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How to Install Canon PG-260 and CL-261 Ink Cartridges

How to Install Canon PG-260 and CL-261 Ink Cartridges

Learn how to install Canon PG-260 and CL-261 ink cartridges in your Canon PIXMA printer.

The Canon PG-260 black ink cartridge works alongside the CL-261 color cartridge, and together they make a perfect pair for home office printing, delivering quality black and color prints page after page.  In this guide, we show you how to install the PG-260 ink cartridge.  If you are looking to install the CL-261, don’t worry! The installation process is identical for both cartridges – just follow the steps we include here and you’ll be printing again in no time.

We show you how to install your cartridges in less than two minutes in our video below.  Or, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about Canon PG-260 / CL-261 ink .  Then we will walk you through the installation step by step with a series of screenshots further down the page and show you how you can save money printing with compatible ink from LD Products!  Our video features the Canon TS6420 but the steps are similar if you own any of the other compatible printers we list in this article.

Canon PG-260 / CL-261 Ink Cartridges at a Glance

The PG-260 / CL-261 cartridge series includes two cartridges, a black and tri-color. You can purchase the cartridges in two sizes, standard yield or high yield or XL size. The Canon PG-260 black ink cartridge uses pigment-based ink, which offers a quicker dry time and is smudge-resistant. The Canon CL-261 tri-color cartridge ink contains all three colors (cyan, magenta and yellow) and uses dye-based ink, which produces beautiful photo prints but takes longer to dry.

What printers are compatible with PG-260 / CL-261 ink?

Canon PG-260 / CL-261 ink cartridges work with these printers:

The XL ink cartridge versions also work on these PIXMA printer models.

How long does Canon PG-260 / CL-261 ink last? How many pages can a Canon PG-260 / CL-261 print?

  • The Canon PG-260 standard yield black cartridge prints approximately 180 pages.
  • The Canon CL-261 standard yield tri-color cartridge prints approximately 180 pages.
  • The Canon PG-260XL high yield black cartridge prints approximately 400 pages.
  • The Canon CL-261XL tri-color cartridge prints approximately 300 pages.

The quoted cartridge page yield is an estimate and is based on 5% page coverage, or prints in which 5% of the page is covered with ink. Meaning, if you were to only print on 5% of the page, you will receive the full-page yield. If you are printing half to full pages, full color pages or photos, you can expect the page count to decrease.  For best results, we recommend printing at least once every couple of weeks.  This keeps your cartridges primed so they last longer and also helps reduce printer cleanings, which can use up your ink pretty quickly if done frequently.

What is the difference between Canon PG-260 / CL-261 and PG-260XL / CL-261XL ink?

The main difference between the PG-260 / CL-261 standard yield and the PG-260XL / CL-261XL ink cartridges is the amount of ink that is inside.  They are the same size and install in your printer the exact same way, but the XL cartridges contain more ink.  You can print with two different cartridge sizes installed if you like (a PG-260XL high yield  black cartridge, for example, will work alongside a CL-261 standard yield color).  However, since the standard yield cartridges do not contain very much ink, we recommend going with the high yield cartridges if you print regularly.  Not only do you get more prints with the XL, but operating costs are actually lower too.  The standard yield cartridges are less expensive, but when you compare cost per page, the high yield cartridges are a better long term value.  Let’s take the PG-260 black standard yield and PG-260XL high yield cartridges as an example.  The PG-260 standard yield retails for $17.99* and prints up to 180 pages.  The PG-260XL version goes for $31.99 and prints up to 400 pages.  To calculate cost per page, just divide the price by the number of pages.

Canon PG-260 standard yield black cartridge cost per page:

$17.99 / 180 pages = .099 or 9.9 cents per page

Canon PG-260XL high yield black cartridge cost per page:

$22.99 / 400 pages = .079 or 7.9 cents per page

The PG-260 standard yield’s cost per page is 9.9 cents, while the high yield cartridge 7.9 cents – so it is cheaper to print with the high yield AND you get more ink!

Do I need both cartridges installed in my printer to print?

Yes, you need both cartridges installed to operate your printer and cartridges can be replaced individually as needed!

How to Install PG-260 Ink Cartridges

Here, we will be installing a PG-260 ink cartridge in the Canon PIXMA TS6420 printer.  If you are installing a CL-261 color ink cartridge, the steps are identical and can be applied to any of the other compatible printers listed earlier in this article.  It’s also worth mentioning that standard yield cartridges and high yield cartridges install in your printer the exact same way.  The only difference between the two cartridge sizes is the amount of ink that’s inside.  The actual cartridge shell that holds the ink is the same size for standard and high yield cartridges, so there is no difference in the installation process.









Open the new cartridge and remove the plastic wrap.









Over a trash can, pull off the orange tape on the side of the cartridge and throw it away. Removing the tape will expose the vent hole on the side of the cartridge so it can work in the printer.









While you are prepping the cartridge, try to avoid touching the gold contact points.  These contact points are very sensitive and if fingerprint oil or dust gets on them you may get an error message on your printer.  If you do accidentally touch them, you can wipe down the contact points with a lint-free cloth.









Open up the top of the printer and wait for the cartridges to center, then lift up on the gray latch and pull out the cartridge to remove it from the printer.  The latch with a “B” is where the black cartridge goes and the latch with a “C” houses the color cartridge.  The cartridges are not interchangeable, so be sure to put the correct cartridge in it’s corresponding slot.


















Insert the new cartridge into the slot and pull the latch back over the cartridge so it is secure.










Close up the top of the printer and wait a few moments for the printer to initialize.  Now you can start printing!

How to Save on Canon Ink Cartridges

Thanks for following along with us all the way until the end!  If you are looking to save money on Canon ink cartridges, check out compatible PG-260XL and CL-261XL ink cartridges by LD Products! Compatible ink delivers the same page yield and print quality as an original Canon cartridge but for a fraction of the price.  To help you save even more, you will want to check out compatible InkPods by LD Products. Compatible PG-260 and CL-261 inkpods are designed specifically for printers that use Canon PG-260XL / CL-261XL ink cartridges. With LD InkPods, you get 3X more ink at a super low price and, as with all our compatible products, they are backed by a lifetime guarantee. If you have any questions, leave us a comment below!


1 Comment

  • Looking to buy canon pixma 260 and 261 ink

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