How to reset the toner switch on a Brother HL-2000 series laser printer

The instructions below will allow you to reset the toner switch on a Brother laser printer or Fax machine that uses the Brother TN350 or TN2000 toner cartridge.

This will allow you to get that desperately needed print when you do not have a new toner cartridge to hand and the printer refuses to print without one, or when you know there is plenty of toner but the printer thinks otherwise and prints faintly.


I have successfully used this technique on my own Brother HL-2030 laser printer. Below is a list of other machine it should work on, there may be others.

  • HL-2030, HL- 2035, HL-2040, HL-2040N, HL-2070N
  • MCF 7220, MCF 7225N, MCF 7420, MCF 7820
  • IntelliFax 2820, IntelliFax 2920
  • DCP 7020
  • Xerox 203A, 204A

How a new toner cartridge resets the printer

First I will explain how the printer resets itself when you insert a new toner cartridge. The cartridge comes with a geared cam on the left hand side as you look from the rear. When you put the new cartridge in this cam activates the reset switch located in the printer. When you turn the printer on it sees the reset switch and resets itself, at the same time the internal mechanism of the cartridge is rotated by the printer motor moving the reset cam so that it no longer trips the switch.

How to fool the printer into thinking it sees a new toner and resetting itself

Manually resetting the ‘new toner’ switch is relatively simple but as it involves doing three things at once it is easier with two people, having said that I have managed to do it by myself. Here are the steps you need to take.

  1. Switch the printer off using the mains switch on the side of the printer
  2. Open the toner door on the front of the printer and remove the toner cartridge
  3. On the far left of the printer body locate the toner door switch, this is operated by a corresponding lug on the toner door. When the toner door is open this switch prevents the printer operating so we need to gently press it in to fool the printer.
  4. On the left hand side inside where the toner cartridge has been removed you should see an angled plastic actuator. This is what the reset gear on the cartridge operates. If you gently rotate this it operates the reset switch.
  5. To do the toner reset do the following
    • Gently depress the toner door switch
    • At the same time gently rotate and hold in position the toner reset actuator
    • Switch the printer on via the mains switch
    • As the printer comes to life gently release the toner reset actuator

That is it, the toner counter is reset. Switch off, replace the toner cartridge, shut the cover, switch back on and you are away.

The parts you are playing with are not designed to be manhandled hence my saying they should be treated gently. If you decide to follow my instructions you do so at your own risk.

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