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.
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:
- 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.
- The easiest option is to enter the HP printer model number, e.g. HP Officejet Pro 8610 e, in the form.
- 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.
- Scroll down to the firmware section on the page and expand it. You should see a new firmware release on October 12, 2016.
- 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.
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.