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How To Check Printer Ink Levels (The Right Way!)

By Simon Williams
·
September 20, 2021

When it comes to understanding how to check printer ink levels properly, there is actually more than what meets the eye. Keeping on top of your printer ink supply can feel similar to knowing just how far your car can travel on a full tank of gas. The problem is that we may not use our printers as often as we use our cars, and pieces of printer paper don’t exactly equate to kilometres either.

Even page yields as displayed on ink cartridges are not a precise measurement themselves, as the number of print jobs you can get out of a full set of printer cartridges can also depend on your personal printing habits as well. Are your print jobs generally colour or monochrome? Are you likely to print a fair amount of graphs and other imagery on a consistent basis? 

Thankfully, the world’s top printer manufacturers know how valuable checking your printer ink levels can be for prolific printer users who are looking to lower their printing costs. In this guide, we have included a variety of methods that you can use to check your printer ink levels with ease.

If you’re concerned about the impact that your printing habits may have on your printer ink consumption, or simply want a firmer idea of your printer ink levels on a regular basis, consider incorporating the following methods for checking your printer ink levels into your workplace printer maintenance routine.

1. How to check printer ink levels manually.

For those of you who have a modern wireless printer with a sophisticated colour LCD or touch display, chances are you’ll be able to check your printer ink levels right on the printer itself with just simple navigation. All you need to do is find the Printer ink levels as displayed in the printer’s onboard control panel menu.

If for some reason, you believe that the ink levels being displayed in the device’s control panel are not accurate as you’re getting low ink alerts, it may be a good idea to run a printer diagnostics test or conduct a printer cleaning. When this occurs, it’s likely your printer may be experiencing some clogging. Or, if you’re using traditional ink cartridges, that the ink itself has dried up.

Owners of HP Smart Tank printers will also be able to visually see the ink levels through the innovative ink tank window on these printer models. As ink from refill bottles can still cling to the walls of the windows, however, it’s always best to check your printer’s ink levels on the device’s control panel as well to make sure your readings of ink levels are consistently accurate.

One of the primary reasons why people choose ink tank printers instead of ink cartridges is due to the fact that there is minimal chance of ink drying out.

2. How to check printer ink levels via your computer.

It’s important to note here that not all printer models have LCD displays, and so the majority of diagnostics functions have to be conducted through the use of a connected device.

With the introduction of Printer Status Monitor software, however, it’s now easier than ever to check a printer’s ink levels right on your Mac or PC. Both Brother and Epson have developed their own printer Status Monitor software which can be enabled upon your printer’s start-up process. 

If you didn’t enable the Status Monitor upon your printer’s preliminary start-up, you can still find the Status Monitor functionality by looking your printer manufacturer up in the Start Menu on PCs, or under ‘System Preferences > Printers & Scanners’ on your Mac. 

3. How to check printer ink levels via an app!

Both HP and Canon have introduced printer companion apps to streamline the process of wireless printing and scanning across selected HP and Canon wireless printers. If you have any of the HP and Canon printer models that are compatible with these companion apps, you’ll be able to check your ink levels with minimal fuss.

How to check printer ink levels on the HP Smart App
 

Upon adding your printer model to the HP Smart App, you’ll actually be able to have your printer ink levels continuously displayed and updated on the app’s homepage. You can compare these printer ink levels with the levels displayed on your computer as well through the HP Solution Centre software, or through ‘System Preferences > Printers & Scanners > Options & Supplies > Supplies’ on your Mac.

How to check printer ink levels on the Canon PRINT App
 

Like the HP Smart App, Canon’s PRINT app also comes equipped with a continuously updating printer status function that includes your printer’s ink levels. You will also be able to use the Print app to conduct printer maintenance tasks, such as perform test prints, run printer diagnostics, and perform printer cleaning all remotely and at any given time of the day! 

Checking your printer ink levels leads to smarter printer use

When you develop a clear understanding of what printing activity holds the greatest impact on your printer ink levels, you can effectively assess whether the resources consumed by that printing activity warrants the activity itself. In this way, reflecting on your workplace’s printer use can ultimately ensure that your printer inks are consumed conscientiously and are thus likely to last a touch longer with every fresh cartridge.

Optimising your printer ink consumption may perhaps be one of the simplest and most cost-effective sustainable printing practices that you can introduce to your home or office space. This optimisation can be achieved by being mindful of your printer ink levels and how your printer uses impacts these measurements. 

Be sure to introduce checking your printer ink levels into your daily professional practices to ensure that you and your wider workplace will never be at risk of low ink levels, and to put a firm end to those low ink levels seemingly materialising at the most inconvenient times!

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Want more information on how best to conserve your printer ink or find a home or office printer that best suits your needs? Contact our friendly team of printing specialists at Cartridges Direct today!

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