How To: Resetting the ink absorber pad on the Brother MFC-J995DW

The fun stuff…. resetting the purge counter on the MFC-J995DW!

Note that since I hadn’t actually hit the purge count limit, I can’t verify that this “for sure” solves the error message. The only thing I can verify is that it reset the counter to 0 on the display.

First, a couple cautionary notes:

  1. The maintenance menu lets you access a LOT of things you probably don’t want to be messing with. It’s possible to accidentally mis-set an item and muck up your printer. Be very cautious and deliberate when in the menu. If you end up somewhere you shouldn’t or hit the wrong key, there is usually a “Stop” button when you’re in the maintenance menu that will get you out. If the furthest back that the “Stop” button gets you to is back to the maintenance menu menu itself, “99” is the exit code from there that should exit and restart the printer.
  2. If the ink absorber pad actually IS saturated and you reset the message without dealing with the physical problem first, you could end up with a variety of consequences (spilled ink mess, print head takes a bath in all the colors at once, etc).

Obviously you’re doing this at your own risk. We’re assuming your printer is totally dead and refuses to print right now anyway.

Okay, here we go! Click/tap for larger images. You can probably skip the text since I added text to the images, but I’ve typed stuff out too in case an image doesn’t load or something is unclear. Again, be cautious when muddling around in the menu system.

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 01

First steps seen above are to press and hold the home button for 10 seconds. Then once the new screen comes up, press and hold the blank space on the touch screen for 5-10 seconds, then let go.

The screen will change as soon as you let go:

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 02

As seen above, you’ll get a keypad. Type:


(don’t forget to start with an asterisk: * )

…new text will show up on the screen.

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 03

It should now say MAINTENANCE at the top. Now you press:


The word MAINTENANCE should now change to ERROR CODE as seen next:

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 04

At this point, we’re technically in a menu we can scroll down (ERROR CODE is the first option). We need to change the keypad to arrow keys which will let us navigate the menu. Press the “>>” button in the bottom right as shown. You’ll have to do it twice to get to the proper keypad with our navigation arrows.

You can see the proper keypad (which has up/down/left/right buttons) below:

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 05

Once at the keypad seen above, press DOWN a whole bunch of times (highlighted above). You want to keep going until you get to the setting called PURGE COUNT. When I did this I had to hit DOWN 16 times to get to PURGE COUNT, but this could change with various model revisions or firmware updates.

Next step…

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 06

Look at the image above… here we press the RIGHT-ARROW button along the TOP row. Instead of PURGE COUNT it should now say PURGE: ######## (some number).

Now that we’re here, we have to enter some digits again which requires changing the keypad back to numbers. So press the “>>” key to get to the number pad again.

Brother MFC-J995DW Resetting Purge Count for Ink Pad 07

Here in Step 8 we type the following:


Instead of something like PURGE: 0023813 it should now say PURGE: 000000.

We’re done, except that we have to exit.

Press the STOP button. This should get you back to the menu that says MAINTENANCE at the top.

From the MAINTENANCE menu, type:


It should exit the menu and the printer should restart.

Hopefully no more ink pad message!

8 Comments | Leave a Comment

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  1. Trav on May 2, 2020 - click here to reply
    I see "ink chg count" in that menu and I wonder if that can be used to reset the ink cartridges if they are refilled. Do you have an idea or info on if that is possible?
    • I had seen that option, but I don't have any specific information about it. My initial thought was that it might count each time a cartridge had been swapped (new chip ID != old chip ID) but it was really just a guess.
      • Karina on June 18, 2020 - click here to reply
        I have an MFC-J985DW. I followed the steps which are quite similar. At the end, I had PURGE 0; however the display is still the same: "Ink Absorber Pad Full". I guess at this point, I have to clean the pad myself. Do you know how to do it? Can you help?
        Thank you,
  2. Raymond j Jacobs on July 16, 2020 - click here to reply
    I have a MFC J880DW . I cleaned and dried the felt pads and absorber pad full still shows. I followed the instructions and reached the purge count which I reset to 0 . I exited the maint screen and the pad full message still shows. I did it all again and the purge count now says 0 . I exited Maint and the screen still says pad full. Any idea what I could do next? Thanks, Ray Jacobs
  3. Jolita P. on September 24, 2020 - click here to reply
    Thank you so much! I did it with MFC J5330DW and everything works. The "...Pad Full" message disappears only after typing 99, when the printer restarts.
  4. Alex on November 15, 2020 - click here to reply
    Hi. I have the MFC-J680DW . Recently i had JAM problem when printing or scan docs, but report of Check Print Quality sheet print successfully, that according to Brother Support should indicate that printer is OK O-) After i've done a reset according to your instructions for my big surprise printer started to print w/o any problems :)
    Tnx a lot for your effort!!!
    God Bless YOU!
    Didn't expect it from BROTHER :(
  5. Bruce on April 20, 2021 - click here to reply
    What a stupid system. I had the same problem, followed the instructions and still get "INK PAD ABSORBER FULL" (error 46). The manual says only a qualified Brother service center can fix it. Called several and they all say the same thing - "It costs more to repair this than you can buy a new machine for" (about $300). Who makes a printer like this?
  6. Anonymous on May 27, 2021 - click here to reply
    There is a part called the the ink absorber full sensor and the ink absorber full sensor harness is attached to the ink absorber box. If you have cleaned/replaced the ink absorber box and reset the purge counters, the ink absorber full sensor may be in need of cleaning.

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