HP releases printer firmware to undo non-HP ink cartridge blocking

HP angered many of its customers in September 2016 when a previously released firmware update for company printers would block non-HP ink cartridges from working.

HP designed the update to come into effect on September 13, 2016; shortly thereafter, users reported issues with ink cartridges on Internet forums and sites.

The issues were widespread and large media companies and organizations like the BBC reported on the issue.

HP published a non-apology weeks later in which it announced that it was working on a firmware update to undo the change. It started that the firmware update would be made available in October but did not provide an exact date.

The time has come, as firmware updates are now available for HP printers. I cannot confirm that they are available for all affected printers as there is no list of all printers affected by the issue initially. Firmware updates were however available for all HP printers that I tested.

hp new printer firmware

If one of your HP printers was affected by the old firmware update, and the resulting blocking of non-HP ink cartridges, you may do the following to restore that functionality again:

  1. Visit the HP Customer Support site for software and driver downloads. You are redirected to a locale automatically depending on the device's IP address.
  2. The easiest option is to enter the HP printer model number, e.g. HP Officejet Pro 8610 e, in the form.
  3. The site returns a list of matching products, or the actual product depending on whether the search term resulted in multiple hits or just one.
  4. Scroll down to the firmware section on the page and expand it. You should see a new firmware release on October 12, 2016.
  5. Click on the download link next to it. You are asked whether you want to use the HP Download and Install Assistant, or download only. Download only is just fine, as the firmware is provided as an executable file that you can run to install it on the affected HP printer.

Once installed, non-HP printer ink cartridges should be recognized again so that they can be used once again. Repeat the process for other HP printers that you use.

Closing Words

It is probably a good idea to block the automatic installation of new HP printer firmware versions to avoid similar issues in the future. HP did not apologize for causing those issues, and did not state that it won't release firmware updates in the future that would -- once again -- block non-HP ink cartridges on HP printers.

Check out our original article for instructions on how to block firmware updates on HP printers. You can still download firmware manually if released to install it on the printer should it offer new features or improvements.

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HP releases printer firmware to undo non-HP ink cartridge blocking
HP has just released a new firmware for HP printers that restores support for non-HP printer ink cartridges on company printers.
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Responses to HP releases printer firmware to undo non-HP ink cartridge blocking

  1. Rotten Scoundrel October 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    Trust HP? Not since 1998 when they stopped support for a sixteen-month old printer I had. "Buy a new one," the nice tech support person said.

    So this begs a question from the cynical -- and long time professional programmer, how come it took so long to roll out the fix AND how many cartridges were people forced to buy in the past two or three weeks since they started this thuggery? The fix could have been rolled out next day at worst as the critical-block code would have been less than a full single line of code.

    Their Press Release for the roll-back sounds like they invented something big and all HP Printer owners should be very pleased with the HP brand.

    • jern October 13, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

      HP is pushing "Instant Ink." Basically its a subscription plan for ink. Pay a monthly fee for ink based on pages printed (Everybody wants subscriptions). The problem is how to get users to sign up for it. This, like MS's year long Win10 upgrade push, may have been designed to help push users into the plan. It that was the reason, it appears to have made so many users mad that it failed.

      see: https://instantink.hpconnected.com/us/en/r
      There is a list of printers here that were built for the program...

      Basically, I think all the tech companies are looking for ways to increase and stabilize revenue - sometimes by reducing customer options.

    • Tammy February 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

      Nope updated all drivers to recent, didn't work. must go buy a non hp printer

      • Quix February 19, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

        Before you spend money on a new printer (HP bought Samsung printer divison), I would try different cartridges.
        There are some 3rd party companies that offer "HP-compatible" ones or at least guarantee their product if it fails.
        This is just one example, but there are more alternative suppliers now dealing with this problem. Or do a search online.
        (page down for details for HP models)

        Just my opinion, but i would NEVER download any update (software, firmware, driver) from HP website, ever again. I would block them/ disable the ability to automatically "update". At the very least, they are wholly disingenuous and their intentions do not favor their customers.

  2. Croatoan October 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    Why printer firmware needs update?

    • MozartMan October 13, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      To block non-HP cartridges. :-)

    • A or B, not C. October 14, 2016 at 7:37 am #

      @ Croatoan ....... Seems, OEMs n M$(.?) are resorting to manipulation of firmware of devices n BIOS of motherboards to block stuffs, in order to increase their market-share or revenue, eg since May 2016, Lenovo hv removed the AHCI/SATA option in the BIOS setting from their latest Win 10 Ultrabooks like the Yoga 900, 900S and Ideapad 710S, thus blocking Linux and Win 7/8.1 from being installed.
      .......As per M$ policy, Intel n AMD do not support Win 7/8.1 for their latest Kabylake n Zen chips - this is likely implemented thru the chips' firmware.

