Fixing Mac + HP “Expired Ink” Error

Or, “Why won’t my Mac print to my HP 8500 network printer any more?”

So, you’ve had a continuous ink supply system (CISS) running for a while, and you’ve pushed past the HP printer warnings that the ink was low.  Or maybe that new cartridge sat on the shelf for too long.  Either way, you got the dreaded “Ink is Expired” error.  You’ve seen HP’s page about why this happens, but you want to press forward.

You got the printer to ignore the warning, but now there’s an odd problem… Windows PCs can print just fine over the network, but Macs can’t.  You get an error that looks like this:

It reads: The following cartridges are past their expiration dates: Black. You should remove or replace the expired cartridges or click OK to continue with the expired cartridges. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of expired cartridges. Printer service or repairs required as a result of using expired cartridges will not be covered under warranty.

What the heck is going on?  There’s no “OK” button to click, and your print job never prints.  Well, actually it will – if you’re patient enough to wait 85 minutes!  You’re stuck.  Of course, you could throw in the towel and pay HP about $90 for a fresh set of ink cartridges, but I’m more stubborn than that.

What I Discovered…

HP’s printer driver for MacOS checks the status of the ink supplies before it’ll release the print job.  If it sees the inks are expired, it displays this warning and waits for your OK – but they brilliantly didn’t code in an OK button, either here or in the Supply Levels dialog.

In fact, the driver sends the printer 18 “SNMP” queries every second to read different status values, waiting for you to clear the condition.  After 85 minutes of doing this, it’ll finally give up and forward your print job from the computer’s queue to the printer.

However… I discovered that if the Mac never receives a reply to its queries, the HP printer driver gives up after 8 seconds, assumes the printer is healthy, and releases the print job.  Eureka!  Now, how to make that happen?

An Easy Fix!

I’ll spare you the seriously nerdy machinations behind this discovery.  And the equally intense original workaround involving command-line firewall filter rules in MacOS.  In the end, the fix is painfully simple: go to the printer and turn off the SNMP management protocol.  This is done through the web GUI.

First, find your printer’s IP address.  You won’t find this in your Mac easily – go to the printer and navigate its menu to Setup | Network | Network Settings to find an address like  Then enter that address in your web browser, like – your printer’s web page should load.

Go to the Networking tab and select SNMP in the left pane.  This page will load:

Check the button that says Disable SNMPv1 and click Apply.  Problem solved!

(If you’re the techie type that wants SNMP support for other purposes, just change the “community string” to something other than the default value of “public” and the printer will still ignore the Mac’s queries.)

We’ve been coping with issue this for months, shuttling Mac files to a PC for printing; I finally spent hours hacking up a crafty fix before I realized it could just be disabled at the printer.  Hopefully this post saves other folks a ton of frustration!

Do You Have a Different HP Printer?

This fix might work for other HP printers too, since HP’s Mac printer drivers probably share a lot of common code.  If you have a different model of printer that this fixes (or doesn’t), please comment below with the model number so others will find this fix!


60 Responses to “Fixing Mac + HP “Expired Ink” Error”

  1. Daniel Wood Says:

    after a stupid amount of time trying to get HP to help you solved it!

  2. Thank you so much, greatly appreciate this. I was getting ready to buy a new printer and throw this one in the garbage. Took 2 minutes and it’s now fixed!

  3. Jessica Says:

    i don’t often lose my cool, but i truly wanted to shove my printer off the balcony. partly because of these stupid queries and also because i just couldn’t figure it out 😦 i’m very appreciative of your seriously nerdy machinations.

  4. I am having the same problem with an HP Photosmart C7180. Unfortunately all the OS 10.8.2 upgrades make it impossible (for me anyway) to access the IP address of the printer. I have tried accessing the utility via hard wire, via blue tooth, have even gone on HP’s site. Just can’t seem to get to the IP screen. The 10.6 scan function used the old web interface, but that’s been upgraded. Can anyone help? This is such a stupid problem – the cartridge is nearly full, but “expired.”

    Thanks much in advance for the brainpower!!

