Top 5 most effective ways to save ink while printing documents

Even though we do not need scanners nowadays to scan documents, we still need a printer so that we can print essential documents or files; especially when we need a hard copy of the file that is only available in a digital format with us. The use of printers is not likely to go away anytime soon. But unlike a scanner, having a printer is a recurring expense as you need to purchase new ink cartridges, when the ink in your present cartridge is over. Well, if you are currently a user of some consumer printing device, you might already know how expensive the printer ink is, and that said, you should always try to get a printer that is capable of printing most with the least ink possible; so that purchasing ink cartridges never becomes heavy on your pocket at the end of the month, or depending upon how frequently you need to print documents or photos. 

But in spite of all that, there is no denial of the fact that printer ink can still be heavy on your pocket. However, there are several ways you can save ink while printing, and today I’ll be talking about some of the most effective ways to save ink while printing, especially while having a hard copy of documents that most people require. Whereas when it comes to printing photos, all the tricks that I will be mentioning here might not be applicable as the threshold quality necessary for printing images and photos is much better than the best quality of a document print. So, today I’ll be keeping my discussion limited to how you can save ink, especially while printing documents only.

Ways to save Printer ink while printing documents

Well, without any further delay, let’s get started with some of the cool and effective ways you can save ink while printing documents, and some might also be applicable for printing photos or so.

Best method or settings to save printer ink to print more documents min

Print in draft mode

Among the first steps that you can take in order to save ink while printing is the usage of draft mode to print documents. Even though the draft mode is meant for printing documents that are not final, just to find out how the print will actually look like, it can cater to most needs even if you are printing the final edition of the document using the mode.

By printing documents in draft mode, you can save a lot of ink as the quality of the doc is not properly maintained, and it prints in a lower resolution compared to that of the normal mode available for printing. Moreover, the draft mode will also save time as the printing in this method is faster than other modes that deliver better quality.

To print documents in draft mode, at the time of printing a document, click on ‘Properties’ or ‘Preferences’. Under the ‘Printing Shortcut’ tab, click on ‘Draft’ under ‘Print Quality:’ and then you can print a document in Draft Mode. The process is the same across most modern versions of Windows and is not going to vary depending upon which printer you are using, except a very few models. You can also set it as the default mode for printing from the ‘Printers & scanners’ section within the Control Panel or from within Windows Settings.

Print in grayscale

If you are printing just documents, you don’t need to print them in color. However, even if you want them in pitch black, your printer is actually using a combination of several colors to paint the apparent black ink that you are getting. Therefore, you can force your printer to just use the black ink and save the color cartridge for some photos or some project work.

On Windows, one can make printer print in grayscale, and that way the printer will only use black color to print in black, actually it uses a dark shade of grey, and this can cater to most of the everyday requirements.

To make your printer print in grayscale mode, at the time of printing a document, click on ‘Properties’ or ‘Preferences’, and under ‘Paper/Quality’ tab, click on the ‘Advanced…’ button.

Under ‘Advanced Options’, click on the drop-down menu corresponding to ‘Print in Grayscale:’, and then click on ‘Black Ink Only’. Just like the previous method, you can set this at the default mode of printing, if you do not need very high-quality printing for your office or every requirement, which most people hardly need if they want to save ink. You can also go to the control panel or Windows Settings and change the settings within ‘Printers & scanners’. See: How to print out the list of files & folders on Windows.

Print using

Certain situations might insist you upon printing webpages directly, and the sad reality is, a web page contains several graphical elements, besides text elements, and if you choose to print the complete web page you will end up losing more ink then printing only the text. Even if you need to print some graphical elements like infographics, some images, there are several unnecessary advertisements and other elements that are not at all necessary in the hard copy of the web page that you are planning to print. But you can turn things away by using websites and extensions like print-friendly. It will chop off all the unnecessary elements from a web page and allows us to print only the important elements that can also be customized as per the needs. Read more: How to print a selected range of cells in Excel.

You can visit, and paste the link of the webpage that you are willing to print in order to get started. After a preview of the page to be printed is generated, you can also delete those elements within the page that you think unnecessary, and then finally print the page with only the essential elements, keeping away the garbage.

Furthermore. we can also use the print-friendly extension on Chrome or any other web browser that can help us to get the printable version of a web page with just a single click. After you choose the document for printing, you can also use the draft mode and grayscale printing and that will definitely help you use the least ink possible. Alternatively, print the webpage to a PDF if you do not want to print the web page right now.

Use all the ink in the cartridge

The printer manufacturer will always want you to spend as much as possible so that you can get a new cartridge as early as possible, even when there is some ink in the cartridge. With that endeavor, the printer software might notify you about low ink in the cartridge every time you try to print some documents or in the midst of nowhere. However, even in that situation, depending upon the printer model that you are using, there can still be much ink left to print several documents and photos before you go to the store and purchase a new cartridge to use it on your printer.

However, if you really need to print back to back, you can go and purchase a cartridge and keep it as a buffer so that you can start using it once the cartridge completely runs out of ink. Depending upon the model of printer that you are using, there can be some way to disable the warnings and to change the low ink threshold so that you can customize it when you want to get warnings. For example, we can set the printer software to warn you about low ink, when there is only 10% ink available in the cartridge, and that can help you make the decision of purchasing a new ink cartridge smartly.

Clean and take care of the nozzle in the cartridge and the toner

It is a general thumb rule that we should take care of everything that we use, and the printer’s cartridge or the toner is not an exception to that as well.

If you do not take care and clean the cartridge regularly, it might end up using more ink to print something that requires less. Even if you are using a laser printer and you are not printing for long, you should take care of the toner, else the ink will settle down with time. Finally, there will be faded areas on the page that you print. The best thing that you can do is, shake the toner properly and it should work perfectly after that.

If you are not using the cartridge for really a long period of time, you should clean the cartridge nozzle properly, and I will also recommend you to print on a regular basis and that will help you use the ink most efficiently.

I know, printing pages unnecessarily isn’t eco-friendly and it is also going to make you require more ink, but that is far better than throwing away a dried cartridge that you haven’t used for long. If you have purchased a printer, it must be that you need to print frequently, and thus, you should use the most out of your printer.


Nobody can deny the fact that printed inks are expensive. You should try out everything to cut down the investment on printer ink, and all the ways that I am mentioned here should definitely help you save maximum ink possible. Among the other steps that you can take includes, not printing those things that you do not need urgently, and you should try to keep away most graphical elements in the pages that you print. These are some other effective ways to save ink while printing, and these are some smart moves when it comes to printing in the most eco-friendly way.

So those were the different ways you can save ink while printing. Do you know any other great way of saving at the time of printing? Feel free to comment on the same below.

Read more: