HP 2605 Printer: How to Force Print or How to Override Replace Cartridge

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Today, I had to print something for a meeting and could not. Ugh!

I know about tricks with toner cartridges. I knew the printer had toner left to at least get a 50% copy or shoot even a 25% copy. On every laser jet I have owned, you have always been able to shake up the toner and get 10 to 50 more pages to print in perfect quality or near perfect quality.

For 2 years I have been taking HP at its word that “Replace Cartidge” meant replace cartidge. We did this because….well you can’t print without replacing a cartridge. Double Ugh!

We replaced cartidges as needed and as requested. We were happy and stupid. I did not even question this as I figured they had a fancy new system to detect and use every last drop of toner, just link inkjets have.

My bad for trusting HP.

Today, I had to force a print. I needed the copy and did not have time to go to the store. On an HP 2605 printer you cannot easily force something to print. In fact, it takes five steps to override the “replace cartridge” message and get something to come out. Luckily, I found steps on how to do this.

What is most revealing is what actually comes out. A PERFECT 100% PRINT JOB!

That is right. I expected the copy to print with some grey missing, black missing or something else. However, the test copy and my 12 pages that I printed for my meeting were perfect. Nothing missing, no fades, no blotches. Just perfect.

In this case, I think HP is trying to do two things:

1. Help out idiot users who don’t know when to replace their cartridges. Yes, that is nice, but I am not an idiot user (except for trusting HPs algorithm for knowing when to replace a cartridge).

2. Make a lot more money. Yes, I do believe they are trying to maximize profit on toner replacements. If I can get 10% more out of my toner cartidge, then that might be 1 or 2 less cartdiges per year ($100 to $200 worth). Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of these printers and you get the picture.

I think the article above sums it up pretty well. So stop wasting money and use all of your toner with these steps.


  1. On the printer itself, hit the big green checkmark button to access the menu.
  2. Select System Setup -> Print Quality -> Replace Supplies.
  3. There is likely an asterisk (*) beside “Stop at out”.
  4. Hit the > arrow once, and the display should read “Override out”.
  5. Press the checkmark to confirm that (the asterisk should now be beside “Override out”).
  6. Back out of the menu. The LCD should now display “Override in use”, meaning, you can now continue printing for as long as you actually have toner in the cartridges (and beyond, probably).

Thanks goes to Ryan J. Thompson for the advice and his article is a MUST for any HP.

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