Use Less Toner by Printing Smarter


One way to cut your printing budget is to modify your use of color printing. Becoming more aware of wasteful practices and cutting corners where possible are the first steps in reducing your printing costs and your environmental footprint.

Here are a few ways that you can stretch your printing dollar:

Understand What a “Low Toner Warning” Really Means

It’s OK to be skeptical of a low toner warning because often, these warnings pop up when the cartridge still has 20-25% of its toner left. Depending on what you’re likely to print, this could mean up to 100 extra pages that you could print with the old cartridge. Of course, if you see the warning at the beginning of a large print job, you will want to change the cartridge beforehand. If you usually print small jobs (1-10 sheets), you can keep an eye on the prints and replace the cartridge only when you first notice a degradation in the affected color.

Reduce Stop/Start Cycles

On most printers, toner will automatically accumulate on the drum during the start/stop cycle, even if you cancel the print job. To avoid this, try accessing “Printer Properties” on your computer and see if the settings allow you to print your pages only after the last page spools. 

Use Print Preview and Print Smarter

You’ve seen the print preview feature if you’ve printed a document. It allows you to approve the formatting and layout before sending it to the printer. It can also show you if there are pages you don’t need to print. If you’ve ever printed a webpage, you’ve noticed that there is often a lot of extraneous material. Advertisements and random user comments are irrelevant and waste a lot of toner when printed along with the article. Some webpages may have large, color images embedded in them. If you don’t need to print them, you may want to copy the article text into a word document and remove the images before printing it. These will reduce your toner and paper usage substantially.

Some printers might also have a “Draft Mode,” “EconoMode,” or “Toner Mode,” which allows you to print using less toner – sometimes without sacrificing noticeable print quality.

Print in Black and White When Possible

When using a color printer, it’s easy to forget that you can always print in black and white or grayscale. Print in black and white or grayscale whenever possible to save on ink and toner by adjusting “Printer Settings.”

There are also other ways to reduce your toner use, from selecting fonts that use less toner, creating a “print policy” for your office, or simply being more judicious about what you choose to print.

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