How to use a color cartridge to print black

Updated April 17, 2017

Printers can print in every colour you can imagine, but sometimes, the only colour you need is black. If your black ink cartridge should run low--something that tends to happen well before the colour cartridge is low--you can still print in black. There is a process by which you can change your printer's settings and use a colour ink cartridge to print in black only.

Go to the "File" menu, then select "Print" for the file/document you wish to print.

Select "Properties" from within the "Print" menu.

Select "Advanced."

Select "Black/Grayscale" under "Print options" and click "OK." This will close the properties menu and return you to the regular print menu.

Click "OK" to print the file/document.


The information provided is based on the directions for an Epson printer. While most printers will be the same, the headings and location of the black/grayscale option might be different, depending on the make and model of printer you use.


Some printers use a small amount of ink from each cartridge on every print job to ensure that the colour heads stay clear. You might see a small amount of colour even when printing the black/grayscale mode.


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About the Author

Lindsey Salloway started writing professionally in 2005. She has worked for various publications including the "Calgary Sun," "Calgary Journal" and "Penticton Western News." She also completed major journalism projects for various organizations such as the Foothills Country Hospice. Salloway holds a Bachelor of Communications in journalism from Mount Royal University.