Complete Tutorial on How to Check Printer Ink Levels based on OS and Brands

 It doesn’t hurt to know how to check printer ink levels as it helps you boost your productivity and prevent you from doing mistakes. Not many people know that checking the ink level is crucial for many reasons, and it can also be done through many ways. 

How to Check Printer Ink Levels: Why Should You Do It?

As it was mentioned before, checking the (printer) ink level is crucial as it can lead to smarter (and also wiser) printer use, which won’t only boost the productivity but also helps with the printer care and maintenance. 

Checking the ink level can help you understand how much ink is needed by your printing activities, especially on a monthly basis. Not only you can be prepared, but it also gives you a better understanding of the amount of resources that your printer needs. Think of the ink as the fuel to your car. 

You need to be able to see its level or know how much your car spends so you won’t be running out of gas in the middle of the road. 

Complete Tutorial on How to Check Printer Ink Levels

Of course, you can’t really compare your printer and your car in apple-to-apple comparison, but you get the idea, right? Don’t you just hate it when you are running out of ink in the middle of a printing process, and when you are at the peak of busy activities? This is why, checking the ink level is important. And knowing how to do the steps is also crucial. 

Optimizing the ink consumption is also the simplest and yet the most cost effective printing actions that you can bring into your work. Having a regular check for the ink can help you care the printer; avoiding misuse and possible abuse to your device. Knowing how much you spend will also help you optimize your printing activities; also helping you out to manage your spending. 

It leads to better professional management, including financial management. 

Checking the Ink Level by Operating System

Each operating system is different. Each one of them has its own specifications and ways, so you can’t really think that they are uniformed.

Windows 11

There are several possible options with this OS. The first method is to use HP Smart app, which is free and available through Microsoft Store. You simply access the Home Screen, and the information about the ink level would be available there.

The second method is to use another free app, the HP Print and Scan Doctor. This can be obtained from the official website at When you open it:

Choose ‘Start’

Pick your printer

Go with ‘Next’

When you see the top area of the menu bar, choose ‘Printer’

Choose ‘Supply Levels’ and you can see the ink levels. 

The third method is to use HP Printer Assistant, which may have been there on the PC. Perform search on your Windows so you can find your printer. Once you do, go with ‘Estimated Ink Level’ and there you have it. 

Windows 10

Many computer (and printer) users are using Windows as their operating system, and Windows 10 is the current OS that is being used right now. Here are some of the things that you need to know when you use Windows 10:

If the print result is fading or blurry, then it’s most likely that the device has low toner or ink level

In most cases, you should be able to see the level status on your printer directly. Today’s printers have this large display screen that will provide you with the ink status

If you want to check the ink level from your device, you should be able to use HP Smart App. This app would help you manage your printing activities (scan, print, setup) while monitoring the ink level

So, how do you operate HP Smart App?

Activate your printer first

On your Windows 10 device, you need to download HP Smart App first 

After you click ‘Launch’, go with the option ‘Get Started’. Complete it with ‘Continue’

Accept the given terms and conditions

If you see a caution yellow triangle on the screen, it means that there is an issue. Click on it to check the details. If you can’t find your printer on the display, go with the option ‘Set up a New Printer’. The system would look for it automatically. Just follow the provided instructions on screen. You should now see ‘We Found Your Printer!’

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However, if the HP Smart App somewhat fails finding your printer, choose ‘Printer Not Found During Network Driver Setup’ so you can get the details to connect it properly through wireless network

Choose the icon ‘Resources’ and then choose the option ‘Get HP Full Featured Software’

Again, follow the instructions on the screen to install the printer. Once your device and printer is connected, you should be able to see the information about your printer on HP Smart App. Everything would be displayed on the home screen. 

Windows 8 

Not everyone uses the most current Windows operating system, as there are plenty of people are still using Windows 8. The steps to check the ink levels are:

Press Window key and S button together, and then type ‘Devices and Printers’

There would be a list on the search result. Choose ‘Devices and Printers’ 

Your printer should be on the list. Click on it. 

Once you do this, you can check the status area located on the bottom side of Devices and Printers 


If you have a Mac device, you can do the checking by following these steps:

Open the ‘System Preferences’. It’s should be on the computer

Choose ‘Printers and Scanners’

There should be lists of (connected) printers. Choose yours

You should be able to see a tab ‘Options and Supplies’ at the top area of the window

Go with the tab ‘Supply Levels’. You can see the ink levels now. If you have colored inks, the information for each of the color would be displayed there.


If you use this operating system, the overall management would be a bit tricky. This operating system requires a bit of extra effort. However, you should be able to use an app or a special program to help you manage the checking. Synaptic Package Manager is one of those apps. With this app, you should be able to check the ink levels without complication or difficulty. 

