How can I stop my printer from running out of ink so quickly?

1. Use Less Ink Intensive Printing Modes

Most people print the same way every time—in the default “normal” mode. But many printers have alternative printing modes that use less ink, such as draft printing and toner-saving printing modes. Draft mode is much faster and can use up to 75% less ink, so it’s great if you only need to print a quick document or a rough draft. If you don’t need to print high-quality documents, try using the draft mode instead of the normal mode to conserve ink.

2. Lower Your DPI Settings
Your printer has a DPI (dots per inch) setting that determines how detailed your printout will be. The higher the DPI, the sharper the image or text will be. The standard DPI is usually set to 600, but you can go lower, such as 300 or even 150, to save ink. You won’t be able to print photos in high resolution at low DPI settings, but for everyday documents and text, you may not notice a big difference.

3. Turn Off Color Printing
If you don’t need color, don’t use it. Color printing uses a lot of ink and can double or even triple your ink usage. Unless you really need the document to be in color, try to stick with black and white printing. Many printers also have an “economode” setting that automatically switches to black and white when printing.

4. Print In Grayscale
Even though grayscale printing uses more ink than black and white printing, it can still be more economical than color printing. Grayscale printing uses less ink than color printing because it doesn’t require the additional colors (cyan, magenta, yellow) that are necessary for printing in color. If you need to print in color but want to save ink, try switching to grayscale instead.

5. Use Refillable Ink Cartridges
Much like a pen, all inkjet printers have cartridges that need to be filled with ink. Some cartridges are disposable and must be replaced when they run out of ink. But there are also refillable ink cartridges available that allow you to fill them up with more ink whenever they run out. Refillable ink cartridges tend to be more cost-effective in the long run and are often designed to accommodate larger amounts of ink, so you don’t have to refill them as often.

6. Buy Bulk Ink
If you buy your printer cartridges from an office supply store or online, you can usually find cheaper bulk ink options. Instead of buying single cartridges, you can buy large jugs of ink that are designed to fit your printer model. Purchasing bulk ink instead of individual cartridges can save you a lot of money in the long run.

7. Buy Specialized Inks
Many printer manufacturers offer specialized inks that are designed to last longer and reduce ink consumption. These inks are often more expensive than traditional inks, but they can help you get more mileage out of your printer cartridges.

8. Clean Printer Heads Regularly
Clogged printer heads can prevent your printer from printing properly, resulting in smudged text or faded images. To clean the printer heads, turn off the printer and open its cover. Then, moisten a cotton swab with warm water and rub the printer head gently. Wait 15 minutes to allow the printer head to dry before turning the printer back on. Doing this regularly can help keep your printer working optimally, which can help conserve your ink.

9. Avoid Printing Unnecessary Pages
Before you hit print, always read through your document to make sure it’s exactly what you want to print. You may be surprised how often you end up printing pages that you don’t need. This can be a waste of paper and ink, so take the time to proofread your documents before you hit print.

10. Recycle Empty Cartridges
Many stores and websites allow you to recycle empty cartridges, which helps reduce waste and conserve resources. Recycling programs often offer rewards such as discounts on new cartridges or cash back. This makes it easy and financially beneficial to conserve your ink and reduce cartridge waste.