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How to the Reset Purge Counter on a Brother Printer (With a Numerical Pad)

How to the Reset Purge Counter on a Brother Printer (With a Numerical Pad)

The ‘Unable to Clean: Machine Error 46′ message prevents you from printing on your Brother inkjet printer. It is especially frustrating when you realise there no reason why you can’t carry on printing other than this message. Continue reading to find out what makes me say this and how you can rid yourself of this error.

This guide will deal specifically with Brother inkjet printers that have a number pad on the front of the printer. If you printer has a touchscreen as well as a numerical pad please see here. If however your printer does not have a number pad at all, the guide found here should be of use.

What is Error 46?

‘Error 46: Unable to Clean’ indicates that your Brother printer believes the ink absorber in the base of your printer is saturated with ink and any further printing could cause ink to overflow. How full this waste ink tank is has been estimated by monitoring how many pages your Brother printer has produced and how many manual/automatic cleans have performed. Sadly this is not a particularly accurate method of measuring how full an ink absorber is and the majority of the time your printer could prints hundreds of pages before there was any danger of any ink escaping. However getting the waste ink tank changed and resetting the counter can be an expensive procedure if you get a service centre to do it on your behalf. In many cases owners of Brother inkjet printers report the cost of the procedure outweighs the value of their printer.

With this in mind we suggest resetting the purge counter of your Brother printer using the method described below and continuing to use it until waste ink begins to overflow inside/outside the printer. This ensures you get the most out of your printer and can avoid replacing it until it becomes necessary to do so. I do however recommend you protect any surfaces around the printer should you decide to reset the purge counter to save any surfaces becoming stained with printer ink.

What printers will this reset work with?

This reset procedure should be compatible with almost any Brother inkjet printer with a numerical keypad on the printer itself (and not touchscreen panel) and has been tested on every current compatible printer at our disposal. You can find a full list of compatible printers below:

Brother MFC-210C, MFC-215C, MFC-3240C, MFC-3340CN, MFC-3342C, MFC-410CN, MFC-420CN, MFC-425CN, MFC-5440CN, MFC-5840CN, MFC-620CN, MFC-640CN, MFC-640CW, MFC-820CW, MFC-235C, MFC-260C, MFC-240C, MFC-3360C, MFC-440CN, MFC-465CN, MFC-5460CN, MFC-5860CN, MFC-660CN, MFC-665CW, MFC-680CN, MFC-845CW, MFC-885CW, MFC-250C, MFC-255CW, MFC-295CN, MFC-297C, MFC-490CW, MFC-5490CN, MFC-5890CN, MFC-5895CW, MFC-6490CW, MFC-790CW, MFC-990CW, MFC-J615W, MFC-J220, MFC-J265W, MFC-J410, MFC-J415W, MFC-J430W, MFC-J5910DW, MFC-J625DW, MFC-J6510DW, MFC-J6710D, MFC-J6710DW, MFC-J6910DW, MFC-J825DW

If you have a printer with a numerical pad not covered above and find the purge counter reset works for you then please let us know so we can update our list.

Video Guide

Purge Counter Reset Instructions

Please note that some of the terms used below to describe buttons may change from one printer to another. For example:

  • START may be down as MENU or SET on your printer or be a green button
  • STOP may be referred to as EXIT or a red button

Before you begin the reset procedure your Brother inkjet printer needs to be in maintenance mode, but depending upon the model of your printer the method of doing this will vary. For most modern Brother printers please try the following:

  1. With the printer turned on and ready to print remove the power cable from the printer (or turn the printer off if you have a fixed power cable).
  2. Hold down MENU/SET/START and re-insert the power cable/turn it back on.
  3. Keep the button held down until the screen reads MAINTENANCE.

If your screen does not now say MAINTENANCE it will need to be put into maintenance mode using one of the two methods below:

  • Printers with a built-in Fax: Hold down MENU/SET/START and quickly press * 2 8 6 4.
  • Printers WITHOUT a Fax: Hold down Menu/Set and the Black Start key before pressing the UP arrow four times.

Now your printer should say MAINTENANCE on the screen and you are ready to begin the process of actually resetting the purge counter.

  1. Type in 80 using the numerical keypad.
  2. Use the DOWN key to locate the purge counter. eg. PURGE0060025
  3. Use the number pad to enter 2783 (this should zero the numbers after PURGE).
  4. Press STOP/EXIT to return to the first stage of maintenance mode.
  5. Press 9 and 9 to exit maintenance mode.

Your purge counter is now reset and you can now resume printing as normal. If however this has not cleared the error message I advise going through this guide again following the instructions to the letter. If the error persists please let us know.

I hope you have found this guide useful. If however you have anything to add or any further questions please donโ€™t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

About the author

I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have been an employee of Refresh Cartridges since early 2009. I am a dedicated family man, gamer, music fan and friend to all. I write the majority of the content here on Igloo and am responsible for its upkeep.

Refresh Cartridges


  1. Brother

    This is absolutely fantastic, thank you very much! My Brother MFC 640-CW is working again.

    1. alf

      Hello brother I have the same machine and have tried but when it comes to pressing 9 and 9 at the end it returns to Machine Error 46 what did ypou do help please

  2. Faraj

    Wow!! Matthew!!! You are definitely a life-saver!! This fix worked, thanks to you!! My brother MFC 425 CN is working fine. Wish you and your website all success! In the meanwhile, do you offer printer products so that we can support you in some kind of way?

  3. billy chew

    unable to get my j414w into maintenance mode.

    1. RefreshCarts

      I am unfamiliar with this particular model of Brother printer. Could you please confirm for me your exact model number?

      1. ammando

        hey i have a bother 4610dw printer with the error 46 message on its fully touch no buttons only power button every thing els is touch how can i reset the purge counter on this printer any help u can give me would be greatly appreciated

  4. radzmi

    my model is mfc j220 brother printer and ink absorber is full, how do i clean this and where i find

  5. Keith

    Excellent instructions. Mt MFC820CW is printing again. Thank you – I appreciate all your effort in putting this page up.

  6. vic

    Thank you for this advice.
    Can you post on how to change the waste ink tank in Model MFC6490Cw.

  7. Karlo Tejada

    hi! how about unable to init.48? had you encountered that? i cant find any solution to that problem. tnx!

    1. RefreshCarts

      Looking around online it seems this relates to the print head cable or circuit board being defective. This can apparently be resolved by cleaning the encoder strip with a lint free cloth or replacing the relevant parts. However this level of technical expertise is beyond me sadly.

  8. hardeep

    Hey, I have MFC 240c and I manage to re-set the purge but I can't print. Could you please help


    1. RefreshCarts

      Are you getting any error codes or messages stating the reason why you cannot print?

      1. Scott

        replace yellow, replace magenta (but I already did)

  9. jmh

    You are BEUATIFUL!

    Thank you – how the hell would I have known how to do that – was about to junk but had all these carrtridges I had not used!

    Saved me money, saved the environment.

    Rock on, friends.

  10. joy

    thanks for the help!, my printer is now working. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. jun lim

    thanks a lot you are indeed heaven sent. you have just extended the life of printer. your instruction was super clear and so easy to follow that i got it on one try. a million thanks again.

  12. GalsGirl

    Ok on my printer the screen and buttons are blinking and wont stop even if after we unpluged it and pluged it back in it was still do it. I dont know what to do is there a way i could reset it?

    1. RefreshCarts

      Strange. Is the printer blinking "Error 46" or "Unable to Clean"?

  13. Ryan Zach

    I was able to go in and reset the counter but the Unable to Clean error is still there. I have the MFC640CW.

  14. TD Jenx

    Wow…your site saved me a 10 mile trip and $35 to have my Brother MFC210c purge reset! Thanks for the tutorial.
    TD Jenx

  15. Joey E.


    how about error 44 on my printer Brother MPJ220 .