  5. Update – I got the IP address (I reset the Network settings to factory default using the Setup buttons on the printer itself) – unfortunately my HP Photosmart C7180 doesn’t list SNMPv1 as an option in the interface. Looks like I will have to foot the bill for a new cartridge. If anyone has an idea, let me know??

    • Hi, Paul. It does look like you’re stuck there – I checked the manual for that printer, and they don’t give an option to configure SNMP anywhere. There is a way to block the SNMP traffic using MacOS’ built-in firewall (that’s the hack I started to develop). I can look into finishing that work, but honestly it won’t be really soon given other stuff on my to-do list. If other folks report similar obstacles with other HP printers, I’ll see about moving it to the top of the list.

      • Thanks RIchard. I bit the bullet and bought the new cartridge. If you do get a chance to sort it out, would love to know the work around. Just such a waste of money. Thanks again for sharing your insights!!

  6. FYI, a user reports here:äte/Officejet-Pro-8500-druckt-nicht-mehr-vom-MAC/td-p/86422/page/2
    that disabling SNMP as described will prevent scanning from working. Personally, I have the scanner write JPEGs or PDFs to a shared network drive (or send an e-mail, which is very handy!), so I didn’t run into this issue with scanning direct-to-Mac. I only print from my Macs.
    Even a more advanced approach with the Mac Firewall (not yet posted here) will not help the scanning situation for Macs. However, blocking SNMP on the Mac instead of the printer would at least let Windows PCs use the scan-to-PC feature.

  7. Great! Finally a solution for this stupid issue. Thanks for posting this. I can love my printer again!

  8. If not for you, man, I could throw the printer. Many thanks! Уou’re the best

  9. You are a miracle. I was on the brink of throwing it out the window. Thanks so much for posting this and helping all of us to beat the HP genius’

  10. Hi!

    There is at least one other way to make your HP8500 print. Just open and close the door behind which the cartridges are sitting. It will instantly start printing.
    This way will for sure make your network printer a very short ranged one but you can queue print jobs that way and start printing when you pass it on your way getting a new coffee.


  11. T R Howar Says:

    I have an HP Officejet Pro 8500A Premium. My Mac is connected wireless. I looked up the IP address and tried your fix and put (which is my IP address) in my web browser. When I do that, Safari comes back and says it can’t find the server. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Hmmm. It’s odd that you can connect to print but not to the web server in the printer.
      I found this alternate way of finding the printer’s IP address, just in case it’s not the one you found:
      Go to http://localhost:631/printers/
      This opens a web page on your local Mac, through which you can find the IP address your Mac is using to print. Click on the queue name and get the IP from the “Connection: lpd://” line.

      • T R Howar Says:

        This is what I get when I followed your directions. Connection: dnssd://Officejet%20Pro%208500%20A910%20%5B5389D7%5D._pdl-datastream._tcp.local./?bidi

        It doesn’t show an Idp://

        I heard that my IP address should start with a 192. xxx not a 10.xx so I think there is something wrong with my IP address. I can still print but I keep from getting the expired ink messages. I turn my printer off until I’m ready to print then turn it off again when I’m done printing.

      • Sorry, I don’t have much more advice for you on this one. Perhaps someone else can comment. I can tell you the 10.x IP address is perfectly legit – it’s just that home networks ship with 192.168.x.x addresses and the default is rarely changed. The 10.x address suggests that you might be on a corporate network or someone just changed the addressing on your home network from the default (which is fine).

  12. Hi Richard, today I was so much disappointed about that shit restriction and I also thought to throw it away….and now like a late christmas gift I can continue to use my printer (8500 909a).
    Thank you so much and wish you a happy new year and much more good ideas…..
    Greetz from Berlin / Germany

  13. awesome, thank you so much. Nevertheless, i will get rid of this HP crap and buy an other printer.

  14. christopher from France Says:

    Fantastic ! You almost saved my life. Thks for the tip.

  15. dan brock Says:

    I too thank you for this post. HP has no helpful information regarding this problem, not to mention that there is no OK button to be used in the mac.

  16. Hi

    I am using windows, and am fed up of pressing the OK button for every sheet it prints, is there a way around this for me, other than buying expensive HP ink?



