How to Print with Black Ink Only Epson

Epson has some of the best printing machines in the market today. However, like most printers, they’re designed to only print when there is ink in all cartridges.

In other words, the printer will not work when the color ink cartridges run out until they’re replaced. This is intended to avoid issues like poor print quality and print head clogs.

how to print with black ink only when color is empty epson

The same case applies even if you’re printing black and white prints with black ink only. Instead, you’ll get an error message pointing out that you need to replace the color cartridge. If you’re experiencing this issue, take it easy!

In this article, I’ll show you how to use your Epson printer with black ink only when color cartridges are empty.

Let’s get into it!

How to Print With Black Ink Color When A Color Cartridge Is Empty!

For Window Users

If the color ink runs out while printing, the Epson status monitor status will appear. When that happens, click Stop/ Cancel to cancel a print job. Then put plain papers in the tray.

Now click File and choose Print Setup/ Print. Proceed and click on Preference/ Properties, then open Main. Choose the ideal Quality Option Settings and set the Type Setting to Envelope/ Plain. In Print options, select the Grayscale checkbox and click OK. This will automatically close the printer settings window.

If you have followed these steps, use your Epson printer to print the file. And check if it’s printing in black & white only. If the Epson Status Monitor appears on your PC screen, choose print in Black.

However, this workaround may not work with all Epson printer models. Instead, Epson claims that this technique only works on NX420, SX425W, and SX420W. If your printer model isn’t listed here, check if another method will work!

How to Print with Black Ink Only When Color Cartridge is Empty Epson

For Mac OS Users

If you’re a Mac, start by canceling the printing task. To accomplish that, navigate through the menu and click the printer menu. The computer screen will either display an error message or an update. The update shows that you can continue printing in color.

If the screen shows an error message, continue by clicking Ok. But if the message claims you can’t continue printing in color, click on the delete/ cancel button to stop the task.

While still on the Apple menu, click on the ‘System Preferences. Choose the ideal command options. These options include; ‘Printers and Scanners’, ‘Print and Scan’, and ‘Print and Fax’.

Choose these settings depending on the type of machine you have. Once you’ve done that, select ‘Options and Supplies’.

Now, check whether the displayed options are shown correctly. Also, make sure the ‘Permit Temporary Black Painting’ is activated. Then click on ‘OK’ to ascertain the changes made.

Next, insert a plain paper or envelope into your Epson printer. Then open the document you intend to print and select the ‘Show Details’ option.

Alternatively, you can click on the arrow near the ‘Printer Settings’ option. Either way, go ahead and click on the ‘Printer Settings’ and set the paper type. These options can either be ‘Bright White Paper/ Plain Paper or Envelope’.

Regardless of what appears, click on it and proceed to click the Grayscale/ Black option. After doing that, you can now print your document in black and white with empty color cartridges.

How to Override Epson Empty Cartridge

To work around empty cartridges in Epson printers, head to the printer control panel.  Click the ‘Menu button and use the right/ left arrow buttons to go to the ‘Service’ option and click ‘Enter’.

Use the right’ left arrow buttons again to ‘Restore Defaults’ and click Enter. Once you’ve done that, your Epson printer will reset to the factory default settings.

Open the file you want to print on your computer and click ‘Print’. Press ‘Properties’, followed by the ‘Color’ tab. Click on the ‘Print in grayscale’ option to start printing your file in black & white.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Can you print in black if the color is missing Epson?

Epson printers require a small amount of ink from each cartridge to print. For that, they may not print black and white if the color cartridge is empty. However, you can bypass this issue through various methods. For instance, you can choose ‘Print in Grayscale’ in printer Settings.

#2. How do you get your Epson printing machine to print without color ink?

Go to the Printer Settings and press the Main tab. Now, choose the appropriate Quality Option settings and set the type settings. Lastly, choose the Grayscale option.

#3. Can I override the Epson printer cartridge empty?

Yes. Start by pressing the left/ right arrow button to choose the refilled ink tank and click ‘OK’. Repeat this process for each refilled ink tank color. And press the Start button to reset the color ink levels. Once the reset is complete, click the ‘OK button.

Final Word

In essence, Epson printers don’t print black in white if the color cartridge is empty. However, by following the above steps, you can successfully bypass that problem. If the problem persists, I’d recommend you check if the printer hardware has issues.

Also, remove the cartridge and check if there is debris blocking the print head. On the same note, look if the cartridge has enough black ink. As an alternative, you can refill the cartridge and solve this issue once and for all.

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Expertise: Content writer

My goal in life is to always be learning. I've spent 25+ years working with my hands and have found the art of building something new to be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Through my writing I aim to share some of what I've stumbled upon with the world in hopes others can benefit from my own experiences!