This is one of the frustrations of modern office life. Wanting to make sure everything is in line, that when you hint save or print there won’t be an error, it can be a lot of stress when a deadline is coming due or you have a short window to make a supply run and you need to know if your HP printer is going to last through the week or not. The good news is there are actually several ways to check your HP printer to make sure you’re good to go.

This article is going to go through multiple options available for looking at current ink levels. These can vary slightly depending on the exact model of printer you use as well as the Mac/PC interface. No matter what the setup, at least one of these methods will be available.

From the Printer Control Panel

Most HP printers allow ink levels to be checked on the control panel of the printer itself. If this is the case you should be able to fine a picture icon of a drop of black ink or a rectangular ink cartridge. Look for “Ink Levels” or “Toner Level” labels. You should be able to see it from here.

Check HP Ink Levels On a Mac

First, click on the Apple icon, and then make sure to click on “System Preferences.” The printer could be under several different names but the words “Print” or “Printer” will be there. Select the specific printer, then look at “Options and Supplies” which should be on a big, easy-to-see button. Click on it and you’ll see the current ink toner levels.


Check HP Ink Levels On Windows 10

With certain models of HP color printers the printer itself actually doesn’t provide an interface to accurately check on ink levels. An example of this would be the HP F2120 printer. In this type of situation, or if the readout on the printer itself is just faded or hard to read, you’ll need to get to it through the Windows 10 settings.

Step 1: Go to Start

Step 2: Click on the Cog

Step 3: Go to Devices (Printers & Scanners)

Step 4: Click the name of the specific printer you’re looking at

Step 5: Click on Manage and then go to “Printing Preferences”

Step 6: In the new dialogue box, you should be able to see how much ink is left or choose the “print status page” option which should tell you how much ink is left.

Note: In rare cases where the printer software isn’t set up to give that information for some reason, or if the software is buggy or damaged from time that information might simply be unavailable. However this is extremely rare, and if that’s the case you’re probably stuck with a visual inspection or getting a new printer.

Check Ink Levels Using the Android HP Smart App

Using an HP Smart app on your smartphone, you can line up the printer with the app on your phone which then allows you to check ink levels straight from your phone.

Use The Old Eyeball Test

While certainly the least technical (and precise) of the methods, as long as you have full access to the printer you always have the ability to open it up and look at the individual ink cartridges to see if some obviously seem low. While not the best method, if the others on the list fail for some reason, this is the ultimate fallback before making your next office supply order.