How to check the ink or toner levels on my printer

Updated: 05/05/2017 by Computer Hope

Below are all of the different methods of how you can check the printer ink or toner levels.

From the Windows Notification Area Icon

Note: 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-hand corner of your screen.
  3. Within the printer settings software, you should see the toner levels for the currently installed cartridge(s). Below are a few different examples of how the ink level screens 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

Note: The following steps will 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. Within the printer properties window, you can see the ink or toner levels for the currently installed cartridge(s).

Through the Printer Menu

Note: 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 your printer on.
  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

  • See our ink cartridge and toner definitions for further information and related links on these terms.