    Any guide or solution?


  16. Judy C

    I I have a brother MFC 420 CN and I don't know what buttons to push to get it to go to maintainance mode. I have several "start buttons" , a green- color start, a black start, and a menu/set under the large chrome arrow button. I tried all ways and failed. I'd appreciate the help. Thanks

    1. Jason B

      I too have the 420CN and have tried the method mentioned above with all three options (Black Start, Color Start, Menu/Set) as well as holding down the Menu/Set and pressing *2864 and I have only managed to go from the message when the printer powers on from "Unable to Clean | See troubleshooting…" to Error 46 with the printer mode buttons blinking. Any suggestions? I just bought a set of new cartridges and would hate to have to trash them.

  17. imperial donix

    Absolutely fabulous thank you – saved the day


  18. russell

    thanks for the tutorial. you saved my P1000.00 to have my bother mfc j220 purge reset… have a nice day..

  19. Juan Luis

    My mfc-490cw don´t print i have black ink but the page don´t print…why? thanks you.

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sounds as if the black portion of the printhead is blocked, dried or unable to function mechanically. I would recommend doing some headcleans from the printer to try and clear any blockages and pull through some ink. If however ink comes through and then drops out quickely when printing it is likely that the printheadhas a mechanical problem and I would recommend calling Brother or a printer technician.

  20. umar

    i have a brother MFC-J615W and ink absorber is full how to reset it. thanx bfore.

  21. fathi

    erreur 48

  22. Mark

    Hi, I have gone through the procedure twice and I am sure the purge counter is reset but the message is still "unable to clean see troubleshooting and routine maintenance chapter in user's guide". My machine is a MFC-640CW. Any further ideas please?

  23. juvy baradillo

    my brother mfc-j220 printer model had a troubleshooting about ink absorber full, could you help me and fix this???

  24. Stejo

    Thank you,Thank you, Thank you very much for your help. I just love the internet.

  25. imra aryati

    Hi, Thank you very much for your tutorial. I cannot get it right the first time on my MFC-J415W but then I try the MENU button instead of GREEN START button and now I can print again.

  26. ken

    I have a MFC-J515W with the message unable to printF4 and have reset the purge counter to 0 as per your guide but the message is still their? can you help me?

  27. fathi

    mfc5890cn erreur 48

  28. Arom

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the instructions to clear error code 46. It was fine & cleared it. However each time I send something to print it comes back as a blan page. Any idea why this might be? The machine is Borther MFC820CW. Thanks!

  29. Mike

    Yes, I have the same problem. Brother J415W – "MACHINE ERROR 4F", cleaned the purge counter and also the error, but it comes again and it didn't print.
    Any help?

  30. Albe

    worked great on my mfc210c —-thanks

  31. Gleen Tamparong

    tanx… it really helps me…….

  32. lemmor

    Your an angel.. it works..

  33. Gagan

    Wow!!! Matthew you are awesome, Thank you so much. Error INK ABSORBER FULL is gone from My brother DCP-J125

  34. janusz

    It worked fine for my mfc820c – up and printing again. Thanks!

  35. NegrosPortal

    Thank you very much. It saves me $35 for your post to fix my printer. Thank you.

  36. paininthebrother

    Hi, I have a J265w and it won't work for me I get " Unable to print 4f " on mine please help thanks.

  37. edgar corpuz

    thank you very much ….it helps me a lot have a good day

  38. roberto

    Dear Matthew, we have a MFC-6510DW that asks for new cartridges, but there's ink left in the tanks.
    I don't know if there's just one counter for all. Does your procedure work on the ink counter?
    Thanks moltissimo

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sadly the ink level estimates for Brother printers cannot be reset. Due to the way Brother printers estimate ink levels there will always be a little ink left over to stop the cartridge running out prematurely. In my experience throwing a little ink away when the printer believes that cartridge is empty is preferable to the damage that can be caused to a printhead that is sucking air into it thinking the cartridge is still full anyway.

      1. roberto

        Ok, thanks. But there’s more than a little ink left, evironmentally speaking this is a waste of resources.

  39. mari

    its not working on my brother printer mpc 195cn.. please help

    1. RefreshCarts

      I am unfamiliar with this model. Could you please confirm for me the exact model of the printer from the front of the machine?

  40. Norvin

    HI! Thanks so much! it saves me trouble of bringing the printer to the shop. Great post! You helped a lot of people.

    I have a question though. What happens to the physical ink absorber? Will it overflow? Thank you again sir!

    1. RefreshCarts

      Thanks. The ink absorber will eventually overflow if left unchanged, but in most instances you will get hundreds of extra pages out of the machine before this occurs. I have known people to site down with a machine, take it apart and physically change the sponge. Most people however will just protect the surface under the printer and continue to print until they notice the overflow.

  41. Herbert

    Nice! U r great bro!

  42. Logan

    Thanks for you help. I have a brother mfc420cn. unplug method didn't work so I tried the next one. When I get to the step to enter *2864 it wont register 8 and 6, only 2 and 4. Any help would be great.

    1. Jason B

      Just tried something someone else said on the next page for my 420CN. I held down the Menu/Set and when the Error 446 came up with blinking lights typed in 80. It showed MAINTENANCE as soon as I hit 8 but typed 80 anyway…and then I was able to arrow down to PURGE.

      1. Lori

        Thank you, Jason!! This piece of advice was a lifesaver. Worked for me.

      2. keith b

        bingo – many thanks Jason – had tried all the options above with my MFC620CN but without success – your solution worked

      3. Angela

        Thank you Jason, holding the menu/set button is what worked. I held that in on my Brother MFC 420 CN, and maintenance popped up right away. I then went on with the rest of your instructions, and it’s working great.

      4. Toby

        Thank you good sir…I own an MFC240c…and this 'fix' finally worked…after a frustrating hour or so trying out other possible approaches…so nice to have this kind of help available…thanks again from Canada!

      5. Andrew

        Hi Jason and Mathew. I have a mfc-235c. I tried Jasons method. After typing in code 80 I spotted the word maintenance for 1/2 a second. The screen then brings up head volt and after 10secs settles with a value 05. It wont let me scroll or do anything other then exit. Have you got any ideas? This is doing my noodle in.

  43. Aleezah

    Thank you so much Matthew. You are a money saver and a life saver. This worked fantastic!

  44. Argentfemme

    Hi Matthew, The message that I was getting is "Unable to clean 50." I am assuming that I have to clean the head of the printer. Please, advice how to get to the Maintenance mode that I could not. I followed your instructions from the video and the ones up above to clean my Brother MFC 440 NC to no avail.

  45. Delilah

    Thank you so much Matthew!! Your steps worked great on my Brother MFC-465CN!!

  46. jon

    I am not sure how I got there but I did eventually and clear "Error 46" Thank you

  47. Scott

    Brother MFC-295CN gives error message…CANNOT PRINT… replace Y Ink, replace M ink….. but I already did replace them both.

  48. ad

    is there a way to get rid of message “print unable” err 44

  49. mary ann

    Hi Matthew thank you very much for tutorial my printer is MFC-J220 its working back again thans alot.! more power

  50. N.Young

    PERFECT INSTRUCTIONS. MFC-820-CW not working again as good as new.
    Many thanks.

  51. Fernando

    Tank you is perfect for brother MFC-j220 greetings from México

  52. Monteview

    Perfect. Working! Thanks!

  53. andrew


    I've done this, but i still don't get any ink on my paper when printing?

    1. RefreshCarts

      If no ink is being printed this would indicate a blocked printhead rather than a purge counter that needs resetting. I would recommend running several cleaning cycles from your printer or printer software to hopefully start to pull fresh ink through. If you see no improvement after 1-3 cleans it is likely that the printhead is irreversibly blocked or has failed mechanically.