    • Hi, Richard.
      If your printer is network-connected, this technique may work for Windows machines as well. If it’s USB connected, this won’t help.
      Have you tried this fix with Windows?
      Cheers, Richard

  17. Hi Richard, thanks so much for your help with this issue, which is really vexing. I followed your instructions but unfortunately I’m still having trouble — my Mac now doesn’t seem to connect to the printer and the printer’s on-screen menu is stuck on the ink expiry message. It also seems that I can now no longer connect to the printer’s web page. Is there any way to re-enable SNMPv1? Or even get back to the printer’s web page? Many thanks

  18. Phillip Warbasse Says:

    Thank you! Your fix worked immediately. My 7680 has been giving the expired ink message at each bootup, but there’s a button override on the printer panel that clears it for the remainder of the session. Tonight I trolled the net for a while and came across your SNMP fix. So easy! Why don’t any of the HP responders know about such a simple fix? All their replies are ineffectual.
    Thank you again!

  19. Thank you so much ! I nearly took my printer apart trying to disable the battery and had even started looking for a replacement. This worked immediately – you’re a lifesaver. If there’s any way we can return the favour please let us know.

  20. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  21. Jon peterson Says:

    You’re a GENIUS
    Thankyou for the help.
    Why is it HP can’t offer that sort of simple support?

    • I think it’s a sad reflection on HP’s unwillingness to do The Right Thing. They’re under-serving a significant market segment (Macs), and they seem to have no interest in improving the quality of support when informed their answers are invalid.
      One could easily conclude they care only about their own interests (driving replacement ink sales) instead of allowing customers to make an informed decision about using “expired” ink.

  22. Susan Says:

    I had a hard time figuring out how to get the printer IP address. Here’s what I did on my Mac. Yours may be set up differently.

    To find the network address on your Mac, click Network icon in the System Preferences window. You will see the Router address (if you are using). Mine is Put that address in your browser URL field. It will take you to a page that shows all the devices in your network. Look for your printer – in my network it was called HP9AB808. View the device details and it will show the ip address of the printer. Put the printer ip address in your browser URL field and you will see OfficeJet admin interface as pictured above.

    I hope this helps some.

  23. Brilliant! And thank you! Your absolutely burned up/off some Karma for yourself…BIG TIME!

  24. Richard Perry Says:

    I have an HP Photosmart C7280. Having accessed the printer using a web browser and the printer’s URL if find that only mDNS and UPnP are listed under Applications on the Network tab! Any suggestions how to proceed? Thanks.

    • Hi, Richard.
      The only suggestion I can offer is to apply firewall rules on your Mac that don’t allow outbound UDP traffic to the SNMP port at your printer’s IP address. That’s not a series of steps I’ve mapped out yet, so you’re on your own there, sorry.

    • I clicked on UPnP and clicked on the Disable button, my printer now prints. I still get the warning of expired cartridge but the printer carrys on printing regardless.

  25. krebzo Says:

    Thanks for this post. I’m trying to set up an HP Officejet Pro 8500 A909a on my Mac. This model is not equipped with wifi or an graphic LCD screen (just words). I’m connected with a USB and was not able to follow the prompts on the printer to locate an IP. Any help for me? I replaced all the cartridges but the printer queue window still says they’re expired (no OK button!!!). The printed just printed one of my pages from my 2 page job after about 30 minutes in the queue… thoughts? help? Thanks.

    • Hi. I found that the key is to disable SNMP management traffic. On my printer I was able to disable it on the printer side. If you can’t do that, then the next option would be to block it on the Mac side.
      The detailed steps are more than I can fit in a reply here, but the idea would be to block inbound SNMP replies, ideally just from the printer’s IP address, but a crude approach is to block it from all devices. The latter option may cutoff management traffic that you do want from other devices (this need is unlikely).
      In either case what you need to block is data packets coming from UDP port 161 on the remote device, and destined for any UDP port on your Mac. I believe one option for this is ‘iptables’, a command-line firewall. The firewall in MacOS Preferences may also have this ability, and there is one other method that I’d researched before discovering I could just disable SNMP at the printer. I’ll have to leave it to Google to turn up options and detailed steps here.
      I do recall writing about how to get the printer’s IP from your print driver, which you can use to build the firewall rule.

