How to check the ink level in a printer cartridge

Updated: May 23, 2023
6 min read
How to check the ink level in a printer cartridge
by Bridget Stivenson
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

An active user of a printing device may have a reasonable question: how do I know how much ink is left in the printer? This up-to-date information will help prevent unpleasant moments when you simply can’t print the necessary document. You can already suspect "something wrong" when the print quality is deteriorating. But it is better to be able to monitor the ink level in the device beforehand.

Before we start

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How to determine the amount of paint

There are several methods that help you understand the amount of ink in your printer:

  • with the help of special software;
  • print out a particular page;
  • information on the display of the device;
  • visual comparison.

Using the software

You can use several popular options for this purpose.

  1. In the first case, go to "Control Panel" and through "All Programs," find "Devices and Printers." The drop-down window will show all devices connected to the computer (laptop). You need to select the relevant to the user and, through the tab "Service" (and for some brands – "Print Setup") view the status of the printer and the approximate level of ink.
  2. An icon with the printer can also be installed on the desktop – it is usually located near the time button. Through the sequence "Settings" – "Functions" – "Ink Level Information," you can reach the desired result.
  3. When working in the local network, you can check both from the used PC and the main one. For this purpose, it is enough to start the corresponding application, in which to find the tab of the paint level evaluation.

Printing a test page

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There are several ways to print out such a page (also called a diagnostic page):

  • By running the corresponding command from "Settings".
  • By pressing the keys on the printer panel itself.

In the first case, you must choose these step-by-step commands.

  1. Through "All Programs," go to "Devices and Printers," select the desired user, then go to the tabs "Management" – "Settings," – "Service."
  2. Select the optimal command, which will show the status of the ink.

Also, we should explain the second point in more detail, as several options for further action are possible. They will help you to understand if the ink is not enough or if there is another "culprit" of bad printing:

  • Check the nozzles (if any streaks or fuzzy areas appear on the last printout).
  • Check the print head (in case of a general decrease in print quality).
  • Calibration of the printhead itself (in the case of printing stripes).

The diagnostic page can also be printed using the corresponding key combination on the device panel. They are different for different brands, but the principle is the same.

Printing the info page will also help to check the toner status of laser devices (where it is placed in a completely opaque cartridge). What should you do?

  1. Press the "Cancel" (or "Print Screen" or WPS) button and hold it for 5-7 seconds.
  2. A report will be printed out with the Toner Remaining field with all the information we need.

Information on the display

Many modern printers have a special display indication that helps detect that the ink is about to run out. The closer such a state is, the more the device blinks. And the latest models of printers have a small monitor, which provides this information in an understandable multimedia form.

The user must be aware that consumables run out very quickly when printing actively. To avoid a complete stoppage of the process, you must not ignore the display indications.

Visual inspection

Despite the "antiquity" of visual examination, it remains a fairly popular method, especially for an inkjet printer with LPSS, where the ink is poured into translucent jars. In this case, it is enough to look and determine "by eye" the remaining ink level.

With a regular inkjet printer, all you have to do is open the front cover carefully. When you take out the cartridge, it turns out to be opaque. We weigh it together with the new one and see how different the results are.

How to check ink levels in different brands of inkjet printers

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Today, many manufacturers provide special software. The task of such drivers is just to monitor the paint condition.

Devices from HP

Many models have a digital interface that displays ink and toner levels. On the LCD screen, next to the drop icon or cartridge icon, there is a capacity indicator. In the case of inkjet technology, there will be several indications.

  1. Monitor ink levels through the HP Smart software. There are several options for checking ink levels. Download the HP Smart application from the Windows platform store and add the device from the list provided. On the main screen, you should see the tank level indicators.
  2. HP Print and Scan Doctor. Download the program from the official site of Hewlett-Packard and install it, following the wizard prompts. After launching it, open the "Printer" section and click on the sub-item "SupplyLevels."
  3. OS tools. Open the search bar with the key combination Win + S. Enter HP and choose the model you need from the list provided. If the desired device is not present, click on "HP Solution Center." Then click on "Printer Maintenance." On the main screen, you should see ink tanks with ink levels.

If the printer is not detected by the operating system and the ink level is always at maximum, you need to install the latest drivers for the device. Go to the official website of the brand, enter the model name in the line, and download the software.

Devices from Epson

If the operating system cannot find the correct drivers after connecting the printer, you must download them manually from the official Epson website. Enter the device model in the search line and download the distribution package to your PC.

Install the drivers: the printer maintenance application is installed automatically. Launch the program, and the working shortcut should move to the taskbar. Click on it, go to the "Tools" tab, and open the StatusMonitor section.

Several differently colored figures will appear, visually indicating the remaining ink level. If one of the cartridges is broken or not accredited by the brand, the accuracy will be noticeably reduced. The ink level is also indicated when filing in a pop-up window. If necessary, you can update the data in the application by clicking the Update button.

Devices from Canon

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Download printer drivers from the official brand site, if they were not previously installed. Enter the device model in the search query and download the distribution package. Install the software, following the instructions of the wizard. Next, you need to open the printer settings.

Call the search bar with the Win+S key combination, enter "Printers and scanners," and click on this item in the output. Then click on the device name and open "Manage." The Canon Status Monitor should appear.

You can also use third-party software to call up printer settings. For example, Word or Photoshop. Just open "Print" and go to "Hardware Properties."

Next, go to the Maintenance tab and click on "Printer Status Information." A chart opens showing how complete the ink cartridge is. When you send a file to print, the system window will pop up automatically. The same thing will happen when the ink level approaches critical values.

If necessary, you can get more detailed information about the cartridges by clicking on "Ink Data." The brand specifies that the use of third-party equipment affects the accuracy of the readings and the performance of the device as a whole.

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