at most twice a year, and I’m okay with driving over to FedEx Kinko’s to do the deed. But, I’m not the only one in my house, as the wife and child use the heck out of the printer.

Recently the printer “stopped working” due to the black toner cartridge being low, or empty, or something like that. We had new cartridges that I had purchased alongside the printer, but as it turns out, they weren’t for our model of printer.

Sucks to suck since Amazon said the cartridges were frequently bought with the printer. Wonder how many other folks have bought the wrong cartridges.

Not a big deal, I ended up ordering a new cartridge. Thing is though, we needed to print some stuff out that day, and the new cartridge wouldn’t be here until the next day.

Knowing how much of a scam printers are, I immediately started to search the web to see if there was a way to tell the printer to back off with the toner warning and just let me print.

Worst case scenario, the print out would have been lighter and/or streaky. Best case, we get a few extra prints before the cartridge officially kicks the bucket.

What I found when I did some searching were a bunch of different sets of directions, none of which ended up working for me. Perhaps there’s different revisions of this particular printer as I find it hard to believe that the entire Internet is wrong about how to reset the toner cartridges.

Here’s the steps that I ended up using, and I’d say even these work maybe 80% of the time:

  1. First, open up the printer as if you’re going to replace the cartridges.
  2. Press and hold the Back and Cancel buttons at the same time.
  3. Count to either 3 or 5, but never 4.
  4. Release both the Back and Cancel buttons.
  5. Take in a breath and hold it through steps 6, 7, and 8.
  6. Press and release Back then press and release Cancel.
  7. Press and release Back then press and release Cancel.
  8. Press and release Back then press and release Cancel.

At this point, the screen might say K.TNR-STD, which is the super secret menu to allow you to reset the tone cartridges.

Using the up and down arrows you can navigate to find the tone cartridge you’d like to reset. Pressing OK will give you the option to Reset or Exit.

I really hope this helps somebody as it took me about half of an hour to finally punch in the Konami code just right to Fonzi things in my favor.

Worth noting, we ended up bringing a half dozen pages and they all looked perfect. The plan is to see how long we can go until our print outs are of degraded quality before slapping in the new cartridge.

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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