Posted by: Just Systems Malvern | October 13, 2011

Epson Stylus Printers – all lights flashing – 1160, 760, 860 etc

Suddenly find your old Epson Stylus Color printer refuses to do anything and all the LEDs on the front panel are flashing at you?

This usually means the printer has gone into Service Request mode and Epson would like you to call for a technician to come and service the waste ink pads.

If you don’t want to go to this expense and want to take a gamble on pushing your printer a little further then you can use the following work-around to re-set the printer:

  1. Turn off the printer at the mains and disconnect the USB or Parallel data cable.
  2. Hold down both the ink and the paper buttons.
  3. Re-connect power and turn the printer back on (hopefully you have enough fingers/hands) while still holding down the buttons.
  4. As soon as the paper light flashes, release both the buttons then hold down the ink button for about 10 seconds and release.
  5. The printer should now be ok again.

(You may need a few attempts to get it to work)


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for this post – It seems to have saved my printer! You say ‘gamble on pushing your printer a little further’ – I wonder what you mean by this, what will happen if I keep running the printer like this? Is there anything I can do to manually fix/change the waste ink pads?

    Many thanks,

    • Thanks for this – It seems to have worked!

  2. I could not say for sure, but I imagine it could lead to waste ink leaking into other parts of the printer which in turn could lead to smearing on the paper or clogging of the mechanism.

  3. Hi,
    Ive got a Epson Stylus TX110 would this apply to this model as well


    • Why not give it a try and see?
      If it doesn’t work then I have seen alternative instructions like this:

      To Reset…unplug…wait 20 seconds. plug back in, hold down stop and scan buttons. Then turn on printer while still holding down both buttons. let go once you see power light.

      • Thank You Thank You Thank You

      • Hi, did you know how can i reset an epson cx3650? I tried everything without sucess.. Thank you very much

  4. youre a genius

  5. I am using the Epson DX5000. The black ink finished and getting it is almost impossible in this place to replace it. Pls how do i stop the flash light. My main reason for writing is that I don’t know what the paper button is.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So simple, it’s almost stupid…. and it worked.

  7. thank you for your tricks, i solve the error of my printer.. God bless you.

  8. fantastic ive tried everything plus some more without success, your tip has sorted the problem out… keep up the goo work Stan

  9. i almost buy a brand new until you save my day! Thanks a lot!

  10. Hi,

    I’ve got a sx235w, will this works for this model as well?


  11. my epson stylus cx2800 not working that way?!!

  12. help please my sx235w has flashing lights have tried advice as above but no go. message says ink low but cannot move cartridges and shouldnt be as have recently replaced, every thing seems to be jammed,

    • It sounds like you may have installed one of the cartridges incorrectly, hence why it has jammed.

  13. Hi,
    Ive got a Epson Stylus TX121 would this apply to this model as well

    • Hi. It may be the same as the TX110 mentioned earlier by Dee – so try the suggestions in that comment and let us know.

  14. Like a charm. Mine is an 888 I’m trying to keep alive. Thanks.

  15. Hi,

    I have an Epson Stylus CX360 and all the lights are flashing. I have spent the morning trying to find a solution online, but nothing works…. Help! Mel

  16. I have epson me-101 printer. How can i reset it’s waste ink counter without having to use WIC utility.

  17. Thanks so much – I would never haver guessed the combination of button pressing – For now Epson 1160 is fixed

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I almost threw my Epson 1160 in the bin when my son showed me your push button trick. How did you find this out???
    Worked first try!!

  19. I am reasonably certain that my 1160 is around 12 years old. Thanks to you it may live even longer. I am so grateful. Your magic worked first time

  20. Thanks a million !! You have just saved my old Epson Stylus Color 460 from extinction, a brilliant printer bought from ebay. Cheap, cheap cartridges from [online stationery store]

  21. Just saved my life mid dissertation. Thank you so much for this post!

  22. No changes on CX3700, still all lights blinking
    Any ideas?

  23. hi my me101 flashes all lights pls help me to make it work.

  24. Thank U Very Much… But Still i Cant Getting A print .

  25. : i have a CISS EPSON ME-101 at home.

    just now, i decided to recharge the ink cartridge. like the usual ink do.
    I’ve done this before without any problem.
    But now, i forgot to press the reset button from the CISS then after a message pop saying like Ink Replacement Error,

    When i attempt to try it again.. I noticed that all button lights are blinking at the same time..
    The cartridge cant move in ink replacement position.. and obviously it cannot print any document.


  26. does it works in epson stylus t10?