  54. Rahul Jalan

    Thank you !! Worked like a charm on MFC J415W

  55. kat

    thanks! this tutorial helped me a lot !:)

  56. Queenmist

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! – My "Unable to Clean" error message is gone!

  57. Bramz

    Thanks for info

  58. Nine-nine

    Very good, thanks

  59. Martin Kent

    Genius, thank you so much

  60. virgilio generalo

    thank you so much…you are our savior,,,,,,God will bless you more…..love yah ….

  61. Mark

    Thank you this worked on my MFC 6490CW

  62. Terry M

    MFC-425CN Many thanks – worked fine, but having started printer whilst holding down MENU button, now fault code 46 shows with lights flashing, not showing maintenance. *2864 wouldnt enter, so just tried 80 & got into maintenance mode no problem.

  63. Mike

    Hi there,
    I've followed your instructions on a DCP-J315W to clear "Unable to Print4F" message but it will not clear. Have tried this about six times with no luck. Any ideas?

  64. kishor tavale

    You are the great person and thank you very much to help me and all of us. you save my time and money………… You have great knowledge …………………………………… Thanks Once again, If you have such tips regarding brother please give

  65. Guest

    Thank you so much for this! Just as a note for other people with the Brother MFC-240C Model: To enter maintenance mode, you hold down the menu button rather than the green start button. Anyway, thank you once again!

  66. Carlos Menat

    My Brother J615W Printer at last was enable to print. PURGE was terrific. Thanks so much my friend. You are a great person.

  67. Muhammed Ismail


    I have an MFC 665cw and it has the “unable to clean 46” error. Please help. The printer is not in the list u have.

    1. RefreshCarts

      This guide should be just fine for the MFC-665CW. Hope it works for you.

  68. lakelover

    Absolute magic. My printer (MFC-620CN) was in the car ready to go to the tip, when I found your instuctions. It took about 9 trys as the *2846 would not work but eventually got there using just *2 Could not find a replacement printer that fit my space so am really thrilled and hate throwing things away.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  69. ESA


  70. @SuzanneHazelton

    Thank you – got it working!

  71. jeromebird

    my mfc-j220 ink absorber is full was fixed…thank you

    1. merlinda

      hi sir jerome ๐Ÿ™‚ can you share? how? pls.

  72. Alan Andrews

    Brother MFC790CW with touch screen. Cannot get into maintenance mode – tried both methods – also tried using touch screen. Another problem is Machine language is PORTUGUESE how can I change it to English – Brother could not help. Any ideas. Thanks Alan

    1. vickie

      hi i am vickie i have a mfc-790cw brother i had changes my ink the it said unable to cleand 46 my printer pluge is made on i cant unpluge it from the printer so how do i get it to maintenance

  73. Angela

    Hi, thank you very much for this tutorial! It saved me from having to buy a new printer and I am very, very grateful. Thank you thank you!!! I have a MFc-5440CN and I had to play around with your alternative instructions above, but I got it to work.

    Thanks a million!!!

    1. midape

      Dear Angela,
      What did you do differently? I have a MFC-5460CN and couldn't get it started printing after successfully getting into mtn mode and doing the purge counter reset. Still not printing…any shared experiences you think might help?

  74. Christopher Crook

    Hi Matthew. I was impressed with your guidance above however I don't seem to be able to get it to work with my Brother MFC240C. I have just changed the heads on the printer and have had to run clean several times to get the ink flowing. The next thing I was about to do was to set up the alignment when error 46 came up. So I tried your directions, I saw the Maintenance word flash up as I held the Menu Key, in my case as I powered up, but then the message "Machine Error 46" shows in the display. No matter what I do it doesn't seem to want to go in order for me to reset the purge counter. Sorry for the Pun, But if you have encountered this problem before, can you tell me if there is a way out. The four lights on the panel are flashing as if in Maintenance mode. I have followed your proceedure several times now with out result, so Please, Please. If you can help I would be most grateful. Thanks in anticipation. Chris

  75. Yuliana

    I tried this step by step 2 times and this didn’t clear the error. Please help!

  76. Yuli

    this isn't working for me……..please help

  77. Elmar

    Thank you very much! My brother mfc215c works again. The only thing was to get it in maintenance. I used the menu button instead of the start button and entered '7' for maintenance. That got it in maintenance mode. After following your steps the counter was reset and I was printing again. Oh, the error was not a waiste. When I opened the printer I found the box for the waste ink to be full. I took the absorbing material out and replaced it with tampons (large;-).
    Now it will last another 6 jears I hope…

  78. mary


    MANY THANXXXXX……………….you Saved The Day / YEAR….etc!

    Very much appreciated!!! I'm PRINTING again !!

  79. Chris

    What am I doing wrong? I have a MFC-J410W. I've been getting the unable to print 4F message, and was able to clear it the first time by unplugging. Printed a couple pages and got it again. I was able to get into the maintenance area (FINALLY, because this was the first tutorial I could find that actually showed it the best) and the PURGE counter now shows 00000, but after that step it then pops up with the Unable To Print 4F, and when I exit the maintenance area, it is still on there. Now when I go into the maintenance area, it shows 00000 for the purge count, but it still continues to show the error. How do I fix?

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sadly the "Unable to Print 4F" is a very different problem to the "Unable to Clean 46" error and this guide will not resolve it. In my experience 4F generally relates to a printhead or related mechanical issue and resetting the purge counter will not help.

      I am not aware of any quick fix for this error and can only advise getting in touch with a printer engineer or Brother themselves.

  80. Cathy

    Hi, I have gone through the procedure twice and I see the purge counter is reset to zero but the message is still "unable to clean see troubleshooting and routine maintenance chapter in user's guide Print Unable 46". My machine is a MFC-3360c
    Any ideas? thanks

  81. Ready Teddy

    do you have a fix when on MFC J 825 dw say replace ink but ink is full on two year old unit will not do any function. did hear a brother brabded ink that was contaminated and confused machine??

  82. CRIS

    hey it worked for my Brother MFC-J220, THANKS..

  83. Chandra

    hi Matthew. i am glad to find u. i have problems with my MFC-J625DW printer. the yellow colour is not coming. so photo printing is not good. can u help me please.

    1. RefreshCarts

      Print quality issues with this machine are likely to be caused by a blocked or even defective portion of the printhead. In this instance I would recommend running 1-3 cleaning cycles from your printer to attempt to clear any blockages. If the issue remains or the yellow ink disappears from your prints soon after cleaning this is indicative of a printhead malfunction. Sadly there isn't much you can do in such a case other than getting in touch with a printer technician.

  84. Frederick

    Thank you Matthew on error 46 I am bit old in the tooth but managed with your guidance thank you

  85. francisco

    hello, in-J825DW mfc not let me write 80.
    Connect the power cable with the green button pressed, write 2864 but every time I get just 2 maintenance, then write 80 (not displayed) look down arrow but not low (no change to purge). Please could you send a video for this machine to see where my mistake.

  86. kimmi

    Hi Matthew I have problem about in my printer MFC-J220. When I print some papers there's an error flashing on the small screen of the printer. There its says "unable to clean7A" ? Please help me.

  87. Ray Cherry

    I have a brother MFC 6510DW and have an error 46 showing on the screen. The machine having an internal fax I tried the method you have described several times with no luck. Have you any further suggestions? Thanks. Ray.

  88. edwin

    I have MFC 5860CN error massege Unanbel print 51
    wat is tha help me please.

  89. Daniel

    Hey my Brother MFC 235C dosn´t work. I don´t now how i get Maintenance can you hlp me please?

    Thanks a lot!

