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The Chip Shortage and Your Copier's Toner: What You Need to Know

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If you own a Canon copier, there’s a good chance the next time you replace your toner, you’ll see a warning prompt pop up on your copier’s interface.

The reason for this is the same reason Ford’s production lines are delayed, why refrigerators can’t be repaired, and why you still can’t get your hands on a PS5: the global chip shortage.


You might be surprised by the ubiquity of microchips; they’re basically used in every product these days, including disposables and consumables. This means the next toner cartridge you load into your Canon copier will probably be less intelligent than your current one.

So, why is Canon putting microchips into their toner cartridges anyway? Well, it’s not just Canon — basically every copier manufacturer does so. The microchip in your toner provides two main functions: communicating with the copier to let it know that the toner is from the original manufacturer, and to distinguish if the cartridge is "new" or "not new."

If the cartridge is recognized as new, the copier's "fuel gauge" gets reset and the counting (of the number of bottles the machine has interfaced with, the number of clicks per bottle based on toner coverage, etc) gets updated/reset. If the cartridge is not new, it won't reset the fuel gauge.

Without a microchip, the cartridge can’t communicate with the copier. This means you can expect a change to your copier’s user experience; when loading a chip-less cartridge into a Canon copier, the copier will provide you with a warning that the toner isn’t produced by Canon.

This is what the warning on your copier will look like, with two examples shown, as it will differ depending on what Canon model you use:

Screen Shot 2022-01-06 at 09.11.28Screen Shot 2022-01-06 at 09.11.50

Simply press the button highlighted in red, and your copier will start printing again.

It may be a little disconcerting seeing a warning pop up on your copier, exclaiming that the toner you just put into it is deficient or not as reliable as Canon-made toner. But, as long as you have a service contract for your Canon copier, you have nothing to worry about.

The lack of a microchip won’t affect the quality of your prints, the rate at which your copier functions, or result in any changes to your service contract, even if your contract comes with a stipulation about generic toner voiding your service agreement. It’s still Canon toner, your copier just won’t recognize it as such.


Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) toner is exactly what the name describes - toner produced directly from the manufacturer of your copier. If you have a service agreement with a reputable copier dealer, you'll never have to worry about missing out on OEM toner - even if your copier doesn't recognize it as such.

At Cobb, you’ll never have to worry about your Canon toner coming from a generic source. Even if your new toner cartridge causes your Canon copier to display a warning, you can rest assured that Cobb only provides OEM, Canon-made toner.

If you have any questions, reach out to us here.

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