Fixing Brother Printer "Replace Drum" Error Message

Dealing with the "Replace Drum" message on your Brother printer can disrupt your workflow and create unnecessary stress. The good news? Many of these issues have quick and easy fixes you can do yourself. In this blog post from True Image, we will share expert tips and effective solutions to resolve the annoying message, whether it is a genuine need for a new drum or a stubborn error that won't clear. With our guide, you will save time, avoid costly service calls, and keep your Brother printer running smoothly.

What is the Drum Unit on a Brother Printer?

The drum unit in a Brother printer is a crucial component for its printing operations. Here are some important points to understand about it:

  • Definition: The drum unit is an internal device that houses the photosensitive drum, a central element in the laser printing process.
  • Function: When a print command is issued, the photosensitive drum within the drum unit is electrically charged and exposed to a laser beam. This exposure creates an electrostatic latent image on the drum's surface. Toner particles from the magnetic roller are then attracted to this latent image, forming a visible image that is later transferred onto the paper.
  • Components: In addition to the photosensitive drum, the printer drum unit may also encompass several other parts, including the magnetic roller, which transfers toner to the drum; the doctor blade, which ensures a uniform layer of toner; the toner hopper, where toner is stored; the waste toner hopper, which collects excess toner; and the cleaning blade, which cleans the drum for the next print cycle.

Together, these elements ensure that the drum functions effectively, playing a main role in producing high-quality printouts by managing the precise application of toner to the paper.

Why Need Drum Replacement For Brother Printer?

Reason: Drum Usage Limit

The "Replace Drum" message on a Brother printer indicates that the drum unit needs to be replaced due to its usage limit being reached. Brother printers have a built-in mechanism with a counting chip that tracks the number of pages printed. When the drum reaches its pre-set print limit, typically based on its recommended page yield, the printer displays the "Replace Drum" message and stops functioning, regardless of the remaining toner. It occurs because the photosensitive drum inside the unit wears out over time, affecting print quality. Thus, the printer's system ensures the drum is replaced to maintain optimal performance and print quality.


If you do not take remedial action when the "Replace Drum" message appears, several issues can arise.

  • Printer Functionality: Your Brother printer may stop functioning entirely, preventing any further printing until the drum is replaced.
  • Print Quality Degradation: Even if the printer continues to work temporarily, print quality will degrade with an old drum. You may see streaks, smudges, or faded areas on documents.
  • Ineffective Toner Transfer: The worn photosensitive drum cannot transfer toner effectively, leading to poor-quality prints.
  • Potential Printer Damage: Continued use of a depleted drum unit can cause more severe damage to the printer, potentially resulting in higher repair costs.
  • Increased Maintenance Costs: Ignoring the need to replace the drum unit can lead to more significant issues and expensive repairs in the long run.

How To Change Drum In Brother Printer?

We can know from the above results that timely replacing the drum unit of a Brother printer is necessary to prevent further damage to the printer and avoid higher maintenance costs. Then, we will provide a comprehensive guide to replacing your Brother printer drum and resetting the drum counter to get back up.

Tips For Preparation:

  • Ensure you have the correct replacement drum unit for your Brother printer model.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from any potential ink or toner spills.
  • Place a clean cloth or towel near the printer to catch any spills or debris.

Step 1: Power Down Your Brother Printer

  • Turn Off the Printer: Ensure your Brother printer is turned off and unplugged to avoid any electrical mishaps.
  • Open the Printer Cover: Locate and open the front cover of your printer. It is usually done by lifting a latch or pressing a button, depending on your printer model.

Step 2: Remove the Old Drum Unit

  • Take Out the Drum Unit: Carefully pull out the drum unit and Brother toner cartridge assembly. Hold the assembly by the handle to avoid touching sensitive parts.
  • Separate Toner from Drum: Locate the green lock lever on the side of the drum unit. Press and hold this lever. While holding the lever, lift the toner cartridge out of the drum unit. Place the Brother toner cartridge on a clean, flat surface with a piece of paper underneath to avoid any toner spills.

Step 3: Install the New Drum Unit

  • Unpack New Drum: Remove the new drum unit from its packaging. Handle the drum carefully and avoid touching the green drum surface.
  • Attach Toner to New Drum: Align the toner cartridge with the new drum unit. Slide it into the drum unit until it clicks into place. The green lock lever should automatically lift when the cartridge is correctly inserted.
  • Ensure Proper Fit: Double-check that the toner cartridge is firmly seated in the drum unit and that there are no loose parts.

Step 4: Install the Assembly Back into the Printer

  • Insert Assembly: Hold the handle of the drum and toner assembly and slide it back into the printer along the guiding tracks.
  • Close the Printer Cover: Ensure the drum unit and toner cartridge are securely in place. Close the front cover of the printer until it clicks shut.

Step 5: Reset the Drum Counter

Resetting the drum counter is crucial for the printer to monitor the new drum unit's life accurately.

For Models with Touch LCD Screen: Brother MFC-L3750CDW

  • Ensure the printer is powered on and the cover is securely closed.
  • Concurrently press the Toner button and hold on for 5-6 seconds on the control panel.
  • Once the Reset Menu appears, select the "Drum" function.
  • From the drum options, choose the toner color that corresponds to the newly replaced drum unit and press Yes to confirm. (We reset the yellow drum to show the operation.) You can do this again for other colors.

For Models without Touch LCD Screen: Brother HL-L2340DW

  • Turn on your Brother printer and close the front cover.
  • Hold on to the OK button for 2 seconds to display "Drum Unit."
  • Press the OK button again to show "Reset."
  • Press the UP Key to reset the drum counter.

Final Check

  • Test Print: Perform a test print after drum replacement to ensure that the operation was successful and that the printer is functioning correctly.
  • Monitor Drum Life: Check the printer settings or status page to confirm that the drum counter has been reset to zero. It ensures the printer accurately tracks the usage of the new drum unit.

Popular Drum Units for Brother Printers:

    Drum Unit

    Printer Models

    Brother DR243CL

    Brother HL-L3210CW/HL-L3230CDW/HL-L3270CDW

    Brother DCP-L3510CDW/DCP-L3517CDW/DCP-L3550CDW

    Brother MFC-L3710CW/MFC-L3730CDN/MFC-L3750CDW/MFC-L3770CDW

    Brother DR248CL

    Brother DCP-L3520CDW/DCP-L3560CDW

    Brother HL-L3220CW/HL-L3240CDW/HL-L8230CDW/HL-L8240CDW

    Brother MFC-L3740CDW/MFC-L3760CDW/MFC-L8340CDW/MFC-L8390CDW

    Brother DR2300

    Brother HL-L2320D/HL-L2340DW/HL-L2360DW/HL-L2365DW/HL-L2380DW

    Brother DCP-L2520DW/DCP-L2540DN/DCP-L2560CDW/DCP-L2700DW

    Brother MFC-L2700DW/MFC-L2720DW/MFC-L2740CW/MFC-L2740DW

    Brother DR2400

    Brother HL-L2350DW/HL-L2370DN/HL-L2375DW

    Brother DCP-L2510D/DCP-L2530DW/DCP-L2550DN

    Brother MFC-L2710DW/MFC-L2730DW/MFC-L2750DW

    Brother DR3400

    Brother DCP-L5500DN/DCP-L5600DN/DCP-L5650DN/DCP-L6600DW

    Brother HL-L5200DW/HL-L6200DW/HL-L6250DW/HL-L6300DW/HL-L6400DW

    Brother MFC-L5750DW/MFC-L5800DW/MFC-L6750DW/MFC-L6800DW

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