How to check the ink or toner levels on my printer

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Below are the most common methods of how to check the printer ink or toner levels.

From the Windows Notification Area icon


None of the following steps work if you have not installed the software that was included with your printer. It's also important to note that every printer is different. These rules are meant as a general guideline.

  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Locate the printer settings, often found by right-clicking the printer icon in the Windows Notification Area, located in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
  3. In the printer settings software, the toner levels are displayed for the currently installed cartridge(s). Below are a few examples of how the ink level screen may look.

Available toner in laser printer
Samsung laser printer available toner example.

Ink printer available ink
HP Photosmart 7900 available ink example.

Through the Windows Control Panel


The following steps work for nearly any printer. However, if you have not installed the software that came with the printer, you may not be able to view the ink or toner levels.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Find and open the Printers option.
  3. Right-click on the icon for the printer and select the Printer properties option.
  4. In the Printer Properties window, you can see the ink or toner levels for the currently installed cartridge(s).

Through the printer menu


Keep in mind that every printer is different and the following steps are generalized. For explicit instructions on checking ink levels, consult your printer's documentation.

  1. Turn on your printer.
  2. Locate the Menu button and use the appropriate navigation keys to find a status or reports section.
  3. Print a System Data or Status page to see current toner levels.

Additional information