How to Check Ink Levels on HP Printer

Mastering Ink Management: 3 Ways to Check Ink Levels on Your HP Printer

Check Ink Levels on HP Printer

In the modern world, printers have become an essential part of our daily lives. From printing important documents to cherished family photos, these devices have made our lives easier in numerous ways. When it comes to printers, HP is a name that stands out. Known for their reliability and quality, HP printers have gained immense popularity worldwide. However, even the best printers are of no use if they run out of ink. That’s where knowing how to check ink levels on your HP printer becomes crucial.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to check ink levels on your HP printer. Whether you’re a seasoned HP printer user or a newbie, this article will provide you with all the information you need to ensure your printer is always ready to produce high-quality prints.

Table of Contents

Why is Checking Ink Levels Important?

Checking ink levels on your HP printer is akin to checking the fuel gauge in your car. It helps you stay prepared and avoid sudden inconveniences. Here are some reasons why it’s essential:

  1. Avoiding Interruptions: Running out of ink in the middle of an important print job can be frustrating. Checking ink levels allows you to plan ahead and replace cartridges when necessary.
  2. Maintaining Print Quality: Low ink levels can affect print quality. By monitoring your ink levels, you can ensure that your prints consistently look their best.
  3. Prolonging Printer Life: Continuously printing with low ink levels can strain your printer’s printhead, potentially reducing its lifespan. Regularly checking ink levels can prevent this.

Now that you understand the importance, let’s move on to the practical aspect of checking ink levels on your HP printer.

Locating the Ink Level Indicator

HP printers are designed with user-friendliness in mind. Locating the ink level indicator is a straightforward process. In most HP printers, you can find this indicator in one of two places:

  1. On the Printer’s Display Screen: Many modern HP printers feature an LCD display screen that provides various information, including ink levels.
  2. Via the HP Smart App: You can also check ink levels using the HP Smart App on your smartphone or tablet. This method is especially convenient for users who prefer to manage their printer settings remotely.

Checking Ink Levels on an HP Printer: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know where to find the ink level indicator, let’s go through the step-by-step process of checking ink levels using both methods: the HP Smart App and the printer’s control panel.

1. Using HP Smart App

Check ink or toner levels with the HP Smart app

  • Download and Install the HP Smart App: If you haven’t already, download and install the HP Smart App on your mobile device.
  • Connect to Your Printer: Ensure your printer and mobile device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Open the HP Smart App: Launch the app on your device.
  • Add Your Printer: Follow the on-screen instructions to add your HP printer to the app.
  • Check Ink Levels: Once your printer is added, open the app and select your printer. You should find an option to check ink levels. Tap on it, and the app will display the ink status for each cartridge.

2. Checking Ink Levels on HP Printer via Computer

Check ink or toner levels via computer

  • Open HP Printer Software: On your computer, open the HP Print and Scan Doctor software installed for your printer model.
  • Select ‘Estimated Ink Levels’: Navigate to the ‘Tools’ or ‘Printer Toolbox’ section of the software and select ‘Estimated Ink Levels.’ The software will display the ink levels for all installed cartridges.

3. Checking Ink Levels on HP Printer via Printer Control Panel

  • Access the Printer Control Panel: If your printer has a control panel, navigate to the ‘Ink Levels’ or ‘Cartridge Status’ option. Depending on your printer model, the phrasing may vary slightly.
  • View Ink Levels: Select the option to view ink levels. Your printer’s screen will display the current ink levels for each cartridge.

How Often Should You Check Ink Levels?

The frequency of checking ink levels may vary depending on your printing needs. However, as a general guideline, it’s a good practice to check ink levels before starting any significant print job. Additionally, consider checking ink levels every couple of weeks if you use your printer infrequently. This proactive approach ensures you’re never caught off guard by low ink levels.

Troubleshooting Low Ink Levels

Encountering low ink levels can be frustrating, but it’s a problem that’s easily resolved. Here are some troubleshooting steps to follow:

  1. Confirm Accuracy: Double-check the ink level readings to ensure they are accurate. Sometimes, the indicators may display low ink levels prematurely.
  2. Shake the Cartridges: If the ink levels are low but not empty, gently shake the cartridges to redistribute the remaining ink. This can temporarily extend their life.
  3. Replace Empty Cartridges: When the ink levels are genuinely low, replace the empty cartridges with new ones. Always have spare cartridges on hand to avoid printing interruptions.

