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Clearing the Canon “Check Ink” 1401, 1687 and 1485 Error Messages

Clearing the Canon “Check Ink” 1401, 1687 and 1485 Error Messages

When your Canon Pixma printer is having trouble recognising one or more of the cartridges installed it will present you with the Check Ink 1401, 1687 or 1485 error message. The official Canon explanations for these codes are “The FINE cartridge is not installed” for 1401, “The FINE cartridge is not installed properly” for 1687 and “Appropriate ink cartridge is not installed” for the 1485 message. Although several of these messages refer to Canon FINE cartridges this does not mean that you have an new genuine Canon cartridge installed and can still use your printer with the correct refilled or remanufactured ink cartridge. More information on Canon FINE cartridges can be found here.

Is there any way to fix the 1401, 1687 and 1485 support codes?

Depending upon the message you are receiving the cause will vary. “The FINE cartridge is not installed” or “The FINE cartridge is not installed properly” indicate something is breaking communication between one or more of the installed cartridges and your printer, and “Appropriate ink cartridge is not installed” indicates a cartridge installed in the incorrect position within your printer. To resolve any of these Canon error messages please follow the steps below until the message disappears.

  • Ensure both a black and colour cartridge are installed. Open up your printer and remove both cartridges to ensure the one of each cartridge is installed. Your printer requires that both a black and colour cartridge is installed in order to print, even if you only wish to print in black/colour. You can find our more about why this is necessary here.
  • Check the cartridges have the correct codes. Although many Canon cartridges are similar in appearance your printer requires specific cartridges to be installed in order to recognise them and print with them. The cartridge should be carrying codes machine or at least similar to PG-540, PG-540XL, PG-545 or PG-545XL for the black and CL-541, CL-541XL,  CL-546 or CL-546XL for the colour cartridge. Which codes are correct for your specific printer will depend upon the model of your printer. If you have any doubts either check your printers paperwork or give your model number a quick Google.
  • Make sure the contacts are clean. The only thing your printer uses to communicate with your cartridge is an unassuming set of metallic contacts you can find on a strip to the front of the cartridge. If these contacts have become dirty or otherwise damaged from use then your printer will be unable to recognise and use the cartridge. I recommend wiping down the cartridge firmly with a piece of kitchen tissue or any other non-fibrous tissue to remove any dirt, oxidisation or otherwise invisible natural oils that may be obscuring the contacts. If you notice anything particularly stubborn that may be causing problems, you may wish to clean then again using an alcohol based cleaning solution. a88328e3-7ec4-473e-88dc-a941b557533b
  • Replace the defective ink cartridge. If your printer still cannot recognise the cartridge then sadly it is defective and will need to be replaced. If you have another cartridge to hand that you know to have worked previously it may be worth installing this one again. Otherwise I would advise installing a unused replacement cartridge (preferably a Canon original).
  • Clean the contacts inside the printer. If the error remains it may be that the cause of the problem is the contacts within your printer are dirty or damaged much the cartridge contacts we mentioned earlier. If you take the problem cartridge out of your printer and shine a light inside, you should see a series of contacts in roughly the same formation as those we have examined on the cartridge. These contacts can be cleaned in the same way that you cleaned the cartridge contacts, but be careful not to leave scraps of tissue on the contacts as they are sometimes pointed. With this done just reinstall the cartridge to see if the error disappears.

I hope this has helped, if however your Canon Pixma printer is still presenting you with the Check Ink 1401, 1687 or 1485 error message then it may be that the you have a more serious problem with your printer electronically. Sadly the troubleshooting above is not a guaranteed fix and in some cases intervention by Canon or a printer technician may be needed. If however your printer is still under warranty you should be able to get it fixed free of charge.

What printers does this relate to?