  27. Thank u 4 your tip got my 760 going again soaked up waste ink with kitchen roll paper so hope to keep going 4 a few more years

  28. it doesn’t work for the Epson stylus sx235w :/ xx

  29. Help I have an Epson stylus dx4050 and all 4 buttons are flashing – help. have tried 3 times holding all 4 and then releasing and holding ink button for min 10 secs – no change????

  30. I have an Epson Stylus color 760. Printer won’t work and all lights are blinking. I followed the advice above, but it didn’t help. I suspect the ink pads need changing, as noted in several of the replies, but I can’t figure out how to get access to them. I don’t see any screws or tabs on what appears to be the ink pad tray on the bottom of the printer. If anyone can help I would be extremely grateful!

  31. Epson Stylus CX3700 All-in-one doesn’t work, all LEDs still blinking. The Cartridge ink is dried up many years, just wanna use the scanner feature alone.

    Model: Epson Stylus CX3700 (Not working)

    • Epson Stylus CX3700, the printer 4x cartridges stuck on the right side during start-up, I tried to move it manually, but seems not allowed. Due to error in the cartridge, the scanner couldn’t work. I tried the solution proposed but LEDs still blinking.

  32. please send me the link for
    Adjustment Program for Epson Stylus Photo PX 660

  33. How do i fix the flashing light of end of service life Epson Stylus Photo PX 660

  34. hi i have an epson sx235w that has all lights flashing it still printed fine this way …that is until my T1283 cartridge run out and needed to be replaced without being able to use the red stop /replace ink/paper jam button i cant do this any suggestions i have searched for 2 days for a solution and got nothing and trust my warrenty to have run out 4mths ago eh!

  35. My Epson Stylus CX3810 stopped working and all the lights started flashing. I began the procedure to reset the Waste Ink Counter which involved stopping the Epson Status Monitor in the Task Manager. Once I did that, just to try to avoid having to download a program or to buy a reset key (and, what the hell, why not[?]), I turned off the computer and downloaded a fresh driver. Then I turned the computer back on – – – and it worked!

    (I had tried the multiple key holding fix mentioned above without success.)

  36. My Epson Stylus Colour 640 has been running flawlessly for 16 years and 5 months, yes that is the time I have owned it from new.
    Today when it was switched on, all the lights started flashing and after a few attempts at turning power off and on again, I thought it was doomed for the printer scrap heap in the sky.

    Then I Googled the problem, found your solution and it has reset the problem and is printing happily.

    Many thanks for your help, you have made a very old printer happy !!!

    BTW, I have always used genuine Epson cartridges as I tried compatibles once but they kept needing to be cleaned.

  37. My Epson DX5050 has stopped working. All lights are on. It says it is time for a service. Have tried pushing buttons as you have stated but it doesn’t seem to work. Any ideas. Thanks

  38. Epson stylus sx600fw message saying incompatible ink cartridges got them in tesco half the price of epson ones. lcd flashing decided to google. got this page. Turned off, waited turned on pushed ‘on’ and ‘stop/clear’ together and everything seems to be working fine now. got scolding message on lcd regarding not genuine ink but seems to work ok.

    Thank you!!!

  39. I have an Epson Stylus Color 3000 that is doing this…What is the “Ink” button?

  40. Hi, I have a Epson XP-215 with lights flashing, how do I fix this?

  41. Hi there I have an Epson Stylus DX4200 all lights flashing and E showing in the copy screen. Can you help get it going, thank you.
    Jean B.

  42. Hi, I have an Epson Stylus Color 880- Tried what you suggested and it worked
    Thanks !!!!

  43. I am struggling to know which buttons to hold down on my sx235w. I font have a paper and ink button just the one red button which has a triangle in a circle
    Could you help me.

  44. hi i have an epson stylus sx425w printer when i switch it on all im seing is 3 green lights flashing with no lcd showing nothing can you help me thank you,

  45. Remarkable. You have resurrected my old Epson Stylus 1400. I use it primarily for printing DVD’s, which is not very often, but the Epson software is solid and easy to use. When I got the all lights flashing syndrome, I knew it was time for the recycle pile. The Epson support site was no help, but then I ran across your suggestions, and sure enough, after a couple of tries, it worked! Now it is working perfectly again, and you have saved me $$$$!
    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

  46. HI All
    I have epson stylus office bx3005fw… flashing lights (power button, wifi and Auto) theres a message that says pad is at the end of service life.
    please hel

  47. I tried everything and no luck. so I started printer till the inks were off of the start position. Then I folded paper towel and blotted the cleaning area a few times. then held in buttons plugged printer in and turned it on holding down the fault lights and let it go through it’s set up and now it’s working again. Hope you have luck doing this as I have. Have a great day

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