Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware Extend the Life of Your Printer Ink Cartridge With These Easy Tips 9 tricks to save ink and help your wallet by Erin Huffstetler Writer Erin Huffstetler has been a freelance writer for 11+ years. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and many others. our editorial process Erin Huffstetler Updated on June 11, 2020 Accessories & Hardware Printers & Scanners Guide To Buying a New Printer The Quick Guide to Webcams Keyboards & Mice Monitors Cards HDD & SSD Raspberry Pi Tweet Share Email Inkjet printers are used in homes, offices, and home offices everywhere, an indispensable part of everyday life. But printer ink cartridges are costly and tend to run out of ink at the most inopportune times. If you're looking for ways to extend the life of your inkjet printer cartridges, we've gathered a list of tips and tricks designed to keep the ink flowing longer, saving you time and money. Inkjet cartridges have a tiny computer chip that monitors ink level, alerting you when ink is getting low. In some cartridges, you can reset this chip for a more accurate ink assessment. 01 of 09 Ignore Out-of-Ink Warnings Your printer will usually alert you with a warning that your ink cartridges are getting low on ink. Instead of rushing out to buy new cartridges, ignore this warning for a while. In a lab test, PC World found that ink cartridges still contained anywhere from 8 to 45 percent of their ink when this message started to pop up. In the settings area of many printers, it's possible to disable low-ink warnings. 02 of 09 Avoid Chunky Fonts and Bolds Wikimedia Thick fonts and bolded text require extra ink to print, so skinny up your text and save. Try some ink-sipping fonts instead, such as Calibri and Times New Roman. Want to save even more ink? Download Ecofont, a free font that uses 20 percent less ink by placing small white circles within each character. 03 of 09 Use a Smaller Font Size What's the difference between a 12-point font and a 14-point font? Obviously, they're different sizes, but they also use differing amounts of ink. Use smaller-sized text and size up only when necessary, for example, in headlines. 04 of 09 Proof Before You Print Maguey Images / Getty Images Before you print out a document, take extra time to edit and proof your work carefully. All too often, we print out documents, find mistakes, and then print them out again. The fewer times you have to print a document, the more ink you'll save. 05 of 09 Tweak Your Printer Settings skynesher / Getty Images Printers are factory set to be ink guzzlers, but that's easy to change. To update your printer's default settings on a Windows-based computer, select Start > Printers, right-click on your printer, and then select Printer Preferences. Consider setting the print quality to draft mode, setting the color to print in grayscale, and setting document options to print multiple pages per sheet. 06 of 09 Print Just What You Need If you need to print an article or recipe from a website, but you're not interested in printing ads and photos, there's an easy way. The website Print What You Like lets you print a page without any ink-hogging extras. Just plug in the URL, and the free service will create a clean, printable document that will save on ink. 07 of 09 Use Print Preview Mint Images / Getty Images Have you ever printed something from the web, only to find that it didn't fit the page? What a waste of ink, paper, and time. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to avoid. Select Print Preview before you send anything to the printer, and you'll be able to catch and correct any issues before they make it onto paper. 08 of 09 Check for Clogged Nozzles or Printheads André Karwath, Creative commons Has your cartridge stopped printing properly? Before you toss it, make sure a clogged nozzle or printhead isn't the culprit. Gently remove the cartridge from the printer and wipe the bottom with a damp paper towel. Then reinstall it and try printing again. 09 of 09 Hit Save Instead of Print, or Print to PDF If a digital record is all you really need, consider printing to PDF or saving the file to your hard drive. If you make hard-copy printouts only when necessary, you'll save on printer ink and keep your workspace uncluttered.