How to check the ink or toner levels on my printer

Updated: 10/11/2021 by Computer Hope
Inkjet printer

Below are the most common methods for checking printer ink or toner levels, to see how much ink or toner is left in the printer cartridges.

From the Windows Notification Area icon


None of the following steps work if the printer's software is not installed. Every printer is different, so these instructions are meant as a general guideline.

  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. In the Windows Notification Area (bottom-right corner of your Windows desktop), right-click the printer icon.
  3. In the printer menu, select the "properties" or "preferences" option.
  4. In the printer settings window, the ink or toner levels are displayed for the currently-installed cartridge(s).
  5. If you don't see the ink or toner levels in the settings window, look for and click the button or option labeled "Ink Levels," "Toner Levels," or something similar.

Below are two examples of how the ink or toner level screen may look.

Ink printer available ink
HP Photosmart 7900 available ink example.

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

Through the Windows Control Panel


The following steps work for most printers. However, if the printer's software is not installed, you may not be able to view the ink or toner levels.

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter. Or, open the Start menu, and click Windows System, Control Panel.
  2. Under Hardware and Sound, click View devices and printers.

View devices and printers selector.

  1. Double-click the printer that you want to check the ink or toner levels.
  2. The levels are often shown under the Status section.

In step 3, depending on the printer brand and software, you may need to right-click the printer and select the properties or preferences option to find ink or toner levels.


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

  1. Turn on your printer.
  2. Locate the Menu or Home button and use the appropriate navigation keys to find a status, settings, or reports section.
  3. The ink or toner levels are displayed on the printer's LCD screen. If not displayed on the LCD screen, you may need to print a System Data or Status page to see current ink or toner levels.

Depending on the printer brand and model, in step 2, you may need to navigate further to an ink or toner levels section.