How to Check the Ink Level on an HP Deskjet F380

Written by liz turner
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The HP Deskjet F380 is an All-in-One inkjet machine that prints documents and photos, faxes and scans. Released in mid-2006, the machine is no longer offered for sale by HP, but it remains in place in many homes. As a low-cost All-in-One it was designated for light home use. It uses the HP 21 Black cartridge, designed to yield 200 standard pages and the HP 22 Tri-colour cartridge, designed for 170 standard pages. Naturally, these cartridges need to be replaced when the ink is low--but how do you know when that is?

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer
  • HP Deskjet F380 All-in-One
  • Replacement cartridges

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Click "Start, HP Solution Center" on your computer.

  2. 2

    Choose the "Settings" menu, then "Print Settings" and "Printer Toolbox."

  3. 3

    Click "Estimated Ink Level." If ink levels are low and your printouts have shown streaks or lines, replace your ink cartridges.

  4. 4

    Follow the prompts to align the cartridges if you've replaced them.

  5. 5

    Keep an eye on your printouts after you've changed cartridges. A "low-ink" warning should pop up if you're trying to print with cartridges that are low on ink, but it's a good idea to be aware of the signs of low ink, since printing with an empty or nearly empty cartridge can damage your printer.

Tips and warnings

  • Put a sticker or note on your printer noting when your cartridges were last replaced. This will give you an idea of when you may need to replace again.
  • Keep an extra set of replacement cartridges on hand. Leaving empty cartridges in the printer too long can damage it.
  • If you've installed an aftermarket or non-HP cartridge, the ink-level indicator may not work. This is fine as long as you note when your cartridges were last replaced, and keep an eye on the quality of your printouts.

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