  90. zaira jaffrey

    hi methew, i hv brother mfc j430w, it is giving me an error that it is not detecting "M ink cartridge".i bought new ink cartidge but it still not detecting it, i hv tried too many times to reinstall the ink, but it is not printng, even not doing the head cleaning process. i have got frustrated with all this, kindly help me, i w be thankful to u.

  91. HIMESH


  92. Mimi

    Yippee! Worked like a charm for clearing the "unable to clean" message from my ancient MFC 3240C.

  93. midape

    Hello Matt, (if you are still there)
    I've got my mother's Brother MFC 5460CN, and facing error 50 unable to clean! I have been through maintenance mode twice and reset the purge counter to 0 (it actual went to 00031) and still encounter the same error "Clean Unable 50"
    Please help me (my mother is sitting across from me at this moment looking hopeful…;>0)

  94. Craig

    Worked with my MFC-420CN. THANK YOU!

    1. Lori

      Really? I can't get it to work with mine!

  95. adolfgoering

    i got the error 4f problem on my mfc490cw. entering maintainancemode works fine. i reset the counter like written upside. restart the printer and uups – it doesn't work! after that i reset the variables 'machine_error' und 'pages' – it doesn't work.

    any idea what to do now would be nice

    1. RefreshCarts

      Error 4F generally indicates a mechanical error within your printer and this guide will not resolve the issue. I would recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician in this instance.

  96. Mikael

    I have MFC-620 CN , it say ; Unable to clean.
    I tried your reset method but it doesnt work ?
    What can I do?

  97. JONAH

    thanks… it works with my mfc-j220

  98. Jodi

    Thanks for that. It worked with my MFC-235C. Just had to hold down the Menu button rather than the Start button when plugging in ๐Ÿ™‚

  99. Jan Ray

    thank you for the solution.. my black ink is working now… but i have a problem with the yellow now…. instead of yellow, it prints black…. why is this??? any help

    1. presh purohit

      my printer black problem help me ?

  100. vintrapz

    thank you men, , your the best, the mfc j220 is printing again. , thank you for the advice. . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

  101. glensw40

    Hi, thanks for the 'how to' to get into the maintenance mode on Brother printers and it worked for my MFC 6490CW._However the purge routine has not sorted out my error of 'Unable to Print 4F' I have set the purge count to zero_I have tried a couple of times and will try again later, any other advice

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sadly this reset will not work for this error. 4F indicates a mechanical error, usually one with the printhead. As an end user there is not much you can do other than phone Brother/a printer technician unfortunately.

      1. glensw40

        thanks for that, looks like a new printer then, seen a couple of 6940cw on ebay but reserve not met at £20 so far so may buy new, what are your thoughts on the Brother MFC J5910dw – some good reports on it but some complaints about paper sticking a lot.

  102. Anita Porter

    Thank you I have a Brother MFC-680CN and this worked for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Anita Porter

  103. Ewa

    Hi Matthew, I've read all posts on this website, but i didn't find answer for my problem. I've MFC 5490 model, and I've tried to get to maintaince menu in many ways (trying to press green start buton or menu button), do You have any idea how to get there in this model?
    I would be most grateful if you would look into this matter as soon as possible ๐Ÿ™‚ Ewa

  104. Alex

    Thanx a lot

  105. reby anne

    thanks… it works on my MFC-J220. i did it on my own..i have saved money for the repair..keep it up


    I am having trouble with my MFC-255cw it says black ink not detected but we just installed a new ink cartridge

  107. vhinz bors

    sir,, MFC J220 brother printer user,, we follow your instructions but still the error "Unable to Clean50" exists..any solutions sir?..your help is really appreciated

    1. RefreshCarts

      Unable to Clean 50 seems to be caused by an issue with the printer board. Sadly this reset procedure will not fix it. I would recommend contacting Brother or a printer technician.

      1. Christiane alegria

        I do have same problem with vhinz bors in MFC J220 brother printer, after doing the maintenance 764, the Unable to Clean 50 appeared, why is that? , , I have lots of printing documents to do for my review and i really need a solution now, please help. thank you i'll wait …I'm studying electronics engineering and i'm already in my 5th year so i can do technical works if needed. please ASAP… thank you.

  108. Jika George

    Thanks Matthew Stevenson,
    my Brother printer show Ink Absober Full and I have done what you hav said and its work with my MFC-J415W
    You are the man Mat… otherwise I may spent some monies in printer workshop…GBU

  109. Hardev

    Hi Matthew, I am having trouble with my MFC-845cw it says black ink empty and sometimes black ink not detected but I have just installed a new ink cartridge

    1. RefreshCarts

      Your printer shines a laser at a small window in the back of the cartridge and if it hits ink then the printer assumes the cartridge has been changed. If your printer is not detecting a new cartridge is installed then the sensor is most likely to be malfunctioning. It may however be worth colouring in the previously mentioned window on the back of the cartridge with a permanent marker and then reinstalling the cartridge slowly.

  110. Charlee

    Hi Mathew, I have the MFC-J6710dw. Tried umpteen times to reset the purge counter but I can only get 2 numbers in then it will say maintenance-2 or maintenance 4. Thats by using the 2 only. When I go to add another number it says, insert card. I know I followed directions correctly. Can you please help me too?



  111. Charlee

    Hi again Mathew,

    Thought Id try once more after re-reading Terry M.’S with a MFC425cn post advising that he tried again using just the 80. Well I only put in the 8 and after that I couldnt even tell you what I did. I just followed your instructions, even messing up once so as i cringed & prayed I wouldnt have to start all over, YIPEE! My fingers did the walkin while followin the rest of your instructions & this ole gal just reset her purge counter. Ive been working on this for 2 freakin days so I cant even tell you how excited I am.

    Thank you SO much Mathew for your awesome instructions.

    Oh yeah! Also I had to use the menu button, not the start button. That made a huge difference w me trying to get somewhere to begin with. So thanks again Mathew.


  112. nalimor

    thanks bro. the above instruction works well on my Brother MFC J220 full ink absorber trouble. thanks a lot

    1. Gayle

      Thanks to Mr. Matthew Stevenson for the instruction… I got it and thank you so much for our printer brother MFC – J220 works well again….

  113. Tamara

    Hey! Thanks a lot. You have saved me a lot of money!!!!!

  114. james

    my printer brother mfc j220 unable to init.48

  115. Sarah

    thank you this saved me buying a new printer

  116. Anthony

    I tried it on my printer J615W, but the error message 'Unable to print 4F' still exists.

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sadly 'Unable to Print 4F' is a very different message to 'Unable to Clean 46'. This reset will not work as 4F is usually a mechanical error.

  117. dave

    have a brother MFC 5895 CW just come up witha message "unable to print F4"

  118. Two

    Wow… It Worked with our BROTHER MFC-J220…. Thanks a lot ! it really was a big help…

  119. mattfeato

    Good tip! I had a paper jam/could not print error but it went into a seemingly continuous cleaning mode after (and there wasn't any paper jam to begin with).

    Either just a sensor bad catch or maybe the waste container was "full." Just at some point now I'll have to get in there an absorb out most of the ink out so it doesn't truly clog up.

    (In checking my J410W has printed 11,200 pages on the counter – guessing jams may be also included but this thing is a WORKHORSE)

  120. Stan

    Thanks. took care of a large headache with my 465CN.

  121. sandra

    i already followed all instruction , purge countrer was already zero but i still been having the same error : unable to lnit 48

  122. Steve

    My Brother MFC-240C is reporting an Init Unable 48. I have tried the purge counter reset but continue to get the IU48 error. Any words of advise of a mechanical nature. As far as I can tell there are no obstructions, the Ink wells are full but still no printing. the slider scanner within the glass does not slide all the way from left to right, not sure if it is supposed to upon start-up, but I thought I would mention that

  123. maikel


  124. Miles

    Does anyone know how to enter Maintenance Mode on an Brother MFC-J875DW?

