How to Link Cartridges with the Cricut Maker

Does the Cricut Maker use cartridges? The answer is ‘no’, but there are still ways to link your cartridges. Keep reading, because in this article we’ll show you how to link Cartridges with the Cricut Maker.

Does the Cricut Maker Use Cartridges?

The Cricut Maker does not use physical cartridges directly, as it does not have a slot to accept them. When you’re looking at older machines, like Explore Air 2 and prior, linking cartridges to those machines was straightforward because they had a slot for cartridges. So how do you link cartridges with the Maker?

If you’re not using an older machine like the Explore to upload your cartridges, you’ll need to purchase the Cricut Cartridge Adapter.

**Cricut has discontinued the Cartridge Adapter. Contact Cricut customer service for help linking cartridges to your Design Space Account**

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Using the Cricut Cartridge Adapter to Link Cartridges

Cricut Cartridge Adapter

UPDATE: Cricut has had some major stocking issues for the Cartridge Adapter, they plan to get them back in stock but do not have a time frame. Cricut recommends users contact them directly and they can “look into adding the cartridges to their accounts” You can contact Cricut Here.

The Cricut Cartridge Adapter allows you to upload cartridges to design space without using a machine. This means if you have a Cricut Maker, you can still upload your cartridges to Design Space.

Here’s how to upload cartridges using the cartridge adapter:

  1. Make sure your cartridge adapter is plugged into a USB port on your computer, but without the cartridge plugged in. If you are using an Android or iOS app, uploading cartridges won’t work as you need to be on a desktop or laptop.
  2. Login to your Design Space account and select ‘Link Cartridges’ from the menu.
    Cricut Design Space - Link Cartridges
  3. Select ‘Adapter’ from the drop-down menu.
    Cricut Design Space - Select Adapter
  4. When Design Space alerts you, plug the cartridge into the adapter.
    Cricut Design Space - Insert Cartridge
  5. Design Space will then detect the cartridge. When this happens, select ‘Link Cartridge’.
    Cricut Design Space - Link Cartridge
  6. Press ‘Link Cartridge’ and you’re done! If you wish, you can continue to link additional cartridges.

Help Linking Cartridges

Sometimes you may have trouble linking cartridges or receive errors. Here are the common problems with linking cartridges.

‘Cartridge already linked’ error

  • Cartridges can only be linked once to one account. If you purchased a pre-owned cartridge, it’s possible it has already been linked.
  • If the cartridge was linked to Cricut Craft Room, it will automatically be available in Design Space if you are logging in under the same ID.
  • Is your cartridge linked the Gypsy? If so, you’ll need to contact Cricut Support.

‘Cartridge not recognized’ error

  • Try clearing your browser history, cache, and cookies.
  • Be sure your machine has completed the new machine setup.
  • Be sure you are on a desktop or laptop. Linking cartridges does not work with the Android or iOS apps.
  • Be sure your machine has the latest firmware. You can do this by going to the Design Space menu and selecting ‘Update Firmware’
  • If you still have trouble, contact Cricut Support. Some cartridges such as the George and Basic Shapes cartridges have trouble linking.
  • Is the cartridge linked to your Gypsy? If so, contact Cricut Support
  • Is the cartridge purchased used? If so, it may be linked to another account. Linking to multiple accounts is not allowed.

‘Machine already in use’ error

  • Be sure your machine has completed the new machine setup.
  • Try Design Space in a different browser
  • Try to use a different USB port or USB cable
  • Disconnect the machine from your computer, and turn it off. Restart your computer and plug in your machine again.

34 thoughts on “How to Link Cartridges with the Cricut Maker”

  1. Once you have linked the cartridge to design space, will you need the cartridge the next time that you want to use it?

  2. What if the cartridge I have has been linked already by someone else…. can I still use it with the adapter on my cricut maker?

  3. Question: using the Cricut adapter onto my design space, and I still use the cartridges on my older machine. ..
    thanks for your help. I have the adapter, and ready to link them, but I still need them to work on my Cricut original.

      • I ordered mine on ebay from Global Trade emporium (uk). It cost way more than the original, but worth it because I own soooooo many cartridges.

    • Someone is selling them on amazon… its $50 but worth it if you have a bunch of cartridges or if you have a friend to split the cost with

  4. Very frustrating. I just contacted Cricut this morning & they said they have NO estimate on when the cartridge adapters will be back. That’s very annoying considering they’re on sale for $17.50 now (but out of stock), and upwards of $100 by sellers on eBay… ridiculous. I don’t quite understand why the fanciest machine doesn’t have a way to transfer them right now.

  5. I reached out to them and asked what to do and they told me to get one of these and I cant find it anywhere!!!

  6. What a scam. The adapter can’t be found and didn’t create a slot on maker. I will be returning my maker until the bugs are ironed out.

  7. I’m having trouble with the adapter. It says no device found. Anyone having trouble? I used it before and I didn’t have any problem. I used 2 computers different browsers different ports same issue. Frustrating. 🙁

  8. I just ordered the Cricut Maker today. None of my cartridges are linked since my old machine wasn’t capable of doing that. Now that I have ordered a machine that can’t read my cartridges how am I supposed to link them into Design Space?

    • I agree. It is a scam. I already purchased a cartridge years ago in anticipation of buying a Cricut, but I ended up buying a Maker. Now they expect you to purchase an add on to the price of your cartridge. I think that is outrageous! I’m disgusted with Cricut’s constant money making schemes. These machines are supposed to ultimately help crafters to save money by not having to keep purchasing dies. Now I find you have to buy even the most basic of shapes. I also have a ScanNCut. Brother I feel are a better company and their software is superior to Cricut.

  9. Can’t find an adapter anywhere either… been looking for months. You would think that circuit would have a good supply of them considering more and more people are getting the maker. I still have an older machine that I can use my cartridges on but what was the point of purchasing the bigger, better machine when you can’t even link your cartridges without that adapter!

  10. I am also looking for an adapter and they are now selling for almost 200 dollars! This is ridiculous!! I would really like for them either to make them again or create a way to link via code on your cricut design space. Solease please do this to help out!!

    • I am in the same boat as you. I have cartridges and bought a maker. Can’t find a cartridge adapter anywhere except eBay which is charging close to $200. Don’t really want to have the Expression still taking up
      Space but otherwise it seems I have lost the cartridges. Have you had any luck finding a source for the adapter?

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