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What is HP+? Should I activate it?

What is HP+? Should I activate it?

HP+ is an optional service for select printers, that offers a host of features to those that choose to enable it when setting up their printer. These features are offered free of charge and include:

  • Extra security updates and monitoring.
  • Printing from even more devices.
  • 6-Months of Instant Ink.
  • Access to HP Advanced Features (for 2-years).
  • 2-Year Extended Warranty.
  • HP investing in the planting of trees, via ‘Forest First’.

On paper, all of these advantages sound great, and we have spoken to many customers that have enabled HP+ for the complimentary ‘Instant Ink’ subscription alone. However, HP+ severely limits your options when it comes to buying consumables in the future, especially if you buy from companies like us.

When you choose to activate HP plus you disable your printer’s ability to use anything but brand new Hewlett Packard consumables, even if you disable your ‘Instant Ink’ subscription. This means using compatible cartridges or even refilled Hewlett Packard originals (like our remanufactured alternatives) is not an option for you.

Can my printer use HP+?

At the time of writing, HP+ is available on HP DeskJet 2000, 4000 series, ENVY 6000 series, OfficeJet Pro 8000, 9000 series and HP LaserJet M200 series printers. If a printer within these series’ is eligible to use HP+, it will have an “e” at the end of the product code.

We are however sure that HP will add more HP+ compatible printers to their range in the future if the scheme proves to be a success. If you have any doubts, check for orange HP+ branding on the packaging, look online for the model number and be very careful during setup. You can expect messages like the two below (taken from the Hewlett Packard website).

“HP+ requires an HP account, ongoing internet connection, and use of only Original HP Ink or Toner for the life of the printer.”

“HP+ printers requires the use of Original HP Ink or Toner to operate, for the life of the printer, even after expiration of the 6 month of Instant Ink offer.”

Do I have to use HP+ on my printer?

Whilst HP state that the option to skip HP+ setup is there for the HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 and 9000 Series of inkjet printers, there is no mention of this for the HP DeskJet 2000, 4000 series, ENVY 6000 series, series or HP LaserJet M200 series. We have not had hands-on experience with all of these printers yet, but from the information available, it seems like these printers may have HP+ by default.

Can I cancel HP+ if I don’t like it?

Sadly not, at the time of writing, it seems HP+ enabled printers can only use original HP ink or toner for the life of the printer. We have tried hunting down solutions for upset customers several times, but there does not seem to be any way to roll back or disable HP+ on affected printers.

The closest we could find was dissatisfied consumers have taken their printers back to their retailers and demanded a refund or complained to Hewlett Packard directly until they supplied an alternative machine. We do not however have any way to verify the validity of these claims and cannot recommend this course of action, in good conscience.

Are the HP+ features worth it?

We are a retailer of both genuine HP products and compatible/remanufactured alternatives, so it is hard for us to be completely objective, but in our opinion… no. As a company, we are not really fans of anything that limits the options of our customers and believe that they should be able to choose whichever option suits them best. We will frequently recommend genuine Hewlett Packard ink cartridges for photographers and those who need UV resistant results. If however a small business or a student wants to print as cheaply as possible with a refilled or compatible cartridge, that is great too.

Whilst getting “free” ink delivered to your door for the first 6-months is excellent, after half a year, HP+ becomes less appealing. After 2-years, you also lose the advanced features of the ‘HP Smart’ app too. Both of these can be maintained with a monthly subscription, but that is not our main concern. If you look back at my initial list of “perks” of HP+, the only ones that directly affect the end user are the security updates and the extra functionality offered by the free HP app. In a lot of cases, both of these perks have been offered free of charge to printer users for many years now and are pretty standard.

Of course, as to whether or not HP+ is recommendable or not depends on the specific customer. Hopefully, the guide above will allow you to decide whether or not the scheme is right for you, especially with the knowledge that it’s not a service that can be cancelled once initiated.

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.

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