How can you do the checking?

Open the Application Menu

Look for Synaptic

Go with Synaptic Package Manager

Provide the password to open this app

Look for toner or ink

Click on ‘ink’ search

Choose both ‘Libinklevel’ and ‘Ink’ 

Click ‘Apply’

Access and open the menu: Linux Mint Application

Look for the terminal

Start the terminal

Type in ‘cd /usr/bin’ and then Enter

Type ‘ink –p usb’


You can see the level now

Chromebook or Google

Just like with Linux, checking the ink levels on a Chromebook isn’t exactly easy. It’s a bit tricky and you have to give it an extra work. In the even the Chromebook is connected to the network printer, you should be able to check the levels through the print dialog box (on Chrome). Unfortunately, it’s quite impossible to check the levels on the Chromebook directly. But the good news: You should be able to check the levels on the printer. 

Checking the Ink Level by Brand

Almost all printer brands come with a feature that enables you to check the level of the toner or ink. However, not all printers are equipped with their own display screen or control panel. Even if they do have such a thing, it’s not a guarantee that you should be able to check the ink level directly on the printer. 

Let’s not forget that there are different printers and models. Different brands would lead to different mechanisms and operation. Let’s check the brand one by one. 

HP Printer

HP Printer

It’s advisable that you download and use the specialized HP Print and Scan Doctor tool. This is a free app that can make the process easier and simpler. This app can help you check the ink (and supply) level while performing troubleshooting diagnostics at the same time. 

The steps are:

Open the app 

Go with ‘Printer/Supply Levels’ option 

It would give you immediate information about how much ink is left.

If you are running on iOS, Android, or Windows 10, you will have to use the HP Smart App. Once you open the app, the information of ink level would be provided on the home screen.

If you connect the printer to a Mac, you should choose ‘System Preferences’ and then go with ‘Printers and Scanners’. Afterwards, click ‘Options’ and then ‘Supplies’ to see the remaining ink level. 

If your printer has its own display screen, try to find whether it provides ink icon that can display the information concerning the levels. If you have the latest machines, big chances that you should be able to access this information directly. 

Epson Printer

Epson Printer
In general, Epson printers are typically equipped with the so-called Status Monitor Utility. Its main function is to check the ink grade within the printer. You should be able to access it from the (printer) drive. It’s generally found at Home Screen dashboard or the start menu (depending on your model).

This Status Monitor Utility is also able to help you check for any error info. However, if an installed ink cartridge is broken, this utility won’t be able to calculate or detect the correct ink remaining. 

If you connect the printer to Windows computers, see the taskbar. Simply click the printer icon. When you click it, you will open the Epson Status Monitor, which is going to display the remaining ink levels. 

What about Mac computers? If you connect the printer to a Mac device, just click System Preferences. Go with ‘Printers and Scanners’. You will see the lists of available and connected printers. Click your printer so you can open Epson Status Monitor. You can see the information there, including the remaining ink. 

Xerox Printer

If you always update the printer driver, you should be able to access Xerox support website. From here, checking the ink levels would be a breeze. If you are a Window user, here are the steps:

Access the ‘Control Panel’

Pick ‘Devices and Printers’

Find the icon (the Xerox printer icon)

Perform a right click on it so you can reveal a drop down menu. You should be able to see ‘Printer Properties’ option. Go with it.

Choose ‘Preferences’. The ink levels info is right there. 

If you connect your printer to a Mac device, the steps are:

Find the taskbar where you should be able to locate the Apple icon so you can access and open the ‘System Preferences’

Go with ‘Printers and Scanners’

When you see printer lists, choose the Xerox device 

Choose the option ‘Supply Levels’ so you can learn about the ink levels

If you want to perform a straightforward mechanism, you can access Xerox Embedded Web server. This is typically found on the printer itself. 

Canon Printer

Canon Printer

To have an easy mechanism, you should be able to access Canon Status Monitor. If you connect the printer to a Window computer, you should see the (printer) icon on the taskbar. Double click the icon and voila. The monitor would show up. 

If you connect the printer to a Mac, access the folder ‘Printers’ and then choose ‘Library’. You should be able to see the level now. 

And how should you operate the Canon Status Monitor? 

Once you open it, choose the tab ‘Maintenance’. It would open the status screen of your printer

You should now see a pop-up screen displaying the ink/toner levels

Brother Printer

Brother Printer

If you are using Windows OS, checking the ink level would be super straightforward. You should follow these steps:

Find the task tray where you should find the printer icon. Double click it so you can open and access ‘Brother Status Monitor Utility’

You can now see the ink levels being displayed on the screen. 