Replacing Ink Cartridges

Knowing how to replace ink cartridges is as important as checking ink levels. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:

  1. Turn Off the Printer: Ensure the printer is turned off before proceeding.
  2. Open the Cartridge Access Door: Open the printer’s cartridge access door. The location of this door varies by printer model.
  3. Remove the Empty Cartridge: Gently press down on the empty cartridge to release it, and then remove it from its slot.
  4. Unpack the New Cartridge: Take the new ink cartridge out of its packaging and remove any protective tapes or seals.
  5. Insert the New Cartridge: Slide the new cartridge into the empty slot until it clicks into place.
  6. Close the Cartridge Access Door: Close the cartridge access door securely.
  7. Turn On the Printer: Power on the printer and wait for it to initialize.
  8. Align the Cartridges (if required): Some printers may prompt you to align the cartridges. Follow the on-screen instructions if needed.

Tips for Extending Ink Life

To make the most of your ink cartridges and save money in the long run, consider these tips:

  1. Print in Draft Mode: When high print quality isn’t essential, switch to draft mode. This uses less ink for printing.
  2. Use Original HP Cartridges: While compatible cartridges may be cheaper, using original HP cartridges ensures optimal performance and quality.
  3. Print Regularly: Regular printing helps prevent ink from drying up and clogging the printhead.
  4. Turn Off the Printer When Not in Use: Leaving your printer on consumes a small amount of ink to keep the printhead moist. Turn it off when not in use for extended periods.

Understanding HP’s Ink Subscription Services

HP offers various ink subscription services, such as HP Instant Ink, designed to simplify the process of receiving ink cartridges when you need them. These services are a convenient way to ensure you always have ink on hand. Be sure to explore these options if you’re a frequent printer user.


Ink management is a crucial aspect of maintaining your HP printer’s performance and ensuring that it consistently delivers high-quality prints. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily check ink levels on your HP printer and stay ahead of any potential printing hiccups.

Remember, a well-maintained printer not only saves you from last-minute printing woes but also prolongs the life of your printer. So, keep your HP printer in top shape by monitoring ink levels regularly, and don’t forget to use genuine HP ink cartridges for the best results.

As a printer expert with years of experience in troubleshooting and optimizing various printer models. Carl Abel shares his knowledge through his website,, where he provides valuable insights and tips to help printer owners make the most of their printing experience. Connect with Carl for expert advice on all things related to printers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I check ink levels on my HP printer without a computer or mobile device?
A: Yes, many HP printers with a control panel allow you to check ink levels directly on the printer’s screen.

Q: What should I do if my printer consistently shows inaccurate ink level readings?
A: If your printer consistently displays inaccurate readings, consider updating your printer’s firmware and cleaning the cartridge contacts. If the issue persists, contact HP support.

Q: How do I know which ink cartridges are compatible with my HP printer?
A: You can find a list of compatible cartridges in your printer’s user manual or on the HP website. Always ensure you use cartridges that match your printer’s model.

Q: Can I refill HP ink cartridges myself to save money?
A: While it’s possible to refill ink cartridges, it’s generally recommended to use genuine HP cartridges for optimal performance and print quality.

Q: Is it possible to print in black and white if one of the color cartridges is empty?
A: Yes, most HP printers allow you to print in black and white even if one of the color cartridges is empty. You may receive a notification, but you can typically proceed with the print job.

Q: Can I recycle my used HP ink cartridges?
A: Yes, HP offers a cartridge recycling program. You can return used cartridges to HP for proper recycling.

About Author

Carl Abel
I am a printing expert with years of experience in various printing techniques. My expertise includes offset printing, digital printing, and screen printing. I am known for my attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and commitment to delivering outstanding results. I am dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in printing technology to provide cutting-edge solutions. I am passionate about collaborating with clients to transform their ideas into stunning prints. Read more about us
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