8 Signs Your Printer Needs a New Toner Cartridge

Did you know that almost 95 million printers were sold and shipped out in the United States of America in the year 2019? Almost everyone has experienced that frustrating phenomenon of trying to print an important document while in a hurry only to discover that the toner cartridge in the printer is empty. Toner cartridges are vital for allowing printed to work as intended for your business.

There are obvious signs that the printer ink in your printer is getting low and that you need to start buying toner cartridges. There are also more subtle signs that you need to keep your eyes open for if you want to avoid this frustrating experience.

The good news is that you’re in the perfect place to learn more about the seven clear signs that your toner cartridge needs to be replaced. Keep reading this article to learn more today!

1. Your Printer Is Printing Slower

One of the clearest signs that your printer is running low on ink and that you need to replace your toner cartridge is when you notice your printer slowing down. With older printers, it was difficult to spot if your printer was going slower than normal since all printers went slow to begin with.

The good news is that printing technology has come a long way over the past few decades. Printers are capable of printing out hundreds of documents in the time that it used to take printers to print ten. The newest models of printers print full pages at what seems like lightning speed.

If you’re running a business then it is possible that you need numerous documents printed in a short amount of time. Perhaps you have a big meeting and you need fifty copies of a document printed so that each person participating has a copy. A slow printer that is low on ink will never meet your needs or expectations.

Modern printers are capable of printing almost three times faster than printers from a decade ago. The increase in technology means that it will be quite obvious when your printer slows down due to printer ink running low. Most printers on the market are around the 40 prints per minute range.

If you notice that your printer is slowing down then you need to check the toner cartridge to see if the ink is low. From there, you can start buying printer ink and replace the cartridge as soon as the replacement arrives.

2. You Have an Old Printer

There are some telltale signs that you need to consider getting a new or upgraded printer for your business. If your business’s printer lacks the ability to access your wifi network and it doesn’t have any ethernet ports then your printer is far behind the times. You can’t get updates for your printer if you don’t have the ability to access and connect to the internet.

Check your printer’s capabilities and make sure that you can hook it up to the internet. Firmware updates are a vital part of keeping your printer running strong and meeting your needs. A lack of firmware updates means that your printer will run slower and require more ink in order to meet your document demands.

You’ll also have a difficult time getting warnings from the printer or your computer network that the printer ink is getting low. Without these warnings, you could keep printing in an inefficient manner until you’re completely out of ink.

3. Low Ink Warnings

Speaking of low ink warnings, they’re one of the most clear-cut signs that you’re in need of a new toner cartridge for your printer. If you have an inkjet printer and you’re running low on ink then it is a matter of time before you get a notification that you need a new ink cartridge to keep printing.

The printer itself might have a light that indicates when the ink is starting to get low. It could also be communicated by a series of blinking lights and noises that will capture your attention and let you know to start buying printer ink from

If you have an older printer then you could get a notification that has a number code for low ink. Consult your owner’s manual to look at the code and find out the message that your printer is attempting to convey. It could be an error code from a paper jam or it could be a code that lets you know that you need more ink.

One thing to remember is that these low ink warnings don’t mean that your ink cartridge is empty. Think of it as a low fuel indicator in a vehicle. It is a sign that reminds you that you need to start looking at buying printer ink sooner than later. You should still have between 20 and 40 percent of ink capacity in the toner cartridge at the time of the warning.

As long as there is some ink left in the toner cartridge you’re good to continue using it. If you get annoyed with the low ink warnings then you can take the toner cartridge out and reinsert it to reset your printer.

4. Streaky Images

Another big sign that it is time to buy some new ink cartridges is when you get streaky images. Low ink means that your print heads won’t get the ink that they need to print in an even manner. If you try to print a picture then you’re destined to see these streaks when your printer ink is starting to run low.

The most often orientation of these streaks is through horizontal lines on the picture that you’ve printed. It is also possible for there to be vertical streaks but most often you’ll get horizontal lines for low printer ink.

Any instances of smudges, lines, or smeared ink are sure signs that you need to start buying toner cartridges to replace your current ones.

