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Clearing the Canon ‘Check Ink’ U140 or U150 Error Message

Clearing the Canon ‘Check Ink’ U140 or U150 Error Message

The ‘Check Ink’ U140 or U150 error message appears when a Canon inkjet printer is not able to read one or more of the installed cartridges. Canon’s definition of the error is “The ink cartridge cannot be recognized” and text stating this may also appear in a message in your printer software.

To communicate with an installed cartridge your printer relies upon a series of gold contacts on the front of your cartridge. If these contacts are obscured by ink, dirt or even protective packaging your printer will be unable to fully control the cartridge and your printer will be unable to print as a result.

a88328e3-7ec4-473e-88dc-a941b557533bIn most cases however you can get yourself up and running with a basic bit of troubleshooting.

What can I do to fix the ‘Check Ink U140 or U150 error message?

Thankfully if something is physically blocking the contacts (whether it is visible or not) you can usually resolve the issue by cleaning the contacts on the cartridge itself. This will not however resolve the issue if the contacts have been physically or electronically damaged.

  1. Open the cover of your printer and remove the relevant cartridge.
  2. Switch the printer off using buttons on the body of the printer. DO NOT turn it off at the plug.
  3. Double check the label of the cartridge to ensure the correct cartridge is being installed for your printer.
  4. Wipe down the contacts on the front of the cartridge using a piece of kitchen tissue or another not fibrous tissue. ca944b46-eb88-4e3b-868e-fd814095d103
  5. Press the power button of the printer to turn it back on.
  6. Reinstall the cartridge, ensuring the cartridge is returned to the correct black/colour section of the cradle.

You should hopefully notice that the ‘Check Ink’ U140 or U150 error is no longer occurring and can continue printing as normal. If however the message remains then sadly it is likely that the Canon ink cartridge identified is genuinely defective or damaged and will need to be replaced.

To ensure that the cartridge itself if definitely at fault I would recommend trying another ink cartridge if you have a spare or install an old cartridge that you know has worked previously. If the error remains it may be that the corresponding contacts inside of your Canon printer are dirty and could benefit from being cleaned in the same way as described above. To access these contacts, simply remove the cartridge from the printer and you should be able to clearly see where the contacts on the cartridge made contact inside the printer. On many models these contacts are pointed so be careful not to leave ripped pieces of tissue inside the printer when you are done.

What Canon printers/cartridges will this help with?

The ‘Check Ink’ U140 or U150 error message can appear on a hugh variety of Canon inkjet printers including some printers are compatible with the Canon PG-37, CL-38, PG-40, CL-41, PG-50 and CL51 range of ink cartridges. These printers include the Canon Fax JX200, MultiPass 450, MultiPass MP150, MultiPass MP160, MultiPass MP170, Pixma iP1200, Pixma iP1300, Pixma iP1600, Pixma iP1700, Pixma iP1800, Pixma iP1900, Pixma iP2200, Pixma iP2400, Pixma iP2500, Pixma iP2600, Pixma MP140, Pixma MP150, Pixma MP160, Pixma MP170, Pixma MP180, Pixma MP190, Pixma MP210, Pixma MP220, Pixma MP450, Pixma MP460, Pixma MP470, Pixma MX300 and Pixma MX310. Which of these six possible cartridges your printer takes will depend entirely upon the model of your printer.

Along with the printer models mentioned above the cleaning of the contacts can help the PG-510, CL-511, PG-512 and CL-513 range of ink cartridges be accepted by a printer. The following printers are all compatible with these black and colour cartridges, the Canon Pixma iP2700, Pixma iP2702, Pixma MP230, Pixma MP240, Pixma MP250, Pixma MP252, Pixma MP260, Pixma MP270, Pixma MP272, Pixma MP280, Pixma MP282, Pixma MP330, Pixma MP480, Pixma MP490, Pixma MP492, Pixma MP495, Pixma MP499, Pixma MX320, Pixma MX330, Pixma MX340, Pixma MX350, Pixma MX410 and Pixma MX420.

You can even use the above advice to clear the ‘Check Ink’ U140 or U150 error 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. Beniamin

    Hi Mattew,
    I wanted to ask something if you can help me. It is about a MP 160 canon printer, I refilled the ink cartridge but when I want to print, the printer works as normaly but does not writte on the paper. I checked the cartridge with a handkerchief if it let some print and it remained a black line on thr handkerchief. Sorry for my English. Beniamin

    1. RefreshCarts

      It may be that the printhead of the cartridge is no longer able to function mechanically. In this instance I can only recommend performing a few cleaning cycles from your printer/printer software to try and pull it through. If this does not help the cartridge will need replacing.

  2. heather

    I am pleased to say that your instructions on how to clean the contacts on both cartridge and printer has solved my problem. I thought those contacts were untouchable, so left well alone. I now have a printer that works . Many thanks

  3. Jim

    I have a refilled cartridge by Costco. They say they reset the chip but I am getting the u140 message-can't recognize the cartridge. recognizes the old one. cleaned the contacts and cartridge. any thoughts? I thought there was some way to bypass this message so I can use the cartridge which is full. Thanks Jim

  4. Karin

    I've tried what you suggested. it doesn't recognize any color cartridge at the moment. I tried wiping it down, but still no luck. Is the machine broke?

  5. Sasa

    are US and Europe cartridges same. I have MX420 and bought original cartidges from US Canon and my printer gives me U140 error

    1. christine

      No, they're not. I have a US Canon MP620 but the Euro cartridges aren't recognized in the machine, even though they snap in place and Canon makes and sells the same model in Europe. I've had some success switching out the chip, though after i do that i still have to fool the printer into ignoring the ink level (because it thinks its empty).

  6. mehdi


    Canon mx 310

    Blk ink vol unknown


  7. Bissell Robert

    I have an MX350 from the US. When I try to use the EU 510/511 cartridges (rather than the 210/211 sold in the uS) I get the U140 error message…anyway around this?

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