  125. Sonia

    Hi, I’ve tried the above reset for my brother 465-cn, which worked fine for about two weeks then, the error message appeared again. I followed your instructions and this time the error message changed from 51 to 50. I can’t seem to get rid of the error message at all. Can you please help????

    1. RefreshCarts

      In my experience error 50 and 51 aren't typically associated with purge counter/ink absorber issues. Is there any text that gives any indication as to the nature of the problem? Does it say 'Unable to Print' or similar?

      1. Sonia

        Hi, thanks for the reply. It doesn’t say anything other than “unable to print- error 50”. I’m thinking of throwing out and getting a better one! Seems like it’s not worth all that hassel. Thanks for your help.

        1. RefreshCarts

          In all honesty this counter reset shouldn't clear any Unable to Print errors so I am not too surprised. I fear you may have a mechanical issue there which would need proper diagnosis by a technician.

  126. Carlos

    HI, nice blog, mi MFC-J410 says Unable to init.RF. I followed instructions to reset purge count, and it worked but at the end after pressing stop button then message came again, even if I press 99 to exit maintanence mode then the problem does not fix. Does anybody help me?, acording to some information I've been noticed about mechanical problems. Any help?

  127. NERMIE


  128. Ms. Beth

    Hi Mathew,
    I just want to ask you a favor. my bro. mfc-j220 has this message "unable to init. 48" and the ink carriage does not move it stayed on left side. i did the following below hoping to work my printer.

    Type in 80 using the numerical keypad.
    Use the DOWN key to locate the purge counter. eg. PURGE0060025
    Use the number pad to enter 2783 (this should zero the numbers after PURGE).
    Press STOP/EXIT to return to the first stage of maintenance mode.
    Press 9 and 9 to exit maintenance mode.
    but unfortunately its still not. Is there any option i can do? Hope you can help me.

    Thanks & best regards

    1. RefreshCarts

      Unable to Initialise is a mechanical error and sadly this reset will not clear it. I would recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

  129. Walt


    Do you have any suggestions for a MFC-790CW with a "Unable to Init. 4F" error code?


    1. RefreshCarts

      'Unable to Init 4F' is a mechanical error generally relating to the printhead and sadly this reset will not clear it. I would recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

  130. Joetta Jones

    Thank you so much…..this was excellent information!!!! It worked!!!! You are a lifesaver!!!

  131. Jim Dove

    The procedure worked just fine on my Brother MFC-465-CN. Now I just have to wait for the ink to actually overflow. Wish there was a way to get to the sponge to replace it.

  132. Berta

    Ok I tried that several times. It did zero out, but it still gives me the error Unable to Clean 5A. It also weir, cuz before I do that there is an x on the ink cartridge…but once I zero it out it goes away, but then comes back

  133. Zee

    Hi! I am having a brother printer MFC – J625DW & the error is Print 44. I tried to use the same method since i also saw the purge 02544. Can you help me please… Thank you

  134. jok

    For BROTHER MFC-J410 the alternative method does not work.
    For "power on" method you must hold the small MENU button (located near the big FAX button) while plugging the power cable. Then all works as described above.

    1. Cathy

      thank you so much for the info about the menu button

  135. peter

    Brother MFC 425 cn
    I cleared the purge counter a couple of months ago but now it shows a "paper jam " which it has not got and and I cannot clear the warning.
    The print head is on the right hand side and I can not move it.
    Have you got a solution for clearing this.

  136. ronk1030

    I have a MFC J615W Brother printer that I just finished resetting the full absorber. Thank You Now tomorrow, I'll be taking it apart to replace the full box with some micro fiber material.

  137. Arthur Thorpe

    I have a brother MFC-5895CW which is showing a message "unable to print 4F" , I have very limited knowledge with such matters and would appreciate some help please.

  138. Arthur Thorpe

    Brother MFC-5895CW.
    I have tried to get into the purge section by switching off the printer, holding down the Menu button until MAINTENANCE appears, but it then shows, Machine error 4For Busy tone no DET. What is the next suggested step please.

    1. RefreshCarts

      4F error messages indicate a mechanical error. Sadly this guide will not resolve this. I can only recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

  139. Dan

    Thanks for the easy-to-follow guide. I managed to reset the purge counter on my parents MFC-440CN, but the error message persists. I guess we're going to have to take in to the shop. Thanks again for the effort, though. I appreciate it. m

    1. RefreshCarts

      What error message are you getting? 'Unable to Clean: Machine Error 46' should always be cleared by the purge counter reset.

  140. Courtney

    Hi, I have a MFC-425CN

    I tried doing the unplug of power cord which didn’t work then I tried the other two alternatives which didn’t work either…

    I cant seem to get to the Maintenance on my printer screen . please help ๐Ÿ™

    1. Yoka

      On my 640 it only flashed very briefly. I missed it the first time and did not think I was in maintenande. It did show the error number. I continued the steps and it worked!

  141. gary

    I have a Brother MFC J5910DW that is missing all the WiFi menu items and no WiFi on the main screen.
    I was once told by Brother I would need a whole firmware refresh. it there a way to push a full firmware file to the printer via a USB connection? Can you look into the printer Bios? or is there a way to factory reset the firmware?

  142. chel

    hi. thank you for the advice. I have MFC J-220 Brother printer and the problem is unable to init48 and i tried the procedure that you have given, yet the purge no. has already resetted but unfortunately still the problem exists. Can you please help me?

    1. RefreshCarts

      'Unable to Init' is a mechanical error generally relating to the printhead and sadly this reset will not clear it. I would recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

  143. jorge

    Thank you! We find the instruction very helpful in resetting our office printer. Thank you very much.

  144. argie

    thanks bro! worked like a charm on my MFC J220

  145. Zee

    My printer is MFC – J625DW . Error 44 has popped out. Can u help me please.. TQ

  146. Craig

    I am absolutely thrilled to say that this method worked for my ancient mfc 420cn!
    I had to fool around a bit x the pathway to "purge" but I did eventually find it.
    Had been on Brother chatline and they had zero advice beyond "unplug" and "repair", I was ready to trash this one.
    These items can be thought of as disposable….but it is certainly preferable to avoid a trip to Best Buy.
    Am I sounding like a conspiracy theorist or is this some kind of "self-destruct mechanism" for when you hit 47K copies?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Judy C

      I would like to know how you made it work. My machine never says Maintenance. I have a Menu/set button under the silver 'arrow' button plus 'black start' and 'color start buttons'. I've tried everything, no luck.

  147. cfilipe

    Thank you very much. Perfect!


    Thanks a lot, its fine with my MCF-J220

  149. Andrew

    Thank you very much. This worked for my MFC-425CN.

  150. Venus

    Hi Matthew,

    I followed the “Purge Counter Reset Instructions” for my MFC-J220 (with built-in fax) but I cannot get into Maintenance Mode. I tried Holding down MENU (or START) and re-insert the power cable/turn it back on but it just say “Ink Absorber is Full”. Please help.

    1. John Paul Cua

      How to Reset ERROR 46 – Brother Printer MFC-J220

      – Press Menu, then Mono, then arrow up (^) four times
      – now you are entering the MAINTENANCE mode
      – select 8 0 and push OK
      – 00:00 00:01 OK (the display is showing the time set in your printer)
      – now push the arrow up (^) 20 times (or Mono 26 times) until you see PURGE: xxxxx
      – Select 2 7 8 3, then push OK
      – the purge counter will indicate PURGE: 00000
      – Select 9 then OK, then 9 OK again
      – will display message Please wait…

      Printer were now reset and ready to use.