5. Faded Colors

Depending on what you do for work you could spend a large portion of your day printing out reports that feature pictures and graphs. In order to convey the proper message, you need the images that you’re printing to come out of the printer in a clear manner.

If you’re printing these reports and images and they come out of the printer looking faded then it is time to start looking at toner options to replace your current toner cartridges. The most common sign is a decrease in the intensity or the strength of certain colors in the image.

You could also encounter times when the images that you’re printing are fundamentally different when it comes to colors used by the printer. If you’re trying to print an image and it is meant to be green then it could come out blue when you’re running low on printer ink.

6. Disabled Printer Functions

If you find that there are certain functions that your printer can’t perform anymore then there is likely a cause. You need to check your toner cartridge as soon as you get a notification that your printer cannot perform its normal functions. When you get low on the ink you won’t have an easy time making copies or sending faxes.

Some printers have the physical printing function tied to all of the other functions that your printer provides. It is extremely frustrating but there is a method to the madness when it comes to the printer and ink companies. You won’t have access to all of the normal functions that your printer provides if you don’t start buying toner cartridges for your printer.

It is understandable that you’d get frustrated or annoyed when you’re trying to scan a single document and you can’t because of a low ink warning on the printer. There are some printers that will allow you to move past this warning to do what you need to do.

The worst is when your printer uses multiple cartridges and all but one is full to capacity. Some printers require that all cartridges are at a minimum level in order to print anything with your printer. Keep that in mind and check your toner cartridges on a regular basis.

7. Printer Stops Printing

You’ll have a hard time ignoring or finding a way around this sign that your toner cartridge is getting low on ink. Depending on the type of printer that you’re using, it is likely that your printer requires three or four different toner cartridges in order to work. It is annoying, but your printer could stop printing even if only one cartridge is getting low on ink.

If you’re getting low with yellow ink in your printer then it could keep you from printing basic documents in black and white. It makes zero sense from a logic standpoint but it is a clear sign that you need to start buying toner cartridges and keeping them in storage until you need them.

There are indeed some types of printers that use multiple cartridges in order to print certain colors for images and pictures. Still, there are some printer companies that use this as a gimmick in order to get consumers to purchase more ink cartridges. They use this as a way to grow their revenue and make more money off of consumers like you.

It is vital when you go to buy printer ink that you’re getting the right cartridge type. There are dozens of different toner options on the market and it can get confusing in a short period of time if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you’re unsure of the ink cartridge that you need then there are tons of resources on the internet that will help.

8. Bad Ink Cartridge

You might also get a warning from your printer that your ink cartridge is bad. Perhaps your ink cartridge is faulty or it sustained damage somewhere along the line on its journey to your business. There are certain circumstances where you might need to move on from that ink cartridge and buy a replacement.

If you get a message that your printer doesn’t recognize the ink cartridge then that is a bad sign. You might also get a message that your ink cartridge is not installed or aligned in the right way. The worst message that you can get is that your toner cartridge is faulty or damaged.

There are also a number of user mistakes that you need to be aware of that might cause these errors. If you encounter them then you should use the manual to handle some troubleshooting to find a solution.

Perhaps you’ve left the printer door open or you’ve installed the replacement ink cartridge in the wrong place. Another common issue that results from user error is leaving the tape on the new toner cartridge when you install it in the printer.

There are certain things that you might do that increase your odds of getting a bad ink cartridge. If you’ve purchased your replacement ink cartridge from a place that remanufactured ink cartridges then it is more likely that you’ll get a faulty cartridge. You should also avoid getting generic printer cartridges if you want to keep your printer running in a smooth and efficient manner.

A big mistake that people make is thinking that they can fill their old ink cartridges on their own. Avoid doing this at all costs if you care about your printer.

Now You Know When to Replace Your Toner Cartridge

One of the trickiest things that you’ll need to learn as the owner of a printer is when to replace the toner cartridge for your printer. There are a number of clear and obvious signs that you need to buy printer ink, like warnings on your computer’s screen and horizontal lines on pictures that you’re printing.

You might also run into other issues that keep you from accessing other functions of your printer, like scanning and copying documents. Keep your eyes out for these issues and start buying toner cartridges when you get these warnings.

For more helpful articles like this one, make sure you check out the rest of our blog today!

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