      Nowadays, consumers need to be careful about buying new OEM tech-gadgets bc they may be "locked" or "blocked", like how US mobile carriers used to lock their 2-year "subsidized"-plan(= pay by installments) smartphones to their network, which was disallowed in the EU n elsewhere.
      ....... Seems, some US tech companies r getting more greedy like fat pigs and more cunning like venomous snakes.
      PS - Remember, per M$ policy, all new OEM Windows cptrs come with UEFI, Secure Boot n TPM 2.0 in the firmware of the motherboard, which can be manipulated for blocking purposes. Eg, M$ may one day, change their policy to implement blocking n use security as an excuse, like the misused Patriot Act.

  3. Ink Man October 13, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Because you can embed some hashes, as info about the blocked non-HP cartridges.

    1. Release a firmware that blocks non-hp approved cartridges and then stores some hash about the non-hp ink cartridges... Problem.

    2. Release a firmware that removes the block and call home for the stored hashes... Reaction.

    3. Now HP knows the most frigtening enemies that sell ink cartridges - non-hp approved - to HP Customers who try to evade non-cheap HP ink cartridges... Solution.

    Big Ink Data.

    HP will use the info kindly provided by all the gullible customers who ran for this unusual UPDATE of their firmware.

    Got no proof of this, but it's definitely possible to do.

  4. dwarf_tossrrr October 13, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    Boycott any and all DRM infected devices that use consumables like ink or even COFFEE. :/ This should be a zero-tolerance thing.

    That said, my old as dirt HP Laserjet 3050 AIO still runs like a champ with "bootleg" toner drums.

  5. Charlie October 14, 2016 at 12:15 am #

    Running home W10 64bit Dell desktop PC current with Windows Updates.
    So I downloaded the firmware update from the HP web site for my HP Photosmart 7525 all-in-one.
    I clicked to run the update and got a firewall (I run the MS Windows firewall & Defender) pop-up that asked me to allow access (WHAT!!??). I allowed, and the update started. It found my HP Photosmart 7525 on USB001 & generated a pop-up asking me to select the printer I wanted to update. Only my single printer was in the list, but it wouldn't allow me to click in the little box to select my printer, and the only other option was to cancel - which I did. I tried one more time - same result.

  6. Chris October 14, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    I'm glad they changed their minds, but too little too late. Gave all the HP printers I had to charity and bought a brand that didn't choose to block non-OEM cartridges.

    The charity said they would take them apart to show kids how they work... they won't be buying any HP cartridges either.

  7. HP Public Relation October 14, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    @ Charlie

    Even Ink Cartridges have chips and unique IDs attacked.

    HP may have done a big Data Racketeering.

    Buy HP Now. Really.

  8. Randy October 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    No firmware update found today to fix my Officejet Pro 8500A model A910a

    • Martin Brinkmann October 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

      I'm not sure if I can do anything about that unfortunately. I have to research the matter more, but it is a false positive.

      • Charlie October 15, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

        If you need me to, I can fwd the email to whatever email addr. you want...

  9. quixote October 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    I would no sooner trust any MS email (hotmail also) than I would now trust HP downloads.
    There are other email services that do a superior job by not blocking/flagging/spamming wholly legitimate email
    (which may or may not be politically motivated). And you can be sure MS takes your privacy as seriously as Yahoo & google.
    You might have to pay for it, but a practical rule of thumb echoed many times before:
    "'If You're Not Paying, You're The Product'*

    *There are caveats, of course, as there is plenty of lousy pay-for software out there.

  10. quix October 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    I would start by using an email service that does not have a history of blocking/flagging/spamming wholly legitimate email (for often dubious reasons).
    And respects your privacy more that MS, yahoo, google.

    Generally, 'pay-for' email is superior, per the often quoted rule of thumb:
    "'If You're Not Paying, You're The Product'**

    **There are caveats, of course, as there is plenty of lousy pay-for software out there.

    • Charlie October 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm #

      I also run Outlook 2007, but I don't use it for other than personal email and don't use its addr to sign up for anything.

  11. Geertje October 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    What to do when there is no recent firmware update (Oct 2016) provided to revert the recent update giving a malfunctioning HP printer? In this case it concerns a HP Color Laserjet Pro M252dw printer, with 3 HP color cartridges and 1 third-party black cartridge, the latter it does not recognise anymore (supply memory error).
    All suggestions appreciated!
    Many thanks

  12. bozo October 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    No new firmware for my 6700.