  151. Jacinta

    No luck to get in Maintenance mode with my MFC-685CW any suggestions?

  152. Allen Mackenzie

    Hi Mathew,

    I have a brother MFC-640CW printer fax phone.

    I start as you say, hold down menu / set and turn back on and machine error 46, then go to printer fax hold down Menu / set and press 2864 and Procedure RX TE comes up on screen, can not get Maintenance.

    In trouble, Allen.

    1. Simon

      On a MFC-640CW, hold down menu/set when you push the power connector back in. (Not Start and power). This worked on mine. The menus are not quite the same as described above but the 2Purge" item is in there!. Worked on my MFC-640CW

  153. feikje

    i've tried it but i can't make it work (brother mfc-215c) So what i do now..

  154. Phil

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. There was NO useful information on this topic until I found your page! Worked perfectly on an MFC-420CN.

  155. joginder

    sir my brother printer dcp-j125 error 5a or 50 how to soly my problam

  156. Pam

    I have a MFC-7360N and can not figure this out to save my life.

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sadly this guide is not applicable to your printer. The Brother MFC-7360N is a laser printer that takes toner cartridges and as such it has no ink absorber to be reset using this method.

  157. John

    I have the MFC210c with the unable to clean error message. After following the brother manual, and not getting it to work, I was ready to get a new printer. Instead I goggled the problem then to YouTube and found your site.

    Worked the first time I went thru the instructions!! Thanks so much for listing this info!!!!

    1. RefreshCarts

      Fantastic! Glad to hear it John.

  158. Prabhakar

    Hi sir, I have an mfc – 6490 after doing the purge reset , it started printing but printing is not clear in draft mode kindly guide

  159. julian amar

    When I Start my machine it give me error 77. I follow these steps
    1) Unplug machine.
    2) Hold down menu key while plugging in machine.
    3) Enter 99 while holding down menu key
    4) After it says "PLease wait" hit the stop/exit button to get out of the maintenance mode

    After this it gives me error 76.
    Step 2

    ane-ane ane … please donk … MFC-J6710DW printer has an error now. maintenance already 76. even out reminders machine error 76. gan how do I fix this … thank you.

  160. jayzon del rosario

    i have brother mfc j220 when i cant type in 2864 cause the time i press 2 and 8 it stop on the sd card menu and cant go on pressing 6 and 4 any more. help please. i badly need to clear unable to init. 48 error.

    1. RefreshCarts

      I can only recommend trying the alternate method for getting the printer in to maintenance:

      " Hold down Menu/Set and the Black Start key before pressing the UP arrow four times."

      I do however feel that I should mention this guide is intended for resolving the 'Unable to Clean: Machine Error 46' message specifically and will not resolve the Unable to Initialise 48 error.

  161. Rick

    Hi Mathew
    Thanks for your information, my Brother MFC- 5840 was giving "Unable to clean" error, I followed your purge counter reset but this did not work, so I restet all of the other counters, within the 80 menue, and have now got the printer working
    Thanks again. Rick.

  162. Sam

    Hi Mat,

    Do you know how to reset the waste ink counter on Brother MFC 6720dw?

  163. Yoka

    Thank you so much. It worked perfectly!!! Such a relief. THANKS!!!

  164. ruel

    how can i change language of my mfc6890cn to english,

  165. hanif

    Hi Matthew,

    I have MFC J6510DW and it cannot detect the yellow ink.

    Maintenance mode doesn't work and it shows message "unable to detect"

    What should I do…


    1. RefreshCarts

      If your printer cannot detect a cartridge then sadly this reset will not help. I can only recommend replacing the cartridge and contacting Brother if the error persists.

  166. Janet

    I have MFC 3240 with a fixed cord but my on/off button does not seem to work so unplugged the machine and I followed the directions up until I got the PURGE0060025 with zero the numbers after PURGE
    Then I reentered *2864 but did not get maintenance mode but the error code 46. I then followed the below and it is still saying" unable to clean
    4.Press STOP/EXIT to return to the first stage of maintenance mode.
    5.Press 9 and 9 to exit maintenance mode.
    What am I doing wrong?

    1. Janet

      are you able to make any suggestions?

  167. Mogambo

    Hi My brother j430 printer does not print well. One of the color (magenta) when i do the the print quality test has lacking. How do i fix this?

    1. RefreshCarts

      There is not much you can do sadly. If you have not tried already, I can only recommend running some head cleaning cycles from the 'Ink' menu (same area used for the print quality test page).

      1. ChuckRupert

        You can also try a factory head purge by entering the following while in MAINTENANCE mode:
        enter 76 – it will say "cleaning all" but nothing will happen
        enter 3 – it will say "power_p"
        press BLACK START (even if you are cleaning a color head)
        when done purging, enter 09 to do a test print
        If there is improvement, purge again.
        If this fails, you have a clogged print head.

  168. Mandy

    Thank you so much. It works!

  169. HOLLY

    WOW – this actually WORKED on my brother MFCJ615W – THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH!

  170. sam

    how to solve this problem brother MFC-J430w error message for INK ABSORBER NEAR FULL thank you

  171. jhennieh

    when i hold press the menu button, Then the insert card appears

  172. jhennieh

    please, disregard my last message i just followed the steps to get PURGE: 00000 but still it doesn't work in my MFC-j220 there is still an error message "unable to init 48" & the print cartridge stays on the right side & doesn't move

    1. RefreshCarts

      Sadly "Unable to Init 48" or "Machine Error 48" is a very different issue to the one covered here and resetting the purge counter will not resolve it. As far as I am aware these errors relate one of a small selection of components inside the printer needing to be replaced and it may be best to speak to Brother or a printer technician.

  173. jhennieh

    i just followed the steps to get PURGE: 00000 but still it doesn't work in my MFC-j220 there is still an error message "unable to init 48" & the print cartridge stays on the right side & doesn't move

  174. Chad

    I managed to fix my Brother printer with the aid of the instructions above. However

    I had to hit one extra button to allow my printer to scroll down to “Purge”.

    By persisting in the “Maintenance” mode I stumbled on to a solution.

    Thanks for the useful instructions.

  175. Joanne

    I have an MFC-425CN and have tried the power cord and also the other options but can't seem to get it to maintenance mode? Any suggestions of what I am doing wrong? Thanks Jo

  176. Joanne

    Please disregard my last message as I have managed to work it out from reading through past comments.

    MFC-425CN – to get it into maintenance mode, you only hold down the menu/set button NOT the start key too. After this I just followed the steps and it works perfectly!

    Thanks so much, Jo

  177. Richard

    I have error 46 on a Brother MFC-440 CN and have tried every combination of your instructions but cannot get it into ‘Maintenance Mode’ . Have you got any suggestions please?

  178. elaine

    worked beautifully so far. thanks! Brother 210c

  179. George

    Reset Instructions error 46 Brother MFC-5840CN

    No print
    No clears heads
    Ink full

  180. mavvy

    thank you!

  181. Madhukar Nalawade

    how to solve this problem brother MFC-J430w error message for INK ABSORBER NEAR FULL. Help me.

  182. Madhukar Nalawade

    Thank you Sir. Even thanking you is not enough. It worked with my MFC-J430W printer. The error was "The Ink Absorber full"

  183. Lucianosilva123

    Hi good afternoon I have a functional Fine Brother MFC-J430W is presenting a problem that it is not detecting the Yellow cartridge I put and it does not recognize, can someone help me solve this problem?

