Updated on February 13, 2024
Will I be Required to Use Cartridges with the Cricut Explore? No! But you can easily link up the cartridges you already own.
Today, we will continue with another frequently asked question about the Cricut Explore family machines. Will I be required to use cartridges with the Cricut Explore?
I see it in Facebook groups and craft forums – “I won’t use the Cricut. I don’t want to spend all that money on cartridges.”
Let’s break down this myth and discuss what you need to design with the new Cricut Explore machines.
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Do I need Cartridges for Cricut Explore?
You can create a Cricut Design Space account for free, even before purchasing a machine, to try it out.
The new software also works with the newest Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, and Cricut Venture machines.
Cricut Design Space Software
When you start a new project, you can easily add any image from the Cricut Design Space library by selecting Images.
From there, you can search for over 500,000+ images, 700+ fonts, and 1,000+ customizable projects. Many free images are available to every user, even without a Cricut Access subscription.
Type what you are looking for into the search bar, and choose from categories or cartridges (now called Image Sets).
Confusion About Cricut Cartridges
People get confused because the older machines required cartridges to work. And you can still purchase them online and at your local craft stores.
The great thing is if you are a long-time Cricut user, and there is a particular cartridge you love, you can search by a cartridge and even purchase it digitally through the software.
However, many people used to complain about having to buy an entire cartridge for only one or two images. This is no longer an issue; you can purchase individual images from any cartridge or design library.
Many of the actual cartridges (image sets) are available with a Cricut Access subscription. Any cartridge with the little green and white A on the left side means you get it for free with your subscription.
Can I Still Use My Cricut Cartridges with the New Cricut Explore?
Some of you may be long-time Cricut users, like me. I have had a Cricut for years – even before I started blogging. I purchased a large collection of old cartridges for my Cricut Expression (a legacy machine).
How to Link Cartridges to Cricut Explore
It is easy to link physical cartridges to your new account. On the side is a little port to plug in a cartridge.
Connect the machine to your computer with a USB cable.
Note: At this time, cartridges can only be linked using a computer and not through the Android or iOS app.
Click on Settings > Machines > Link Cartridges under your profile. Click Start.
Select the device from the dropdown menu.
When prompted, insert the cartridge. Follow the on-screen instructions to link the cartridge.
Note: Be sure you are logged in before starting this process.
The software walks you through linking each cartridge, and once linked, you will have the linked cartridges available to use at any time within Cricut Design Space.
I hope this has cleared up some confusion about this frequently asked question!
CRICUT ACCESS SUBSCRIPTION
Purchase a Cricut Access Subscription to save! Get unlimited access to the growing library of over 500,000 cut and print images. You also get unlimited access to over 700 fonts. Receive a discount on licensed content like Disney®, Marvel®, Star Wars™, Harry Potter™ & more. Get free shipping on any order over $50. Plus, save 10% on cricut.com and subscriber-only exclusives.
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