How To Read The Printer Ink Level

Some of our dear customers may have questions like “How to check the ink level on my printer?” or “Why my printer can’t read the ink level?” This essay gives the detailed information for solving the problems.

As for different printer brands, they have different chip reader. For some HP printers, here is the procedure to check the ink level:

HP Ink Level Reader

HP Ink Level Reader

  1. Check the back of your computer to make sure that the printer is appropriately connected to the computer and is plugged in. If the printer is not plugged into the computer, find the printer jack on the back of the computer and plug it in before you move on to the next step.
  2. Click on the “Start” menu button which is located on bottom left hand corner of your screen. Click on the “Settings” bar and notice that a list of functions pop up to the left of the settings button. Click on the control panel icon.
  3. Look for the printer/fax icon in the control panel window. Double click on the printer icon.
  4. Find the icon for your printer in the opened window and right click on the icon. Now click on the “Preferences” option.
  5. Look for the menu box pop up with tabs near the top of the box. Click on the “Services” tab.
  6. Click on “Service this device.” You will find the button on the Services menu that you just activated.
  7. Click on the estimated ink level tab and a graphic will appear indicating how much ink is left in the cartridge.
Epson Ink Level Reader

Epson Ink Level Reader

For some compatible or remanufactured Epson, Canon, Dell and Lexmark printers, sometimes you cannot read the printer level, or even though your compatible cartridge is full of ink, it still shows no ink on your screen.

The problems are due to two reasons:

The first reason is that, for some remanufactured cartridges, they have chips inside where there is a memory to register the ink usage, even if you refill the ink physically, the memory still consider the cartridges as ‘Empty’.

Solution: As some cartridges have a bladder inside so that you must puncture just right with the needle to refill them properly. (See how to refill my cartridges)

The second reason is that, for some compatible cartridges, the new chip inside the cartridges cannot be recognized by the chip reader on the printer.

Solution: Update the driver of your printer. (See how to update the driver of my printer). Also, you can reset the cartridge wih a chip resetter. (See how to reset my cartridge with a chip resetter).

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