Keurig K300 DRM Removal (Brew Any Coffee)

11 minute read

Recently I made the mistake of purchasing a Keurig 2.0 coffee brewer. And I say mistake because the price tag coupled with the unknown DRM until I got it was a huge disappointment. After we purchased the machine we bought a self-use coffee filter that fits the machine. However, the filter did not state that it does not work with the 2.0 versions. That is because the 2.0 machines have a camera sensor built into the door mechanism that looks for a specific label on the K-Cups inserted into the brewer.

After being greeted with this lovely screen the second time we tried to brew my personal coffee, I took to the internet to read up on the DRM:

Method #1 - Fake K-Cup Lid Tricks

The first method I came across while looking on the internet was faking the censor by using the lid from a used K-Cup. You simply cut the top ring that has the special K-Cup label on it and either tape it to the top lid of your personal brewing filter, or you can tape it to the inside of the machine where the censor is reading the labels. We opt’d to tape it to the machine.

For about two weeks this worked well then for some reason it stopped working. The censor refused to work with the label tapped in place. I tried a new lid, as well as repositioning the label under the censor but it did not work anymore. At this point I was ready for the permanent method of taking the machine apart.

For those of you that are not willing to take the machine apart for the next method here is a small run down of what you need to do to try the lid trick.

On the inside of the machine where you place your K-Cups you can find two holes on the left side:

These holes may differ based on your model. The hole that is marked as #2 in this picture is where the camera censor is for the Keurig K300 model like mine. In some videos I did see other models showing the camera in the front area marked #1, so just take a look before you tape unknowingly.

What you need to do is cut a part of the lid of a K-Cup off that has the special marking like this:

The area marked in red is the important part for the censor to read. What you need is a half-circle cut-out of the lid. This way you cover the entire hole over with the lid making sure the censor sees the printing. Be sure that you tape the part of the lid that has the writing and cup icon over the camera or it will not work properly. About this much will do:

You can trim the excess as you go so that it lays flush against the machine without hanging over the edges and such. Then just use a piece of normal scotch tape to hold the lid piece in place and you should be set. Again this worked for me for about 1-2 weeks then stopped working. The lid got wet and had coffee stains on it so I assume that is the reason but with a new lid it still had issues for some reason.

The other method you can do is by taping the cutout of the lid onto your personal brewing filter. Your custom filter should look like this after you do the cut out: (Forgive my horrible photoshop skills.)

Again you can use tape with this method, or some suggest using some very small amounts of hot glue. It is up to you.

Method #2 - Magnets

I am not going to cover this at all, I am just letting you know the option is there. Some people have found ways to place magnets in specific spots to trick the machine into working as normal. I do not recommend this method at all though. I do not recommend ever placing magnets near any electrical appliances, ever. While this may work for some and those people are willing to risk damaging the with high-powered earth magnets, I do not encourage this method.

If you must go this route you can find videos on YouTube covering where to place the magnets for your make / model of the machine.

Method #3 - Taking The Machine Apart / Cutting or Removing Specific Wire

This is the method I opt’d for this morning after the machine decided to stop reading the lids for us. This does have some draw backs though:

  • Doing this will void your warranty.
  • Doing this has potential to break the machine or parts of it.
  • Doing this has potential to scratch, damage, or destroy parts of the case.

I do not recommend doing this if you do not understand these risks involved. You are doing things at your own risk!

To start the K300 is different then other models when it comes to taking it apart and getting to the needed cable. In most tutorials you will see online, things pop-off easily and the wire needed is easily accessible from the inside of the machine. For the K300 this is not the case. The K300 seems to have taking into consideration that people were removing the DRM and instead they placed the cable on the opposite side of the board. Along with that, several spots of the casing are NOT AT ALL easy to get off. We landed up destroying part of the top rim (it still snaps in place somewhat, and looks fine, but at closer view you can see it is damaged now.)

I forgot to take pictures while I was doing all this so I will have to use images from Google to show you how I took my K300 apart.

