How to Check the Ink Level on an HP Deskjet F380

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.