How to Check the Ink of Your Printer

By Michaela Davila

  • Overview

    Printing color or black and white documents at home is extremely convenient and a lot cheaper than going to an office supply store. If you have not used your printer in a while or if you have something important to print, you will want to check to make sure your printer has enough ink and that your ink cartridges are properly installed. Doing this regularly will help prevent you from wasting money on ink or printer repairs that you do not necessarily need.
    • Step 1

      Lift the top of the printer to expose the ink cartridges. Make sure that they are properly installed. They should fit securely into the compartments provided. Once you are certain they are installed correctly, close the cover.
    • Step 2

      Test your black ink cartridge by choosing a black and white document to print. Click on the print icon and print the page. When the ink is dry, inspect the document for consistency. When your ink starts to run low, a box will open after you click the print icon, encouraging you to replace your ink cartridge. Keep in mind that many times your ink cartridge will still work well even when the warning box indicates it is below the necessary levels needed to print.


    • Step 3

      Test your color ink cartridge by choosing a color document to print. Make sure the document has a variety of colors. You may even consider printing a document with different colored typing so you can easily inspect the colors. Click on the print icon to print your test document and examine it for consistency. Similar to when your black cartridge runs low, a box on your computer will open up and indicate when the levels of your color cartridge are low. Once again, you will probably be able to use your cartridge beyond when your levels are indicated to be low.
    • Step 4

      Continue to use your ink cartridges until the color of your printed documents appears inconsistent. It is a good idea to have some extra ink cartridges on hand so you can replace them as soon as your ink runs out and not have to waste time running to the store when you are trying to be productive. You also have the option having your cartridges refilled at stores such as Walgreens or CVS, which can save you money. Keep in mind that you should only refill your cartridges a limited number of times because they will begin to develop a film and not work as well.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Paper
    • Black ink
    • Color ink

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