    • Ah… I just noticed you said you’re connected via USB. These tricks will only work for a network-connected printer. (Mine is wired Ethernet.). On USB, you can’t turn off the management traffic.

  26. I have a HP C7280 all in one printer and had ink cartridges that I couldn’t use as they were out of date; I couldn’t use the above fix as I have a MAC so the way I got round this was to take out the CMOS battery. This is an easy 5/10 min job but make sure you have a T10 bit to remove the screws.

    Watch the following link for the 1st couple of mins and it will show you exactly what to do.

    The battery is situated at the top left as you flip the circuit board up.

  27. Matthias Says:

    Thank you very much Richard, disabling SNMP will disable level monitoring also, as well as the scanner.
    I tried changing the time in preferences, as well as on my computer, and that didn’t trick it either. Opening/closing the door worked sometimes. I could print from Windows7 after the warning just fine. My cartridges had been expired for over a year and worked fine up until now that I added one I foolishly bought from Ebay which was also expired. Once it caught on to that (Black), then it seemed to pick up on all my other cartridges, too. I am on OSX 10.4.10 with PPC for some noodling and design stuff and rarely print anymore.
    Also, if you cannot find the IP address of the printer, if you go to the page: http://localhost:631/printers/ you should see your printers, and it also lists the fax. You will see an IP address to the right and that’s also the IP address for the printer configuration page.
    How lame!!

  28. Just a note to tell you thank you! And to let you know you are still helping people with this in 2015!!!

  29. christina Says:

    Unfortunately I have done everything but problem persists.
    I have an HP Officejet printer 8600 and a Mac
    Any advices on how to eliminate the following message ? “Used or Counterfeit Cartridge Detected: Black. The original HP ink in this cartridge has been depleted. Was this cartridge sold to you as a new, genuine HP-branded cartridge that has not been previously …”
    Thank you!!!!

    • Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you there. I haven’t seen that message before, so it must be from a newer print driver. But I would expect it’d be getting that info using the same method, so this fix should work; it’s always possible they got “smarter”…
      Is your printer connected via USB? This fix only works if you’re connecting over the network.

  30. Is there any solution for a USB-only HP printer? Or do I need to give mine away? Thanks!

  31. I have a 7280 connected to my PC with a USB connection. Expired cartridges. I view hp with the highest disdain for this travesty.

  32. Andi Christ Says:

    Hey ! You are the greatest ! After houres spending time reaing manuals and blogs and help lines now this: Just a simple click for my OFFICEJET PRO 8000 ! I’m flashed. Thanks forever!

  33. Rebecca Says:

    April 2016 – Thank you!! still helping frustrated HP printer users conquer this absurd problem! I am hoping to run through the rest of my ink and purchase a different brand instead of more ink. HP holds you hostage. It’s completely disgusting business practices in my opinion.

  34. Brilliant. Truly. I will never by anything HP ever again.

  35. Arsal Puthur Says:

    You are excellent… thanks a lot

  36. Thank you for your solution. However it doesn’t work for me. Suddenly my HP 8500A gave the message that 2 of the cartridges were expired. In the web-browser (mac safari) I disabled SNMP and changed the date of the printer. It looks like those changes aren’t in effect on the printer itself. Even after restarts the same message appears. That message is blocking everything on my printer. I’m a hostage of my printer.

    • Hi, Wout.
      This fix only works if your printer is connected to your computer over the network. It sounds like maybe you are USB connected?
      If that’s not the case, I don’t have a solution for you. Sadly, my printer developed a fault in the print mechanism, which has made it stop scanning and faxing too. It’s on it’s way to the recycler.

      • Wout de Vogel Says:

        Hi Richard, thanks for your quick reply. Sad to hear of the bad if not, fatal condition of your printer. My printer is connected via my home-network. No USB-connection. It seems i’m stuck. Maybe it’s best to change to the original cartridges for once.

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