The advise above can be used to clear the 1401, 1687 and 1485 errors with the Canon Pixma MG2150, Pixma MG2250, Pixma MG3150, Pixma MG3155, Pixma MG3250, Pixma MG3550, Pixma MG4150, Pixma MG4250, Pixma MX375, Pixma MX395, Pixma MX435, Pixma MX455, Pixma MX515 and Pixma MX525. These printers take the relatively new Canon PG-540, Cl-541, PG-540XL and CL-541XL ink cartridges.

I hope this has resolved the issue you were experiencing. If however you have any further questions please 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. Edward

    I have Canon MG2200, i have installed the wrong cartridge i.e black into colour position and now i cannot remove it. Can you please show how to remove the wrong cartridge installed and to install the correct one ?

  2. Cedrick

    Do not call a technician over this type of inkjet machine. The tech will cost you twice the price of the machine.

  3. Richard

    Thanks for the info but I two have an mg2200 and can not reset the black ink low level indicator. The yellow led continues to flash. Thanks for any info on this.

  4. Darlene

    I installed a remanufactured black ink cartridge in a Canon MX452 printer. Now the ink indicator is saying the Black ink is running low (when actually it is a new remanufactured ink cartridge). The printer is working fine with the new installed ink cartridge, but because the ink indicator is reading that the Black ink is running low, then Faxes that have been stored in memory due to the printer previously needing Black ink – then it will not proceed now to print the Faxes. Is there a way to resolve this problem? I did what the manufacturer suggested when using remanufactured ink cartridges – to press and hold the STOP button to re-set the ink level button – but it doesn't change anything. I need help to be able to get our Faxes printing that have been stored in memory. Can anyone please help me with this situation??? Thanks.

    1. Mike Lawrence

      I have installed a new colour cartridge on my MG3540 and am getting a message that the cartridge is empty

  5. colman

    my canon printer start to italicizing words itself. how to resolve this problem

  6. Sue Kinsey

    We have just changed printers from Canon MG2540 to MG4250. As we had bought a load of spare cartridges (Canon 545 and 546 can I use them in the new printer when the new cartridges run out please?

  7. Barb

    I have used this ink cartridge for about 2 months now and printed many times all of a sudden it popped up and says I have the wrong printer cartridge in … is it because it isn't able to read the cartridge or something else?

  8. andrea

    I have a Canon MG3550 printer and just installed some new ink..which is replica not canon and now the lights are flashing constantly and says B200 problem contact canon??? help please

  9. Kati Lyon-Villiger

    I have a Canon MX523. Just installed a new black and a new colour cartridge. It still gives me error 1401. I cleaned them both, but it still does not print. What is the matter. Also, I am just trying to fax something, which does not require ink, but it still won't work—and it is a relatively new printer. What can I do? Thank you.

  10. David C

    I have a Canon Pixma 9500 Mark II. One of the cartridges would not print. I tried to clean it to no avail. I ordered a new off-brand print head which claimed to be a genuine Canon, but I get a 1401 message that a print head is not installed or I am using an improper print head. What to do?

  11. Prism Askelon

    I am still getting 1682 support code even after changing the cartridge on my Canon Pixma MX470 all in one printer, how do I fix it?

  12. Evan

    I want to scan images and not use any ink. Is myprinter rendered useless without cartridges Installed? All I want to do is scan onto a flash drive

    1. RefreshCarts

      This series of printers does indeed need a set of recognisable cartridges installed in order to function. These can however be old empty cartridges if you don’t want to shell out for a new pair.

  13. jordache

    how to solve errors in my canon p200 because i already refilled my ink cartidges but my computer says the ink is running out, so how can i solve it?

  14. Roger Brooks

    I have a Canon MG4250 printer with a Support Code 1401. The screen says Print head is not installed. Install print head. The printer had been working fine but failed to work when last switched on. Please advise

  15. Carolina

    Hi i have a canon and changed my cartiridges and they worked just fine for a while and printed but now the 1401 message is popping up and ive tried to clean both the connectors. please help.

  16. benjamin

    thank you sooo much the last option was my problem. after a small tissue dab on my printing contacts im fine now. im glad im born so recent!

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