How to Check the Ink Level on an HP Deskjet F380

Updated April 17, 2017

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?

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

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

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

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

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.


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.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • HP Deskjet F380 All-in-One
  • Replacement cartridges
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About the Author

Liz Turner has been writing since 1994. Her work has been published in several technology publications and local newspapers, as well as on eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. She has writing and editing experience in technology, business, children's issues, travel, animal care, beauty, health and fitness topics. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida.