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How to Replace a Toner Cartridge and Drum Unit in a Brother Laser Printer

How to Replace a Toner Cartridge and Drum Unit in a Brother Laser Printer

If you have never replaced the toner cartridge or drum unit in your Brother® printer before, you might find the process a little intimidating.  In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to install both for a handful of popular Brother laser printers.  Trust us, it’s easier than it looks!  Installation steps can vary slightly depending on the printer and the consumable you are replacing but the process is pretty straightforward once you have an understanding of how the toner and drum unit work.  Let’s start by reviewing the particulars of each consumable so you know exactly what you are putting in your printer…


A quick introduction to Brother toner cartridges and drum units!

The toner cartridge and drum unit work together to produce a print.  The toner cartridge is the container that holds the toner powder and the drum unit is an electrically charged cylinder that transfers that toner powder to paper to create text and images. Brother sells the toner cartridge and drum unit as two separate consumables.  The cartridge is designed to fit into the drum and both are installed together as one unit into your printer:

Toner can be offered in a standard yield, high yield and extra high yield cartridge size.   The high yield and extra high yield cartridges generally cost a bit more but print more pages for a better over all value.  Not all Brother printers offer an extra high yield option so be sure to consult your printer manual to verify what’s acceptable for your machine.  The drum unit is sold in just one size and is compatible with any of the previously mentioned cartridge sizes.  Both the toner and drum eventually need to be replaced, but the toner cartridge is always the first to go.

When do I replace a toner cartridge?

A toner cartridge requires replacement after it reaches the quoted page yield, or the approximate number of pages you can print with a specific cartridge (more about page yield here).  You can find the cartridge page yield on the side of the cartridge box or on the specifications page of the printer manufacturer’s website.  Your printer will let you know it is time to replace the toner with a “toner low” or “replace toner” message on the printer display.

When do I replace a drum unit?

The drum unit is designed to last longer and generally needs to be replaced after the use of 3-4 toners. Brother keeps track of the drum life by counting the number of rotations of the drum.  When a drum reaches the predetermined rotation limit to the related page yield, a “drum life end soon” message will appear on your printer’s display. If you are installing a new drum unit for the first time, you will need to reset the drum counter to restart the rotation count on your printer.

Now that you are familiar with the basics, let’s begin the installation process!  Here we will show you how to install the toner cartridge, the drum unit and reset the drum counter for a number of new Brother laser printers.  We’ve broken out the installation instructions by printer list and their compatible consumables.


Before installation, you’ll need to prep your new cartridge or drum unit for the printer.

How to prep your toner cartridge

  1. Unbox the new cartridge
  2. Remove the cartridge from the packaging
  3. Remove the orange protective clip from the bottom of the cartridge
  4. Over a trash can, pull the seal tape out of the side of the cartridge. The tape should come out in one long strip and can be discarded after removal.
  5. Now you are ready to install!

How to prep your drum unit

  1. Unbox the new drum unit
  2. Remove the drum unit from the packaging
  3. Remove the orange protective clip surrounding the drum unit
  4. You are all set for installation!

First up, we’ll go over installation instructions for TN-630 / TN-660 toner cartridges and the DR-630 drum unit.  These consumables work with all of the following printers:

Brother DCP‑L2520DW / DCP‑L2540DW / HL‑L2380DW / MFC‑L2680W / MFC‑L2685DW / MFC‑L2700DW / MFC‑L2705DW / MFC‑L2707DW / MFC‑L2720DW / MFC‑L2740DW

How to Replace TN-630 / TN-660 Toner Cartridges

  1. Turn on the printer and open the front cover.
  2. Remove the toner cartridge and drum unit from the printer.
  3. Release the toner cartridge from the drum assembly by pushing down on the green lock lever on the left side of the unit.
  4. Unbox the new toner and remove the orange protective cover.
  5. Slide the new toner into the drum assembly so it clicks into place.
  6. Install the complete unit back into the printer and close up the front cover.

Replacing a DR-630 Drum Unit

  1. Turn on the printer and open the front cover.
  2. Remove the toner cartridge and drum unit from the printer.
  3. Release the toner cartridge from the drum assembly by pushing down on the green lock lever on the left side of the unit.
  4. Unbox the new drum unit.
  5. Slide the toner into the new drum assembly so it clicks into place.
  6. Install the complete unit back into the printer and close up the front cover.

