How to Check Printer Ink Levels?

Knowing how to monitor your printer’s ink levels is a vital skill to prevent unexpected interruptions during an important print job. This guide will walk you through the process on different platforms, including Windows 10, Windows 11, and Mac, as well as for Canon printers specifically. We’ll also touch on common questions such as whether a printer will print if the ink is low and what to do when your ink cartridge says it’s empty even when it’s not.

Checking Printer Ink Levels: Why It’s Important

Checking your printer ink levels is essential to ensure seamless operations, whether you’re working from home, managing a small business, or overseeing a large corporate office. Statistics suggest that there were approximately 94.36 million printer shipments worldwide in 2020, demonstrating the widespread usage of printers in various sectors.

How You Check Printer Ink Levels on Windows 10

  • Firstly you have to go to the Start menu and open the ‘Control Panel’.
  • Select ‘Devices and Printers’.
  • Then Right-click on your printer and choose ‘Printer Properties’.
  • Locate the ‘Levels’ tab to view the ink levels.

How to Check Printer Ink Levels on Windows 11

  • Go to the Start menu and select ‘Settings’.
  • Choose ‘Devices’ and then ‘Printers & scanners’.
  • Click on your printer’s name and then click on ‘Manage’.
  • Under ‘Printer properties’, find the ‘Levels’ tab to see the ink status.
  • How You Can Check Printer Ink Levels on Mac
  • Firstly you have to Open ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Printers & Scanners’.
  • After-that Choose your printer from the list on the left.
  • Click on ‘Options & Supplies’, then ‘Supply Levels’ to check ink levels.

How to Check Printer Ink Levels on Canon Printers

  • Firstly you have to Open the Canon IJ Printer Utility on your computer.
  • Select your printer and click on ‘Ink Level Information’.
  • A window will open showing the ink levels in each cartridge.

Will My Printer Print If Ink Is Low?

Most printers will still print if ink levels are low, but the quality of the print may be affected. However, some printers will stop printing to avoid damaging the printer when ink levels are too low.

Why Is My Ink Cartridge Full But Says Empty?

This issue often occurs due to the ink cartridge chip not resetting correctly. This chip communicates with the printer about the cartridge’s ink level. If it’s not reset properly after a refill, the printer might show an incorrect ink level. Troubleshooting steps may help resolve this issue.

How do you know if your ink is low?

Knowing the state of your printer ink levels can save you from unexpected and inconvenient interruptions, particularly when you’re in the middle of an important print job. So, how can you tell if your ink is running low?

Most printers provide an early warning system to alert you when your ink levels are nearing depletion. This usually comes in the form of a pop-up message on your computer screen or a light indicator on the printer itself. However, it’s essential to remember that these alerts are estimations and not precise measurements. Your printer might continue to operate for some time after the warning, depending on your print volume and quality settings.

Another way to determine if your ink is low is by observing the print quality. If your documents or images start to look faded or streaky, it may be an indication that your ink levels are dwindling.

Lastly, many printers allow you to manually check the ink levels through your computer’s operating system or the printer’s software. This process varies depending on the printer model and the operating system you’re using, but typically it involves navigating to printer settings or properties where an ‘ink levels’ option can be found.

Which are the top Signs That It’s Time to Buy a New Inkjet Cartridge for Your Printer

Knowing when to replace the inkjet cartridge in your printer is crucial to maintaining the quality of your printouts and the longevity of your printer. Here are some signs that indicate it might be time to invest in a new inkjet cartridge.

  1. Faded or Streaky Printouts: This is perhaps the most obvious sign. If your printouts are coming out faded, streaky, or with missing lines or dots, it’s a clear indication that your inkjet cartridge is running low and needs replacing.
  1. Ink Alert: Modern printers often come with an ink monitoring system that will alert you when your ink levels are running low. These alerts can appear on your computer screen or directly on your printer’s display.
  1. Frequent Use: If you use your printer regularly, especially for high-quality images or dense text documents, your ink cartridges will deplete faster. Keeping track of your printing habits can help you anticipate when you might need a new cartridge.
  1. Poor Performance Despite Cleaning: Printers have a cleaning function to clear blockages and ensure even ink distribution. If your print quality doesn’t improve after several cleanings, your cartridge may be spent.

Remember, using your inkjet cartridge until it’s completely dry can damage your printer. Therefore, it’s always best to have a replacement ready when the signs start to show.


Regularly checking your printer’s ink levels can help prevent interruptions in your printing tasks. If you need further assistance with your printer, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Boomerang TCR Qld. We’re here to ensure your printing needs are met without hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check the ink levels on my printer?

The process can vary based on your operating system or printer model. Typically, you can check the ink levels through your device’s printer settings or the printer’s dedicated software.

Can I print if my ink is low?

Yes, most printers can still print with low ink, but the print quality may be compromised. Some printers, however, may stop printing to prevent potential damage.

Why does my printer say my ink cartridge is empty when it’s full?

This could be due to the cartridge’s chip not resetting correctly after a refill. Troubleshooting or replacing the cartridge usually solves the problem.

How do I check ink levels on a Canon printer?

You can check ink levels on a Canon printer using the Canon IJ Printer Utility on your computer.

How to Check Printer Ink Levels?
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