    1. RefreshCarts

      If you have tried several cartridges (to eliminate the chance of it being a dud yellow cartridge) then sadly there is not much else you can do. Your printer uses sensors inside the machine to detect the physical presence of a cartridge and issues of this nature will almost certainly relate to once of these sensors. They are not easily accessible so I can only recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

    2. Bob

      Dear Luc,

      I have the same problem on my MFC-J430W, (With Cyan). It Won't recognize the cartdridge, and as the auther says, these sensor dectors are buried deep. But I (almost) solved the problem by just leaving it in maintenance mode. It prints and scans OK, only the fax receiving doesn't function. (It will receive the fax but win't print it.) To grt to maintenance mode, plug it in while holding the Blacg Start button, then just leave it in that state. Brother has good stuff, but they blew it badly on this model.

    3. Bob

      I have the same problem with the Cyan cartridge on the MFC-J430W. I found that the printer can be left in maintenance mode and it will print and scan well. It will receive a fax but not print it. One must only then check the ink cartridges manually. To get to maintenance mode, hold the Black Start button while plugging the printer into the wall socket, wait for "Maintenance" to appear, then walk away.

  184. mccormickld

    I have MFC 640cw without touchscreen, with keypad, and non-removable power cord. I cannot get my printer to respond while the screen reads Unable to Clean – User's Guide see troubleshooting and routine maintenance chapter in User Guide. I have a tiny on/off button to the left of the Stop/Exit button. How can I clear this message?

  185. Roy

    After a few tries, worked with my MFC820CW – thank you so much!

  186. Al


    I have a Brother MFC-410CN with a fax. I’ve tried to put it into maintenance mode holding down the menu and typing *2864 but ‘Maintenance’ comes up quickly followed by ‘Procedure RX TE’ and it stays on ‘Procedure RX TE’ .

    What can do?



  187. sanjay bafna

    I have MFC Brother J430W. this doesn't detecting cartridge even changing after also.
    Also I put CISS tank,but no detecting.

    Please help me.
    Tnx & Rgrds,
    Sanjay Bafna

  188. Isaac Brown

    After a few times, its working fine. Thank you

  189. Matt

    There are so many Brother printers, but there’s no help for clearing ‘error 46 unable to clean’ for a Brother MFC-820CW. Does anyone know how to fix this, because all methods are not working for my machine?

  190. Choice4

    I have MFC 640CW and I got the error message “unable to clean” please check your manual on trouble shooting, but when I checked the manual I could not find an answer. I contacted brother customer service but they could not help.

    I then posted this question on an ask web forum and they directed me to this site.

    I have tried it and it worked for me thank you.

    I plugged it and held menu/set and pressed 80 when maintenance came up then scrolled to purge then pressed ok, then 99 to exit and and mine is now printing

    Thank you

  191. Hugo

    one of my color is not printing correct on my mfc-j430w have clean the heads many time but still happening any ideas?

    1. RefreshCarts

      Print quality issues with this printer can only really be caused by a blocked or defective printhead. I can only really recommend doing a test page to identify the colour/colours at fault and then persisting with the relevant cleaning cycle.

  192. angie

    hi sir, i have brother MFC J220 my printer sunddenly wont turn on. i dont know what happen pls.. help me email me what should i do… thanks very much!! godbless

  193. Val Ryan

    Matthew you are amazing thank you so much for this it really helped so much. It took several attempts on MFC-640CW and on this machine the button to hold down is Menu/set. I needed to print a special photo today for my daughters birthday tomorrow and all the shops are shut you made my day bless you

    1. RefreshCarts

      No problem at all. I am glad you found this useful.

  194. Steve

    My MFC-5440CN reports “nearly empty yellow” despite my changing the cartridge for a full one and doing the ink maintenance and cleaning procedures. Have tried the Purge procedure too but to no avail. The prints are dreadful – the reds patchy (new cartridge too) and the greens are yellow.

    Any ideas?


  195. jzr

    Excellent video and web page.

    However, these instructions (that I have taken from another internet place some years ago) worked fine for me the first time, but when the same error repeated after some months of usage, now it’s impossible to make it work. The counter is successfully reset to 0 but the error 46 persists. Maybe the ink absorber is really saturated now, supposing that a physical sensor exists? Any hint?

  196. puzmen26

    I can guarantee that I have the Purge Counter set to 00000. I exit from the maintenance mode, but the problem persists.

    Error on Dashboard: "Clean Unable 4F" (not 46)

    My assumption at this point is that there may be a secondary trigger for the Ink Absorber. Any leads?

    1. RefreshCarts

      4F error messages indicate a mechanical error (usually with the printhead). Sadly this guide will not resolve this. I can only recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

  197. Robert Forbes

    Worked great for me on MFC-640CW with a few common sense "try it anyway" steps. Not all screen prompts the same.
    Many thanks
    Rob Forbes

  198. Pam

    I have the MFC-490CW. I couldn't get the purge screen to come up. Finally, I realized I needed to press '80', then the 'black' start key 30 times to get to Purge. Then, I entered the number '2783', and I had to wait until the counter turned to all zeroes. After that, I was able to clean the ink volumes and the printer began printing.

  199. ุตู„ุงุญ ู†ุตูŠุฑ

    ููƒูŠุช ุงู„ุทุงุจุนุฉ ุงู„ุจุฑุงุฒุฑ 220 ูˆู‚ูู„ุชู‡ุง ูˆุนู†ุฏ ุงู„ุชุดุบูŠู„ ุงุนุทุชู†ู‰ ุฑุณุงู„ุฉ unable te lnit.50

  200. teresa

    I have a printer that has a fixed power cord so I tried to turn it off with the power button as instructed, and it won't turn off at all. It just beeps. Any further suggestions?

  201. Kunal

    I have a MFC-465CN and error 46,icant get the purge screen,Please help

    1. Jagraj Singh Gill

      Step 1. unplug
      2. Hold menu key (Not green or black start key)
      3. Press 80
      4. Find Purge
      5. Press 2783
      6. now press RED (Stop/Exit) key
      7. Last press 99
      Feed back

    2. MIKE


  202. wmutenza

    I can only say, thank you so much.

  203. Richard

    I have a mfc-5890cn and after several attempts at this it still has the error code unable to clean 50

    1. RefreshCarts

      The steps in this article are not intended to resolve this error sadly. I can only recommend getting in touch with Canon or a printer technician.

  204. Peter

    Thank you Matthew! Fantastic post. Worked like a charm. The 'purge' message on my particular MFC J265W was slightly different from the one listed in the instructions but I charged ahead with the rest of the instructions and voila! the printer is back in action.

  205. Alan Dingley

    I have an MFC-465CN and cannot get the maintenance screen, please help.


    1. Jagraj Singh Gill

      unplugged and plugged with Hold Menu key

    2. Jagraj Singh Gill

      unplugged printer
      hold menu key (not green or start key)
      plugged in

  206. zahed

    i have j615 printer but i cant do master cleaning , can you help me

  207. Nesline

    I have a brother 440CN saying "unable to print 50" can someone help please.

  208. Don

    Have a MFC-J615W. Once I Found the Purge, these steps worked. Thanks!!!!

  209. DebraO'Dell

    Woot! Woot! Singing your praises.
    My warranty is long since expired & I don't have the funds to purchase another unit.
    So, in search of some type of repair I happened upon this page.
    I began by exposing the ink absorber, not an easy task, mind you. I then, gently expressed a lot of excess ink, reset the counter w/o issue and I'm printing again.
    Amazing use of your talent, kind, sharing & knowledgeable people.
    At present I'm in search of a new ink absorber.
    Thank you.

    1. DebraO'Dell

      I neglected to mention, I have an MFC-J625DW

  210. Patrick

    My Printer MFC 255CW still cannot show the maintenance mode. I tried both steps the reinserting power and the *2864
    Please help me. thanks.

