How to Print With Only One Ink Cartridge

by Cameron Easey

Most printers that are used today have multiple ink cartridges that are used when a picture or document is sent to the printer. When one of the ink cartridges runs out, many times the printer will not print until the cartridge has been replaced. However, there is a workaround to print if there is only one full ink cartridge left in the printer. You can print with only one ink cartridge by changing the printer "Property" options before printing.

Step 1

Click on the "Start" menu and then select the option for the "Control Panel."

Step 2

Double-click on the icon for "Printer and Faxes."

Step 3

Right-click on your default printer and select "Printing Preferences" from the context menu.

Step 4

Select the "Color" tab from the "Printing Preferences" window.

Step 5

Choose the option that will work the best, depending on your model of printer. You may have the option to use the black cartridge only or use the color cartridge only. You can also change the color option used with the printer.

Step 6

Change the color option to "Grayscale," "Print in Color" or "Composite," depending on the cartridge that is out of ink. Using a composite option will combine the color ink to print an almost black color.

Change the font for the text to a brown or a dark blue if you are out of black ink. You can typically change the font when printing most types of text documents from a word processing program.


  • Some models of printers may not provide an option to use a different cartridge when printing.
  • Many newer printers that are sold today will not print if any of the ink cartridges is empty.


  • Do not remove the empty cartridge from your printer. Your printer will most likely not print at all if you take out a cartridge.


About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.

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