How to Check Toner Level and Replace When Low

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If you have a long document you need to print, you don’t want to leave the room and come back to an out-of-ink message and only half your pages printed. Luckily, it’s easy to check and see how much toner you have left and take action if you need to replace it. 

Whether you have a Canon, Epson, Dell, Lexmark, HP or Brother printer, the process is relatively simple. Follow these steps to ensure you never run out of toner again. 

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How to Check Toner Level

You can check the toner level using your Windows computer or on the printer itself for most printers. Follow these step-by-step guides to learn how to check printer ink levels

  • Canon Printer

Log on to a computer with network access. Go to “Start” and then “Devices and Printers.” Click on the printer you want to check and the toner level should be at the bottom of your screen. If not, go to “File” and then “Printing Preferences” and you should see a maintenance or supplies tab. If you still cannot find the information, you may not be able to access it from your computer. 

If your printer has an LED screen, you may see the toner level immediately after the screen lights up. You may also need to tap “Toner,” “Devices,” “Consumables” or “Supply Status.” If you’re not sure what menu option to choose, check the manual for your model. 

You can also press and hold the “Continue” button to print a configuration page, which will tell you your toner level. 

  • Epson Printer

It’s easier to check an Epson printer’s toner level through the app on your computer. First, click on the printer icon in your toolbar to open the Epson printer app. From there, go to “Maintenance” and then “Epson Status Monitor 3,” which will pull up an image showing you how much toner is left for each color.

  • Dell Printer

Go to the Windows Start screen and click “Programs.” From there, choose “Dell Printers.” In the drop-down menu, select the printer you want to check and go to the Maintenance tab. There, you’ll see “Check Levels.” If you need toner supplies, the bars will be low.

  • Lexmark Printer

With a Lexmark printer, you can check on the printer or through your computer. On the printer, press the wrench icon and ok. Scroll through by pressing the arrow keys until you reach “Color Ink.” After pressing ok, you’ll see the toner levels listed. Follow the same procedure for “Black Ink.” 

  • HP Printer

If your HP printer has an LED screen, click on the ink drop icon to see how much toner you have left. Some models may have an “Ink Levels” menu or a cartridge icon instead. 

If you prefer to check on your computer, download the HP Smart App to your Windows computer. After adding your printer, it’s easy to click on ink levels to stay up to date on your toner levels. You can also download HP Print and Doctor, which allows you to check how much laserjet toner you have left on the “Supply Levels” menu.

  • Brother Printer

Most Brother printers have a control panel that will show you the remaining ink levels. For printers without a touch screen, you’ll need to go to Menu and use the arrows to get to “Ink Management” and hit “OK.” Then, go to “Ink Volume” to see your levels.

If you have a touch screen printer, tap the arrows until you see “Ink.” From there, you’ll need to tap up or down to get to “Ink Volume.” Once you tap that, you’ll see the levels displayed.

On a Windows computer, you can check the ink levels by going to the Status Monitor. Click the Windows key, Programs and go to Brother. Once you’ve opened it, you’ll see your ink levels.

cmyk cartridges in focus


Replacing Your Toner

Once you’ve checked your toner levels, you may learn that you require more. The process for changing cartridges differs slightly between brands and models, but the basic steps are similar and easy to follow. 

First, open up the front or top of the printer, depending on the model. You may need to pull down a feeder door, depending on your model. Some toner cartridges are in a drawer, meaning you’ll need to remove the drawer from the printer and then take out the cartridges.

Depending on your model, your cartridges may have handles or need to be pushed to release. Either way, be gentle when you remove them so you don’t damage the cartridges or your printer’s delicate electronic components.

Some manufacturers recommend shaking the toner cartridge first, but check the instructions on the toner box. Remove the protective bag and strip and place the cartridge in the slot, ensuring any arrows are facing upward. Don’t push too hard since it will likely easily lock in place. If you have one, slide the drum cleaning mechanism back and forth. Then, place the drawer back into your printer.