A Toner Buzz Guide to HP+ (All You Need to Know)


Orange strips across the box.

Model number that ends with an “e”.

They’re telltale signs of an HP+ printer!

You might be confused about what HP+ really is and whether you need it. That’s understandable - HP offers a big range of services and they’re not easy to navigate.

To make things simpler, we made an unbiased guide on HP Plus, highlighting its advantages and drawbacks, and how to join or opt-out.

So, What Is HP+?

HP+ is not as straightforward as other HP services: because it’s actually a collection of printing services with a few additional perks.

In exchange, you commit to keep your printer online and deliver usage data to HP, and to use genuine cartridges for the lifetime of the printer. 

Sadly, while your commitment is forever, most of the perks you get are time-limited. You get to try out a few HP services for free - but not for long.

Read also:  HP LaserJet Multifunction Printers (MFP) & Their Toner Requirements

Is HP+ Optional?

Choose if you want HP+ is before buying a new printer: you’ll be offered both regular and HP+ printers at the store (sometimes with identical specifications!).

Ink users will be prompted to choose if they want to enroll in HP+ with their new printer - and can choose not to.

Laser printer users, be careful when shopping - HP+ is mandatory for HP+ laser printers (look at orange strips). Luckily, you can get standard (non-HP+) editions of most printer models.

What You Get With HP+

HP+ rolled out worldwide in 2021, and suddenly tech stores offered both regular and orange-strip-boxed HP+ versions of the same printer.

From the get-go, it’s clear you get some perks if you choose the Plus version:

  • Extended warranty of 2 years
  • Instant Ink 6-month subscription
  • Automatic troubleshooting, updates, and security systems
  • HP Smart Advance for 2 years -scan and fax with your phone camera
  • Participating in the Forest First initiative to help mitigate the consequences of paper usage.

HP+ is free to join if you own an HP+ printer.

The core benefits and features of HP+ are available to members at no extra cost beyond the initial printer purchase, but you’ll need to pay for Instant Ink and HP Smart Advance to continue using them later.

The only prerequisites are: you must get a HP+ printer (labeled with orange on the box) instead of any regular HP printer, and use only genuine HP cartridges for the lifetime of the printer.

All of this sounds great, but HP+ comes with a few drawbacks too:

  • Your printer must stay connected to the internet.
  • There’s no way to cancel once you enroll in HP+.

Let’s take a closer look.

➜ Extended Warranty

Instead of the regular 1 year, activating HP+ on a printer grants you a 2-year warranty on that device.

➜ Six Months of Instant Ink for Free

You can claim your free 6-month trial of Instant Ink when you sign up for HP+. Complete the setup and for the next half-year, you’ll receive new cartridges right when you need them.

Check our guide on  HP Instant Ink

➜ Are HP+ and Instant Ink Different?


Instant Ink is a paid subscription. Monitoring your ink levels, HP delivers new cartridges when you run low.

HP+ is free. It basically connects the HP ecosystem and cloud services.

You don’t receive any extra ink with HP+ alone. However, with HP+, you get to try out Instant Ink for 6 months and then decide if you want to pay to continue using the service.

Keep in mind: Getting free ink for 6 months sounds great - but it is a honeypot. If you decide to opt out of Instant Ink, cancel the subscription before your trial period runs out. 

Also - get a set of regular cartridges. Instant Ink ones are blocked when you cancel.

➜ HP+ Smart App Features

HP+ unlocks extra features in your mobile HP Smart app:

  • Scan and fax documents with your phone camera (multiple documents with one photo)
  • Improved shortcuts within the app

These are free for two years. After the trial period, the advanced features in the app require a paid subscription to HP Smart Advance.

➜ Forest First Printing

Paired with WWF, HP is working on reducing printing-caused deforestation.

The program pledges to mitigate the effects of the paper you use. You even get a little counter in your app.

➜ Required To Operate: Original HP Cartridges and Internet Connection

All of that sounds sweet - but you also give up some liberties for HP+. 

Here are major drawbacks:

  • The printer must stay online. Not good if you don’t have a stable internet connection. You won’t be able to print with a USB connection only. Some people also worry about HP monitoring their usage and collecting data.
  • There’s no way to cancel HP+ once you enroll - so be careful if you’re not sure you want to commit!

Requirements To Join HP+

  1. HP+ printer: recognize it by the orange stripe on the box and the printer model name ending with “e”
  2. Valid credit/debit card
  3. HP account
  4. Internet access to the printer

Can I Opt Out of HP+?

HP+ is mandatory on HP+ laser printers. Laser users - you’re stuck with the Plus unless you get another, standard edition printer.

If you have an InkJet, HP+ is optional. You can, but don’t have to activate the program — select whether you want to sign up when installing your printer. You must make an HP account though.

There’s no way to cancel HP+ once you sign up. At least not on that printer.

In Conclusion: Is HP+ Worth It?

HP+ is free to join, but is it worth joining?

You get a lot of cool features, but it also limits your liberties with your printer. For regular use, HP+ is convenient. But in some situations, it brings deal-breaking drawbacks.

So is HP Plus worth installing? 

It depends.

If you want to join HP Instant Ink or Smart Advance, HP+ is a nice way to manage it all. Offices can benefit from Plus’s cloud connectivity, remote control, and security systems.

If you’re a home user or don’t have a stable internet connection, the drawbacks probably overweigh the benefits. If the 2-year warranty doesn’t cut it, best go with a standard, non-HP+ version of any model - they’re available alongside the HP+ counterparts. Or simply go with another brand.

And don’t worry - Genuine ink and toner cartridges purchased from Toner Buzz work flawlessly in any HP printer - HP+ or not!

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