One important factor of owning a printer is knowing how to check the printer ink levels. Knowing how to tell when your printer ink is running low can help you avoid being caught out by unexpected low ink warnings, or running out of ink at a particularly inconvenient time.
Checking printer ink levels can change depending on the brand of printer you have. In this blog, we take a look at how to check the printer ink levels for a variety of different printers. This article only covers ink-based printers, not laser printers.
How to check printer ink levels for Brother printers
For Brother brand printers, you can check the level of ink remaining either by running the Status Monitor on your computer or by accessing the Control Panel directly on your printer. For Windows users, if you have selected the option to Enable Status Monitor on startup, you should be able to open the Status Monitor icon in your taskbar or search for it in Cortana and launch it from there.
If you did not select this option and have the Windows XP, Vista, 7, or Windows 10 operating system installed, Select Start > Brother > Brother Utilities > choose your model from the dropdown list then select Tools > Status Monitor.
Have a Windows 8 machine? Select Brother Utilities > choose your model from the dropdown menu, then select Tools > Status Monitor.
For a Mac machine, select System Preferences > Print & Scan (or Printers & Scanners) > Options & Supplies > Utility > Open Printer Utility.
To access the ink status directly on your Brother printer, press the Ink icon and select Ink Volume.
How to check printer ink levels for HP printers
If you own a HP printer and wish to view your machine’s ink levels, you can do so either directly through the machine or via your computer.
For Windows 10 operating systems, the way to access your HP ink levels can depend on the printer you have. One way is to open the HP Smart app and add your printer to enable viewing of ink levels on the app’s home screen. Alternatively, open HP Print and Scan Doctor, select your printer and click on Supply Levels. You may also be able to access it through the HP Solution Centre software.
For Mac, click on the Apple icon > System Preferences > Print & Scan (or Printers & Scanners), select the printer you wish to view the levels of from the list then click > Options & Supplies > Supplies.
With HP Ink Tank and Smart Tank printers, you should be able to visually see the ink levels using the ink tank window on your machine.
On some HP printers, you can also check the ink levels on your printer’s control panel. This should be accessible either through the cartridge icon, ink drop icon, or the ink levels menu.
How to check printer ink levels for Epson printers
When your Epson printer is low on ink, the Low Ink Reminder screen should automatically appear. From this screen, you can check the ink cartridge status.
On Windows computers, open the driver for your printer and select the Maintenance tab > EPSON Status Monitor 3. Alternatively, a progress meter should appear with each print job you commence. On this window, you can check the Approximate Ink Levels of your machine by clicking on the button labelled so.
If you are unable to check ink levels from the printer driver, ensure you have not selected the Disable EPSON Status Monitor 3 check box. Do this by clicking on the Speed & Progress button within the Maintenance window on your printer driver.
For Macs, click on the Apple icon > System Preferences > Print & Scan (Printers & Scanners) > Options & Supplies, then select Utility > Open Printer Utility, then click on EPSON Status Monitor.
How to check printer ink levels for Canon printers
On Windows computers, open your Control Panel, right-click on the printer whose ink you wish to check and select Printing preferences. Alternatively, open the printer properties dialogue box and select File > Print, then Preferences (or Properties) > Maintenance > View Printer Status. This should open the IJ Status Monitor.
For Macintosh machines, directly open the Canon IJ Printer Utility application, then select Ink Level Information > Ink Details.