How to Replace a Typewriter Ribbon

by Contributor; Updated September 26, 2017

How to Replace a Typewriter Ribbon. Electric typewriters often have cartridge ribbons, whereas manuals have old-fashioned spool ribbons.

Step 1

Lift the top off the typewriter.

Step 2

Remove the old ribbon. On a manual, lift the spools out directly. For a cartridge, press the release lever.

Step 3

Set aside.

Step 4

Place the new cartridge in the holder and snap down.

Step 5

For a spool model, place the two spools in the holders.

Step 6

Thread the ribbon through the wire holding it in front of the roller.

Step 7

Close the top.


  • You may be able to reuse an old spool ribbon by flipping it over.


  • Don't put the red ink side of the ribbon up unless you want to type in red ink.

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