How to check the ink level on HP, Canon, Epson, Brother printers

A printer is nothing without ink. If your ink cartridges start to run out, you may start to notice inconsistent print quality. Your printer and any devices connected to the printer should also start sending you low-ink notifications. But don’t worry: checking the ink levels in your ink and laser cartridges is a relatively simple process, and we’ve created this guide to help you.

Our walkthrough covers the ins and outs of checking ink levels on HP, Canon, Epson and Brother printers. Even if you don’t have a model from one of these four brands, we bet some of our information will transfer over to any brand of printer you own.

Check the ink on your HP printer

HP’s Instant Ink program can automatically refill ink. The printer monitors ink levels and attempts to send replacement ink before a cartridge runs out. This means you may not even need to check your ink levels if you subscribe to this plan.

Some HP inkjet printers, such as the workhorse HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e and the affordable HP Envy Inspire 7955e, include six months of free ink. If you don’t have HP Instant Ink, your trial has ended, or you just want to check the ink levels before starting a large print job, the mobile app is a convenient way to find it.

Open the HP Smart mobile app. You should see the printer model number at the top and a bar graph showing the ink levels on the right. If you have more than one HP printer, scroll sideways to view other models.

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Check the ink on your Canon printer

When your printer detects that it’s low on ink, Canon’s automatic refill program delivers new ink to you. You need to use a Windows or Mac PC to register for this service.

The Canon Pixma TS202 tops our list of the best printer deals. With prices below $50, Canon can’t make money on the hardware, so it has to make money on the ink, and the cartridges need to be replaced more frequently. Printers like the Canon Pixma TS302 (on another of our best lists) can use high-yield ink cartridges that last longer.

Regardless of the age of your ink cartridges, it’s a good idea to check your printer’s ink levels regularly to see how quickly the ink is dropping. It’s easiest to use the mobile app. If you don’t have the Canon Print app yet, install it from the iPhone App Store or Google Play Store.

step 1: In the Canon Print app, select your printer at the bottom of the screen to see more information.

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Step 2: On the next screen, you should see the ink level appear in the center.

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Check the ink on your Epson printer

Epson used to have a subscription ink service called ReadyInk, but they are currently not accepting any new subscriptions. If you own an Epson EcoTank series printer, you can still subscribe to a similar service called ReadyPrint.

The ink in a printer like the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 may last more than a year, so it’s easy to forget to order more. It comes in a large bottle that refills the water tank on the front right when you do that. By the way, you can see the ink levels through the translucent panel.

If you own a low-cost printer like the Expression Home XP-4200, you’ll want to keep an eye on your ink levels, as the small cartridges can run out quickly.

step 1: To keep track of ink levels when using your Epson printer, open the Epson Smart Panel app and select your printer at the top. You’ll see a bar graph showing the amount of ink remaining for each color.

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Step 2: To see the remaining ink levels more clearly, select the ink chart and a larger version will be displayed. The green bar on the far right is the waste ink collection box that rarely needs to be replaced.

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Check the ink on your Brother printer

Brother printers often appear on our best printers lists because they offer great value and generally have a long lifespan.

Like most inkjet printer manufacturers, Brother offers a subscription service designed to deliver ink to you before it runs out. When your printer is low on ink, EZ Auto Reorder delivers more ink.

You may still want to check how much is left, and the mobile app lets you check remotely.

step 1: Open Brother’s iPrint&Scan app and click Consumables/Machine Setup View details.

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Step 2: A bar graph will appear showing how much ink, or in my case, toner you have left.

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Check from Windows

Your printer may have Windows software that allows you to check ink levels. This is the fastest method, but if you don’t want to install additional printer software on your computer, there is a general method that works for most popular printers.

step 1: In Windows Settings, select *Bluetooth & Devices* from the left sidebar.choose Printers and scanners and select the printer you want to check.

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Step 2: choose Equipment information inside More information section displays detailed information about the printer.Use links marked as clickable Web page/ Start the printer’s web server.

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Step 3: You may see a login screen. If you know the password, enter it. If you don’t do this, you will still be able to see the supply details. In the address bar, delete everything to the right of the first “/” and press “Enter.”

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Step 4: Whether you’re using an HP, Canon, Epson, or Brother printer, you’ll see the ink levels displayed.

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Check from Mac

If you’ve installed the macOS app from your printer manufacturer, this is probably the fastest way to see how much ink you have left. If not, you can check the printer’s ink levels in System Settings.

step 1: Use the search box in the upper left corner to find Printer Settings, or scroll down and select Printers and scanners From the left sidebar.

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Step 2: Select your printer from the list.

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Step 3: Select under location Options and supplies button.

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Step 4: A new window will open and you will find the ink levels on the Supplies tab.

Screenshot/Digital Trends


If you can’t check the ink levels, it might mean your printer is offline or in sleep mode. In this case, go to the printer and cycle power off and on to make sure it’s awake and accessible. After reset, the printer should share information about remaining ink supplies.

Try using the Windows or Mac method, a mobile app, or navigating the printer’s built-in menu system to check the ink levels. The controls vary, but if you browse the options, you should find a section called “Status” or “Supplies,” which will show the printer’s current ink levels.

It’s a good idea to check your ink levels, especially before using expensive paper or starting a large print job. When there is insufficient ink during printing, colors may lose accuracy and gaps may appear in images and text. Using the mobile app is easy, while using a computer is not too difficult.

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