  • You need to remove a total of 8 screws to get inside of the K300. 6 of which are on the bottom. (Some of the screws may be optional but mine would not budge until I took all of them out. On the bottom of the machine I started by taking all the screws out. There were a total of 6 of them on the bottom of the machine. Once these screws are removed, you then need to remove the 1 screw on the left side of the machine toward the back near where the water reservoir is.

  • Next, you need to slide the front panel down and off the machine. This panel gave me some trouble and one of the inside teeth did land up breaking. But there are a total of about 8-10 teeth that hold it in place so losing 1 was not a big deal. Once this is off, you should see the inner components of the machine. If you recently used it be cautious as the metal will be hot!

  • Next, you need to get the top silver ring off. This is the biggest trouble we had taking our K300 apart. This is not easily snapped into place like the other models shown online. Instead the K300 uses teeth to keep the ring locked in place. We landed up breaking most of the teeth to get it off. I do not have any recommended way of getting it off that worked for us. We tried all kinds of ways to not damage it but just said screw it in the long run.

Marked in red is the ring you need to take off. Marked in green is where the teeth holding it in place are located. (Just above the green marks where the black spots are.)

  • Next, you need to snap off the top-right black casing. Before you begin taking this piece of there is another screw that you must remove now. On the left side towards the front-top of the machine there is 1 single screw.

After this screw is out you can pop off the black casing. This wraps around the hole machine and can be tricky to get off the left side. Note, on the K300 it is only the top piece that snaps off this way! Don’t try to rip the entire casing off the machine. It is two separate pieces.

Highlighted in green in the above picture is the piece you are snapping off. It clips into place so just pop it up with a little bit of force to get it off. The hard part of it is the silver piece of it on the left side that wraps around the K-Cup holding area. Be gentle while removing that side as it is a tight fit!

Now this is where the K300 is very different then the other machines. At this point on other models you would be done and can access the needed wires. This is not the case on the K300. If you peer into the machine, you will see the circuit board. On other machines it looks like this:

In K300 machines the wire clip we need is actually on the reverse side of that same board. In order to get to it you need to lift up the entire rest of the black case around the coffee machine. It took a little bit of force for mine to give and come off, but it lifts straight up. Once you get the rest of the case off, you should now see on the left side of the board 1 set of wires clipped into the top-left area of the board.

Just above the clip it should say: J27 Color Sensor If it does not say that you are not looking at the right clip!

It should look like this on the K300:

At this point you have two options:

  • Cut the green wire.
  • Use a wire tool to push the green pin out of the white wire casing so that it is not plugged in.

Either or should work fine. If you do plan to cut the green wire, I do recommend you cut far from the clip and far from the camera, about half and half in case you ever need to reconnect it. You will leave yourself room to strip and reconnect the wire then!

Once the wire is cut or removed your Keurig K300 should now be DRM free! :)

To reassemble the Keurig now, just do the same steps in reverse:

  • Place the full black casing back around the Keurig, making sure the wire aligns with the wire hole and the bottom clips are all in place.
  • Replace the top-right black casing part. Be mindful that it sits properly with the walling on the left side of the machine!
  • Replace the screw you took out from the front-left of the machine.
  • Replace the top silver ring by snapping it back into place.
  • Replace the 7 other screws into their proper places on the bottom of the machine and the single screw in the back top-left.

Your Keurig should work just as before and now be DRM free.

Please note: I DO NOT take credit for figuring this out. I found this method (and the others) all via Google. I am simply showing how to do the DRM removal on a K300 which does not seem to have 1 set guide on how to take it apart and such. Full credit goes to whoever found this DRM removal first. I’m not sure who did and who didn’t etc since everyone on YouTube posting videos about this claims they were the first so its hard to say.

I do want to give credit to:

  • Kate Grey : I used some screenshots of her video of her modding her Keurig. (Unsure what version she has, but looks like a K300 already taken apart.)
  • Kenneth Adkins : I used some screenshots of his video showing him removing the DRM of his Keurig. (Non-K300)

Remember you are modding at your own risk! I am not responsible for what happens!

A quote from kategray who replied to this original topic:

It’s nice to see word is getting out. Keurig kind of pissed me off with that one.

Yes, that’s a disassembled K300.