HP’s “dynamic security” prevents you from using third-party ink with HP printers. While HP does this to “protect the quality of our customer experience,” being able to buy cheaper, non-HP ink can save you money. So how can you use third-party printer ink? We have a solution for at least some models.
Unfortunately, HP’s dynamic security isn’t new. HP began the practice of banning unauthorized printer ink in 2016 with a firmware update that prevented third-party ink from being used. That hasn’t stopped consumers from being outraged that they can’t do what they want with printers they purchased, and buy whatever third-party ink cartridges they want to use.
The Telegraph and the consumer group Which? are the latest outlets to “discover” the HP prohibition. Which?, cited by the paper, said manufacturers were “actively blocking customers from exerting their right to choose the cheapest ink and therefore get a better deal”.
The topic of HP dynamic security surfaced again when users on Reddit discovered (or re-discovered) the fact that HP uses what is essentially digital-rights-management (DRM) on its printers to identify authentic HP printer ink cartridges and prevent unauthorized cartridges from being used. Ars Technica noted the issue, pointing out that HP is currently facing a class-action lawsuit over the issue as consumers attempt to legally prevent HP from blocking third-party ink.
HP maintains that it’s doing this for your benefit, but also freely admits that it’s trying to “protect” its own technology.
“The purpose of dynamic security feature is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property, maintain the integrity of our printing systems, ensure the best customer printing experience, and protect customers from counterfeit and third-party ink cartridges that do not contain an original HP security chip and infringe HP’s intellectual property,” it says.
HP printers that use “dynamic security” to block third-party ink cartridges
HP doesn’t make clear which printers use the dynamic security feature, which is what Reddit users became infuriated about — HP apparently had permitted the use of third-party ink on the OfficeJet 7740 and the OfficeJet Pro 6970, then cracked down. But HP does list some printers which can be upgraded via a firmware update to eliminate the block on third-party ink.
Even those, however, fall into two categories: printers whose dynamic security feature can be disabled, and printers whose dynamic security feature is permanent.
HP printers with dynamic security that can be disabled: HP OfficeJet 6810, 6820, OfficeJet Pro 6230, 6830, 8610, 8620, 8630, 8640, 8660, X451dn/dw, X476dn/dw, X551dw, and X576dw printers.
HP printers with dynamic security that can be disabled depending on the date of manufacture: HP Officejet Pro 6970, 7740, 8210, 8700, Officejet 6950, PageWide 300, 400, and 500 printers. The key is the manufacturing date. If the printer was manufactured before Dec. 1, 2016, dynamic security can be disabled via a firmware update. If the printer was manufactured after that date, however, dynamic security can not be disabled.
Unfortunately, that still leaves a number of other HP printers that don’t allow for the firmware workaround — and HP won’t say which printers that applies to.
To eliminate HP’s block on third-party ink, you’ll need to visit the printer’s Software and Drivers Downloads page. There, you’ll find instructions on how to upgrade the printer firmware. When that’s completed, HP says, you’ll be able to use third-party ink with that printer.
HP still won’t accept blame for whether or not the process works, however. “If the cartridge still fails after the feature is removed, then the cartridge is most likely defective and should be returned to your retailer,” HP says.
This story was updated on May 16 at 10:52 AM with additional details.