  13. Catherine October 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    I updated using the wrong printer model, 6830, instead of 6815, and it didn't work. The printouts are all in pink. I want to try to make it work before I trash the printer. I only used it a few times before this crazy edict came out. Can I delete the first download and retry?

  14. Quix October 30, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    To forum members who have been affected by HP's deliberate sabotage-

    I would strongly encourage you to contact the law firm, below, even if your HP printer model is not listed, (like mine, a 3050 All-In-One) and even if the latest firmware upgrade has "fixed" the problem. In my case, HP claims my model is no longer supported (except for downloading malware masquerading as an update).
    Obviously, I'm not happy.


    You have nothing to lose contacting the firm (class action) and may possibly get some kind of satisfaction, even if nothing more than HP being permanently barred/penalized from doing the same in the future, and which HP has already stated, is their intended plan-

    For those who were made "whole" by the latest firmware fix to correct the disablement:

    HP: We will block non-HP cartridges in the future again......


    More, on this despicable company-

    Also, be aware that HP bought Samsung's printer division the very same month (September, 2016). Some coincidence.

    • cayanne February 22, 2017 at 12:57 am #

      Thanks all for the information here. Spent hours trying to figure out what the heck happened to our black ink printing... It's funny - it's only the black ink that seems to be locked up. 3rd party color ink still works...
      Either way, I contacted the law firm via live chat just now & will participate in class action should it come to fruition.
      There is no apparent firmware reversal released for the 2 HP models we have here, so the yoke is on us for now. Is there anywhere out there to find a fix & I just haven't found it, or ..... ?? One model we have is under warranty until 2018, so I don't want to just dump our printers & boycott HP yet... And, we have a home business in it's launch-stage and cannot be without ability to print right now.
      Anyone knows a way to get around it, I'd give it a shot, but I'm not a true techy person. Ugh

  15. vince November 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Any advice on fixing problem with HP LaserJet Pro400 series?
    We use a couple o9f them and now they arfe useless!

  16. radon December 6, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    How Can I check the HP injet firmware version. Which one is affected of the BUG ?
    My catridge normally print the test page but reported that the cartrige is electrically disfunctioned when I treid to print from computer ( interesting ).

  17. Charlie December 6, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

    At the moment my HP Photosmart 7525 has only HP XL cartridges installed, but several of them are getting low on ink. I intend to replace them with refilled HP XL cartridges from COSTCO when the printer runs them dry. I hope the refills work OK because COSTCO refills are way cheaper than new HP cartridges.

    • Charlie February 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

      I replaced the 2 black cartridges with cartridges that COSTCO refilled (cheap cheap!). No problems so far.

    • Anonymous March 21, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

      COSTCO refills are working OK.

  18. Quix February 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    Contrary to what HP states regarding supplying firmware "fixes" for affected printers, this is patently not true.

    Only some HP models got a newer firmware update, after the deliberate printer disablement, but not all and the published affected HP printer models does not reflect the totality of HP inkjet models that were affected (targeted).

    However, as is mentioned by some forum members here, who knows what else HP is including in their updates considering that the firmware which ultimately disabled the printers was programmed to TIME-RELEASE to a future date (and possibly also based on a certain number of print jobs or other parameters).

    Arrogant HP upper management is on record stating that they reserve the right to repeat this outrageous travesty anytime in the future. Further, they only PARTIALLY "capitulated" the last time, due to so much bad press around the world.

    Yes, there are ways to get around this (without the dubious intervention by HP).
    I supplied a direct answer to your question, just the other day on Feb 19, in response to a comment by Tammy.
    Find a compatible 3rd party after market cartridge supplier, as I previously said (like Costco).
    Also, this Dutch company may have been the first to properly deal with this issue, whose link I've included for informational purposes.

    Find my previous post on other options and good luck.

  19. Cayanne February 27, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

    Quix - Thanks so much for that. I will follow your leads above & see what happens.
    Much appreciated,

  20. Quix February 27, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    You're very welcome, Cayanne.

    And many thanks to Martin Brinkmann for his informative website and allowing quality user discussion.

  21. Monique March 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    I have both a B/W and colour -HP-compatible cartridges. It worked fine until today, when I got a message saying the colour cartridge was incompatible. I've tried removing the cartridges, cleaning the contacts. I can't print a test page because the system says I have to deal with the error message first (incompatible cartridge).

    I have tried going onto the website for the UK, and get sent round in circles.. When I try to locate the driver for my C4480,

    Installing a Mac Printer Driver Using Apple Software Update
    Install the HP Printer Driver and Software provided within your operating system.
    Learn more

    When I click on "Learn More", I get taken back to the page that says "start by identifying your products".

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