  211. Alessandro

    Perfect guide for my MFC-J6910DW…Thanks

  212. umesh Tanmane

    brother printer mfc-290c clean unable 50 please solve
    hindi me bataye

  213. Jagraj Singh Gill

    I have Brother MFC-465cn Printer
    Printer has a massage "Near Empty, Black, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta"
    I refiled it
    I also reset purge
    But Massage not gone
    Please help

    1. Tamara

      Dear Jagraj, please let me know did you fix your problem, I have same with MFC-260C.
      Please help.
      Tamara Jovanova

  214. Stan

    Thanks, not sure how I got there but was able to clear "unable to clean' n being to print again. Used ur method with some orther #s. I spent most of the day cleaning basically to no avail. But I finally saw the absorb pad on right side n tried to dry it in place but not completely. Is this pad a replaceable part n if so from whom? n is it necessary to replace? My printer is about 8+ yrs old MFC 420CN. Thanks again!!!

  215. kelly A

    You rock!!, thank you, it work on my mfc420cn.
    I have yo hold down MENU/SET and quickly press * 2 8 6 4
    Got me in maintenance , then follow the rest of the procedure
    Type in 80 using the numerical keypad.
    Use the DOWN key to locate the purge counter. eg. PURGE0060025
    Use the number pad to enter 2783 (this should zero the numbers after PURGE).
    Press STOP/EXIT to return to the first stage of maintenance mode.
    Press 9 and 9 to exit maintenance mode.

  216. PKendall

    I have brother Mfc 5895CW will not error message unable to int.4F
    Any ideas with this message

  217. Elizabeth

    Good afternoon,
    Mr. Matthew, I follow the instruction on youtube but its not working in the first step,
    i follow the procedure, Unplug the power cord then press down the start button and re-insert again the power cord, But the problem is the Maintenance did not show on screen? instead the screen reminder Ink absorber is nearfull
    Do i really need to replace the ink absorber

    Sir what will you suggest ?

    Thank you so much

  218. Cobbleted

    I have a MFC J5910dw and trying to manually get to Maintenance window using 2864…but keep getting Insert Card. Won't get past that. Is there a link to "cleaning the tank"? This printer is two years old and gets heavy use weekly. Maybe time to replace?

    1. Charlee

      I learned by error, after attempting to reset my purge all weekend, that on the MFC-J6710DW instead of entering 2783 if you enter 80 it will get you to where your next step is to scroll down to locate the purge. Every step thereafter is the same.

  219. David

    Thank you, I really appreciated your guide. On my MFC-215C I held down the "MENU SET" button, not the "MONO START" or "COLOUR START" buttons to get screen reading "MAINTENANCE".

  220. tony travers

    My MFC-640 had the message "Unable to clean" etc and your method worked. Not the first attempt but maybe that was my fingers.
    Thank you Mathew
    Tony T

  221. Charlee

    Hi Mathew, you have helped get me thru resetting my purge counter twice before. Well im on my second printer now. Brother replaced my last one with a refurb as they were unable to fix the problem at the time which had nothing to do with the ink absorber. Well im on my third time needing to reset my purge counter. I was able to reset it but now it immediately popps up ink absorber full or error 46 or 43 i think. It was reset to all zeros. Can you please tell me what to do now? As I said earlier, this will be the 3rd time resetting on this machine.

  222. Marty

    I have a MFC 495CW with 4F error was able to reset to 0000 but still have 4F error?

    1. RefreshCarts

      In my experience 4F error messages indicate a mechanical error (usually with the printhead). Sadly this guide will not resolve this. I can only recommend getting in touch with Brother or a printer technician.

  223. bhuwan pathak


  224. Yvonne

    I have a Brother, MFC5890 CN, I followed the instructions, was able to get to maintenance by pressing 2 but could not get it to go any further. Can you help me?

  225. firedup44

    I have an MFC 230C. It has a fixed power cord. I can't seem to get it into maintenance mode. Please help

  226. firedup44

    I have a brother 230C. I finally managed to clear the purge counter but I am still getting the error message. Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really don't want to have to trash this machine

  227. sandesh

    i can not have a proper solution even then… my printer j430 always have problems of 'full ink absorber' moreover the agency men are not reliable in my area. so please suggest how i can myself empty the ink absorber?

  228. Sharifa

    I get no error code # , just the 'unable to clean notice'.
    Followed the instructions, successfully cleared the purge, but the error persists
    Any further ideas?

  229. Joeniel


    I will greatly appreciate your help with this.

    My MFC 215c model cant print.. I am unable to follow the initial fixing as the monitor of my unit does not display anything.. "its blank". Could you please help me on how to fix this. Thank you so much

  230. Christina

    I keep getting unable to print 4F any body help please

  231. Tamara

    This worked for me with an MFC-J270W. I had to hold down the MENU key – it didn't work when I held down the green START key, which I tried first.

  232. william stephens

    Good day i do have a brother printer mfc-j415w and when it print it show the letter double i tried cleaning still nothing change i want to try your video method but i cannot get it in maintenance mode can you help i dont have a set button i only have menu start black and color thanks

  233. Jeremy

    Brother mfc-255cw init unable 4f. Problem persist check for jam nothing. I also done the purge.
    But the error still coming up. Can u help please. Thanks

  234. Charlie

    Thanks for the great video! I have an MFC-5840CN. I was able to reset the Purge Counter to 0000 by following the procedure in the video. However, I am still getting Machine Error46. Is there anything else I can try to get the printer working again?

  235. Ann

    fantastic. it works. thank you so much:-) saved my day:-)

  236. bobarazzi

    Hey thanks, my MFC-580cn keeps running like a champ. You just saved me a trip to best buy. Thank you.

  237. Eric

    I have MFC-240C & can not take to maintenance mode ….Please help..trying to purge error 46

  238. joe

    Good day, By follow your video I manage get #46 message off from my Brother mfc-495cw printer and start functioning again, but although ink catage got ink in them but the copy come out blank. Any suggestions? Thank you. PS. I can't get in to maintenance page with start button but get it work by keep down the menu button.

    1. RefreshCarts

      If one or more colours are not printing it is likely that a portion of the printhead has dried. I would recommend doing some cleaning cycles from your printer/printer software to (hopefully) pull through the missing ink.

  239. foogiyah

    I have a 5840-CN which is not listed above and this worked. Only thing is when in maintenance mode, screen displays error code and buttons are lit and flashing. Thank you!!!

  240. Cedric

    Thanks for your help.

  241. guest

    I have the MFC 420CN, and to get into maintenance mode I had to hold down the menu/set button while plugging it in. After that I started from #1, typing in 80. It worked!

  242. twinks

    Mfc j220 did as instructed error ink absorber full purged success. Many thanks.

    1. ian

      pls email e how to resolve mfc j220 ink absorber nearly full thnk you.

  243. StephenJohnson

    This was VERY helpful.!! Maintenance issue solved as described. I am no IT man but this is how it should work – it was quick, simple, easy.

  244. Lily

    Hi Matthew, this was really a helpful video, but it didn't work for my Brother MFC 255CW printer. I know the purge is at 0 again, but the printer doesn't work at all. I'm continuously getting the "Unable to Init 4F" issue. What else can I do?

  245. BUMPER

    Un grand bravo de France pour ce tuto ! (Well done for this video very helpful). Merci !

  246. Sangaran

    Have a MFC-J625DW when printing it shows cleaning with cartridge slamming at end and later Unable to clean 76. Trying following the instruction but could not succeed. Any resolution to clear 76 code on screen? Could you help

  247. George

    Hello Matthew!! Thankyou verrymuch for this post. My model of Brother is MFC J470DW. Please, can you help me, to reset counter for this model. I can not enter in "mentenance" menu with START or MENU key. Please! Regards, George

  248. MARC

    MFC-J475DW. Help! I can't get to the maintenance mode.

  249. Osama

    Thank you for the tip. Please, can you provide codes of maintainance clean?

  250. susan

    hi I am really thick