How to Save Money On Your Brother Toner 🤑

So, I’m not sure if everyone else knows this… but I figured out a way to make your toner last longer on brother printers. I have the HL-L6200DWT (will work with the single tray too). I’m using the “High Yield” TN820 toner at the moment. So, basically, after a certain point you get the ‘Low Toner’ message that flashes… and if you don’t buy another toner ($100+) the printer will block you from using it (ahh, good ole capitalism :nauseated_face:).

Well, I figured out a way to get 100s of pages more out of your toner even after it says that it’s “empty” (spoiler alert: it’s a lie). I’m not sure how many pages you can get, but so far I’ve printed over 500 more since my machine said I was completely out.

Here’s what you want to do:

  1. Press the button, open the toner/drum door, and remove your drum. Remove the toner from it and give a little shake. I read that this moves the remaining toner around.

  2. Next, look for a circle on the left and right side of the toner cartridge. They will have clear little globe lenses. This is where the printer shoots its laser through to monitor the level of toner. As the toner decreases, the laser is able to penetrate all the way to the other side. When that happens, it says your toner is low and triggers the printer to stop working… (all by design). But where there’s a will, there’s a way :innocent:

  3. Take black tape and cover both of those clear circles lol. Or you can take masking tape and color it in with a black sharpie. Voila. Now the laser will always read your toner as being completely full.

  4. Next, you’ll have to reset the toner memory to make your little printer forget all about its evil capitalist programmed obsolescence and be a good boy. With the printer door open (that houses the drum), press cancel and secure at the same time. The toner menu pops up.

  5. On the toner menu, I think there are 3 options. TNR-STR, TNR-STD, TNR-S.HC. They stand for starter, standard, and high capacities, respectively. Hit okay on the one you want and then the up arrow to reset. It should say “Accepted.”

  6. Insert your drum and toner then close the cover and enjoy hundreds and hundreds of pages more from your printer without buying a new toner for a couple weeks/a month. Enjoy! :kissing_heart:

Edit: Youtube video for the visual learners :tv:


Wow, great discovery! I will have to try that!

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Thank you for this… I spent almost 2 hours with Brother last night… they told me there is no way to do this.:woman_facepalming:t4:

Thank you… Thank You!!

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Yeah, the brother hotline is almost completely useless. They would never tell you about these tricks. You’re welcome!


Noble Notary,
Gawd! What a gift you are. Thank you!

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Also if you go onto YouTube; they’re videos on how to reset the toner. I’ve been doing this for a couple of months. It is definitely a game changer.


I have seen this on YouTube but never this in-depth. And the black tape is a fantastic hack. Thank you so much for your information!

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Thanks for the valuable printer tip and detailed instructions. Let me add that the supply chain problem is no joke so it might be wise to stock up and a few toner cartridges and an extra drum kit because I fear soon they won’t be available. Costco was out of paper by the case this past week but I found plenty at Staples. When the weather gets bad and the truckers don’t drive and the ships back up in the harbors, all that can affect we notaries in ways we didn’t expect. Plan accordingly.
Thanks again, Noble.


It isn’t planned obsolescence nor capitalism at work here. The reason it no longer prints when you are out of toner, or almost out in this case, is so you don’t have to trash dozens of bad printouts.

Let’s say your average package is 150 pages. You run too low on toner to get good clear prints after pg 7. Since your pages most likely come face down you can’t see how they come out of the machine. 143 pages then print faded or with gaps on the page. Now you’ve wasted time, energy, and paper.

By the printer attempting to read the volume of toner left, this outcome is prevented. I have had this happen on a different manufacturer’s machine, so I know how aggravating it can be. Yes, shaking it redistributes the toner and you can get more pages. Putting tape over the sensor deactivates one of the money saving features of your most expensive investment in your business.

I don’t own this type of printer. I do not work for Brother. I do, however, think this laser is a better way to gauge toner use as opposed to other machines which simply use page count.


Thank you so much!! It was a big source of frustration when clearly my toner wasn’t looking faded.

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I have this printer and use the brand of toner you mentioned. By any chance do you know any tricks to clean toner powder from the machine? I’ve cleaned the drum roller and found a YouTube to clean the roller in the back but I still get toner marks on my print out. I’m almost prepared to buy another printer… almost.

I used this video to clean mine and it’s perfect now. Hope that helps!

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Thank you. That method has worked in the past but I think there is loose toner in the actual machine. I just placed a whole new Brother drum and I’m still getting random specs on my printouts. I will dig a bit more before I make the leap and purchase a whole new printer. Thanks again!

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There’s another way too, for the people who don’t mind poking around in their settings. Go into the app on your computer, and look in the settings. There is one for Toner. (You can’t do this from the printer, it has to be done from the computer.)
Go to Machine Settings. Go to All Settings. An internet page will pop up.
Go to Replace Toner. You’ll see that STOP is the default. This causes the machine to stop printing when it declares your toner needs to be replaced.
Choose Continue.
And then watch several hundred more pages print. I keep an eye on it after a couple more loan packages. If it starts printing lightly, I shake the toner. But after a while I have to admit I need to replace it. I give the lighter copy to the borrower, and I take the best copy for the title company.


OMG it totally worked, thank you so much and its just as if it never ran out. dark print. Thank you so much. Yes toner at the cost is great that it will last longer. I go through it a lot and at 2 at a time for $159.00 it just makes sense to save money. Thank you so much from Oklahoma

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Great news thanks for sharing I have 2 of the brother’s printer I get my ink from Amazon usually 4 for under 60 bucks :grinning:


You’re very welcome. Mine is still printing and it’s been 3 weeks since I reset things. I must’ve printed about 1000+ pages by now lol. I’m getting scared :sweat_smile:

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I can’t believe how much toner I have waisted all this time. I actually had a couple that I have not taken to recycle yet and put one in today and printing as if it was brand new. Unbelievable. lol Thank you again.

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Thanks for sharing this Noblenotary!

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Thank you! I just experienced first getting the little yellow warning triangle on the printer icon, then the complete dead stop saying toner was out. Weirdly, when I checked the toner level in settings, it showed that it was 2/3rds full.

I opened up the new toner package, but then decided to try the old one again, one last time, and it started printing just fine. Probably taking it out shook the toner around.

Unfortunately, now I have an open toner that I’m not ready to use. I’ve tried to package it up again, but I’m afraid that it will be wrecked/dried up or something when I’m ready to use it.