In an unconventional notice published to its German-language website, Canon gives customers instructions on how to bypass the same erroneous error messages consumers have long condemned as being anti-competitive. In what feels like an embarrassing self-own, Canon tells customers to simply close out of any messages that claim the ink their using can’t be identified, and in doing so, tells them the steps needed to use third-party ink.
Canon promises that despite the strange workaround to get printers to operate, the quality of the prints are unaffected if you’re using its ink. However, remaining toner levels won’t display properly, and might drop from 100% to 0% when they’re completely empty. It’s the equivalent of having a broken fuel gauge, and while you might not be left stranded on the side of the road, your printer may run out of ink without notice and lose functionality.
Giving customers the keys to using third-party ink might suggest a broader policy change, but Canon will return to using scare tactics to push away third-party ink cartridges once chip supply normalizes, meaning customers looking to save a penny will continue to see these error messages and should hope Canon doesn’t brick non-Canon cartridge options altogether as HP famously did in 2016.