If your printer is connected to a Mac, you can do these following things:

Click the HD icon

Go with ‘Library’

Afterwards, you should be able to see the option ‘Printer’. Go with it. 

Then choose ‘Brother’ and when you see the option ‘Brother Status Monitor Utility’, double click it

You can now see the ink level status and information

You can actually perform a direct checking on the printer itself, especially if it comes with an LCD panel. Simply locate the ‘Ink’ or ‘Ink Management’ key on that panel. Once you click it, you can scroll to find ‘ink volume’. This way is applicable to the newer Brother printers. 

However, if you have the older printers, simply press ‘OK’ button 3 times. This action will print the pages for ‘Printer Settings’. Check page two if you want to see the remaining toner percentages. 

Moreover, if the toner within the cartridge is low, your printer will display a message ‘Replace Toner’. If the message appears, you won’t be able to print the Printer Settings pages. If this happens, you should be able to check the ink levels by using the control panel. How can you do it?

Press the ‘OK’ button so you can see ‘Machine Info’ being displayed. Then press ‘OK’

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Choose ‘Parts Life’

Choose ‘Toner Life’

Choose which toner/ink color that you want to check. Then press ‘OK’ again

After you do this action, you should see 10 boxes displayed. It means that the cartridge is full. The number of BLACK boxes is related to the remaining ink. The boxes decrease as the toner is being used. For instance, if the remaining ink is around 40%, then you would see 4 black boxes. 

OKI Printer

If you connect the printer to your Windows devices, these are the steps to manage it:

Open the ‘Control Panel’

Go with ‘Printers’

Choose the printer icon

You should see the connected printers, including the current one. Right click on your printer so you can access a drop down menu. You would see ‘Printer Properties’ there

Click it and you can see the information about the ink level

If you connect the printer to a Mac, these are the steps:

Open ‘System Preferences’

Choose ‘Printers and Scanners’

Choose the printer that you are currently connected to

Go with ‘Supply Levels’

You can see the complete information about the ink levels

Lexmark Printer

Lexmark Printer
If you are using a Lexmark printer, you need to use and access Lexmark P910 Series Utility. This tool enables you to check the toner and ink levels on the printer directly from the computer screen. Having this tool is handy because not only it helps you performing ink levels check on the printer, but you can also perform the check with Mac and Windows OS. 

No need to worry, this tool is compatible with those operating systems. 

Ricoh Printer

In most cases, you would be able to see the information right on the printer itself. The printer should have a front home screen which would display a lot of information regarding the printer. Simply click the main page, which would open the ‘System Information. The information about the ink levels can be found there. 

If you connect the printer to a Window device, just use the regular ‘Print Properties’ method that will provide the information about the ink status. Keep in mind, though, that the toner levels won’t be displayed if you aren’t using the genuine and original Ricoh toner. 

Samsung Printer

If you use Windows, here are the steps:

Open ‘Control Panel’ and then find the section for printer

When you find your Samsung printer, right click on it. Go with ‘Printer Properties’ icon

The information about your ink levels would be displayed

If you use Mac, you need to:

Check the taskbar where you can find the Apple icon. 

Click it to open ‘System Preferences’

Then, you should go with ‘Printers and Scanners’

Click the Samsung printer from the list

Choose the tab ‘Supply Levels’ and voila! Your ink levels information is right there. 

Sharp Printer

If you use the latest and modern printers from Sharp, it’s most likely that you won’t have to deal with complicated arrangement. The printers have their own front home screen in which you can see the information about the ink levels. 

However, if you are using the older printer models, you should follow these steps:

Go to the main menu where you can see a blue house button. Hold it down until you can see meter reading and toner levels being displayed. Tap the tab ‘toner remaining’ and you can see the information about the ink level.

Another way is to see the home screen. Check the top left side where you can see the copy tab. Hold it down until the meter reading and toner levels show MFP status tab. Tap the tab for the remaining toner to see the information about the ink level.

Dell Printer

If you use Windows OS, do these following steps:

You need to access ‘Control Panel’ which is located under the tab ‘Hardware and Sound’. 

Choose ‘View Devices and Printers’ and then choose your printer. 

Go with the tab ‘Services’ and choose ‘Dell ink levels’

This page enables you not only to check the remaining ink level but also allows you to print a test page

Final Words

Basically, the information about how to check the ink level can be found at the owner’s manual or guide book. All printers typically have such a manual to help them understand the device. You should ALWAYS read the manual so you know the details of your device. 

In the event you don’t have the manual or you lose it, you can always check the methods online. Not only you can access the official website, but you can also perform a regular search on the search engine. By doing these, you can learn about how to check printer ink levels; regardless the brands or operating system.

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