In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know on how to check printer ink levels the right way.
Printers aren’t all the same and knowing how much ink is left without checking the ink is very tough. They all use ink at different rates and you don’t want to be caught inkless in the middle of an important printing session.
We take a look at how to check printer ink levels as quickly and as easily as possible.
There’s nothing worse than running out of ink or doing a whole print only to see blotchy and faded ink.
You know that you can’t avoid it without risking messing up an important print. This is especially important if you do a large quantity of printing.
I’ll help you learn some quick tips and tricks to check the ink. You’ll get accurate results and know exactly how much ink you have left.
You’ll be able to do all this across different operating systems, versions of windows and the major printer brands.
By the end of the guide, you’ll be well equipped to check the ink levels accurately in no time at all.
Let’s get into the guide!
Table of Contents
How to Check Printer Ink Levels
Keep in mind that different brands of printers have slightly different processes for checking the levels of ink.
The good news is that you’re not going to have to open up the printer to manually find the ink cartridge. You’ll never have to physically check the ink – that wouldn’t be fun.
Knowing that you’re not going to need to get your hands dirty should give you a little peace of mind.
In this section, we’re going to deal with how to check the ink across different operating systems, printer brands and some of the alternative methods you can try.
All you need to do is know the make the model of your printer, the operating system you’re using and how comfortable you are with navigating your system for the settings.
I’ll keep the steps as basic and foolproof as possible as I know this is probably your first time checking your printer’s ink levels.
How to Know When It’s Time to Change the Ink
There are a few signs that you’ll notice when it’s time to change the ink in your printer.
Some of them are easier to notice, and others aren’t.
Here is what you need to look out for:
- Low ink warning on your printer display (could also be an indicator light)
- Streaking in your printer (varying levels of boldness)
- Fading colors and faint prints
- Losing other functions – some printers will disable several functions when the ink gets low in order to protect it from damage
If you notice any of these, then you know it’s probably time for you to check and likely change the ink in your printer.
How to Check Ink Levels on HP Printer
Here are the steps you should follow if you have an HP printer and want to check the ink levels:
- If you’re using Windows, you should go and download “HP Print and Scan Doctor”
- It will automatically run a diagnostic on the state of your HP printer and the ink levels
- Open the HP Print and Scan Doctor and click Printer/Supply Levels
- This will open a pop-up that will show you the estimated levels of ink in your printer
- If you’re using Windows 10 or Android, you’ll need to download the “HP Smart App”
- You’ll find the ink levels on the home screen of the app
If you’re having issues with this step, you’ll need to make sure that your printer is connected properly and that the ink cartridge is functioning.
The best way to test this is to do a trial print to see if everything is in working order.
How to Check Ink Levels on Epson Printer
Epson printers are another widely used printer (both commercially and for home-use). It’s worth learning how to check the ink levels on these sturdy machines.
Luckily, with Epson printers, there is a utility panel that lets you check the ink levels of your printer.
It’s called Status Monitor Utility and you can access it through the printer driver.
This can be found from the start menu or the home dashboard.
You’ll be able to find more error information about your printer in this panel.
This panel won’t work if the installed ink cartridge isn’t installed properly or is damaged.
How to Check Ink Levels on Canon Printer
You’ll need to make a download here so make sure you have a decent internet connection.
Here are the steps you need to follow to check the ink on your Canon printer:
- Open the Canon IJ Status Monitor – if you don’t have it yet, download it
- Navigate to the Maintenance tab and look for the View Printer Status screen
- On this pop-up screen, you’ll be able to view the ink levels of your Canon printer
- Bear in mind that this process also won’t work if your ink cartridge isn’t installed properly or is damaged
How to Check Ink Levels Windows 10
You’ve seen how to check the ink levels of the major printer brands via their utility apps and panels.
These aren’t the only ways to check the ink levels in your printer.
The methods we looked at above will still work with Windows 10.
These are the steps you should follow to check ink levels for Widows 10 (regardless of the brand of your printer):
- Open up the Start Menu and type Devices and Printers into the search box then hit enter
- This will show you all the printers that are allowed to or have already been connected to your computer in the past
- Click on the printer you want to check
- You’ll be able to see the ink levels at the bottom side of the Devices and Printers section
- It’ll show under the Status area – you’ll be able to click on it for more information
How to Check Ink Levels Windows 8
No guide on how to check printer ink levels would be complete without looking at how to do it on Windows 8.
We’ll look at how to do it on an HP printer.
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Press Windows + W keys together to open the charms bar
- In the search field, type Device
- Select Device and Printer from the list that shows up
- Click on your printer
- You’ll be able to see the status of the printer and information about the ink levels
You can follow these steps for any printer brand you have.
Just change which printer you select according to the brand model you have.
The Device and Printer section is designed to show you all the settings you need to be able to change – as well as information relating to ink levels and printer health.
How to Check Ink Levels Windows 7
Although Windows 7 is no longer has support, there are loads of loyal users out there who are still using it.
Here are the steps you should follow when checking the ink levels on Windows 7:
- Click Start and type “Devices and Printers” and hit enter
- This will open a window showing you all the connected printers
- Click on the printer
- You should see the ink levels at the bottom of the window, under the Status area
- You’ll be able to click there and see additional information about the printer
You can also check your management software for the printer if you’ve already installed it.
How to Check Ink Levels on Mac
You’ll still be able to use your printer management software here for ease of use.
These steps will work either way:
- Click the Apple menu and click System Preferences
- Select Print and Fax/Print and Scan or Printers and Scanners
- Choose your printer from the list
- Click Options & Supplies
- Click Utility > Open Printer Utility
- Select the status monitor for your printer model
- Here you’ll see the information on the ink levels and more
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
You should have enough knowledge to check the ink levels on the major printer brands. You’ll also be able to check on Windows 7, 8 & 10 as well as on Mac.
You’ll need a little practice before you get this down, but once you do – you’ll be doing it in no time.
You’re well equipped and now know the ins and outs of how to check printer ink levels the right way!