Reset the DR-630 Drum Counter

  1. Open the front cover
  2. Press and hold “Ok” for 2 seconds
  3. Press the up arrow or “1” to reset the counter

Next, we’ll review installation instructions for TN-730 / TN-760 toner cartridges and the DR-730 drum unit.  These consumables work with all of the following printers:

Brother HL‑L2350DW / HL‑L2370DW / HL‑L2370DWX

How to Replace TN-730 / TN-760 Toner Cartridges

  1. Turn on the printer and open the front cover.
  2. Remove the toner cartridge and drum unit from the printer.
  3. Release the toner cartridge from the drum assembly by pushing down on the green lock lever on the left side of the unit.
  4. Unbox the new toner and remove the orange protective cover.
  5. Slide the new toner into the drum assembly so it clicks into place.
  6. Install the complete unit back into the printer and close up the front cover.

Replacing a DR-730 Drum Unit

  1. Turn on the printer and open the front cover.
  2. Remove the toner cartridge and drum unit from the printer.
  3. Release the toner cartridge from the drum assembly by pushing down on the green lock lever on the left side of the unit.
  4. Unbox the new drum unit.
  5. Slide the toner into the new drum assembly so it clicks into place.
  6. Install the complete unit back into the printer and close up the front cover.

Reset the DR-730 Drum Counter

  1. Before resetting the drum, make sure the machine is turned on and the front cover is closed.
  2. On the printer’s display, press “OK” and the up arrow at the same time.
  3. Then, press “OKto select [Drum].
  4. Press the down arrow to reset the drum counter.

Next, we’ll review installation instructions for TN-820 / TN-850 / TN-880 toner cartridges and the DR-820 drum unit.  These consumables work with all of the following printers:

Brother HL‑L5000D / HL‑L5100DN / HL‑L5200DW / HL‑L5200DWT / HL‑L6200DW / HL‑L6200DWT

How to Replace TN-820 / TN-850 / TN-880 Toner Cartridges

  1. Turn on the printer and open the front cover.
  2. Remove the toner cartridge and drum unit from the printer.
  3. Release the toner cartridge from the drum assembly by pushing down on the green lock lever on the left side of the unit.
  4. Unbox the new toner and remove the orange protective cover.
  5. Slide the new toner into the drum assembly so it clicks into place.
  6. Install the complete unit back into the printer and close up the front cover.

Replacing a DR-820 Drum Unit

  1. Turn on the printer and open the front cover.
  2. Remove the toner cartridge and drum unit from the printer.
  3. Release the toner cartridge from the drum assembly by pushing down on the green lock lever on the left side of the unit.
  4. Unbox the new drum unit.
  5. Slide the toner into the new drum assembly so it clicks into place.
  6. Install the complete unit back into the printer and close up the front cover.

Resetting the DR-820 Drum Counter

Every time you replace the drum, you will need to reset the drum counter.

  1. Open the front cover of the machine.
  2. Press and hold “OK” to display the [Drum Unit] option and press “OK.”
  3. Press the up arrow and select [Reset] to reset the counter.

Finally, we’ll cover installation instructions for TN-433 toner cartridge series and the DR-431CL drum unit.  The drum unit for any color laser printer includes four slots for four toner cartridges (black, cyan, magenta and yellow), so you only need one drum unit for all four toners!  These consumables work with all of the following printers:

Brother HL‑L8260CDW / HL‑L8360CDW / HL‑L8360CDWT

How to Replace TN-433 Toner Cartridges

  1. Press the release button on the front cover to open the front of the printer.
  2. Hold the green handle of the drum unit and gently pull the unit out.
  3. To unlock the toner cartridge, hold the handle of the cartridge and push it away from you. Once it is unlocked, pull the toner up and out to remove it from the drum unit.
  4. Slide the green tab from left to right a few times to clean the corona wire.
  5. Unbox the new toner cartridge and remove the orange protective cover.
  6. Install the toner cartridge into the drum unit and pull it towards you until it clicks into place.
  7. Using the green handle, slide the drum unit back into the printer so it locks in place.
  8. Close up the front cover of the machine.

How to Replace a DR-431CL Drum Unit

  1. Press the release button on the front cover to open the front of the printer.
  2. Hold the green handle of the drum unit and gently pull the unit out.
  3. Turn the green lock lever (1) counterclockwise until it locks in the release position. Holding the green handles of the drum unit, lift the front of the drum unit and remove it from the machine.
  4. Once it is unlocked, pull the toner up and out to remove it from the drum unit.
  5. Slide the green tab from left to right a few times to clean the corona wire.
  6. Unbox the new drum unit and remove the orange protective cover.
  7. Install the toner cartridge into the drum unit and pull it towards you until it clicks into place.
  8. Using the green handle, slide the drum unit back into the printer so it locks in place.
  9. Close up the front cover.

Reset the DR-431CL Drum Counter

  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Press the up or down arrows  to select the following:
  3. Then, select [Machine Info.] and press OK.
  4. Select [Parts Life] and press OK.
  5. Select [Drum] and press OK.
  6. Then, press and hold “OK”for five seconds.
  7. Press the up arrowto select [Reset].

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