How can I make my printer keep printing B&W when I need a color cartridge?

My lexmark C544 was running low on magenta, yellow and black. I knew I was only printing black fo rhe next few days, so that’s all I bought locally (can save a bundle buying online).

Well, in the middle of printing nothing but black the printer tells me the magenta has to be replaced. Fine. I dont’ care, all I’m doing is black.

Well, the printer won’t stop telling me about the magenta.

I’ve looked at the user guides, searched for ways to override the warning… nothing so far.

Any ideas?

One idea, and I’m not sure if it’ll work, but it might. On your printing properties on your computer, do you have it formatted so that it’s printing in gray scale? If you have it printing in “color” (even if you’re not using color), it might be necessary for you to have magenta. If you change it to print in gray scale, it might be able to ignore the low magenta message.

Sometimes this ‘feature’ is 100% intentional to get you to buy more ink/cartridges/etc when all you need is B/W. Some printers will not let you escape this ugly circle. Low-down dirty trick by the companies that sell printers cheap and ink at high cost.

I’d wager it’s always intentional. Modern printers monitor ink levels, and when one runs out it won’t let you print a damn thing until the empty tank is replenished, even if the empty one is colour and you just want to print plain black text.

That’s why after going through half a dozen printers over the years I’ve ended up with a Kodak ESP-9. It doesn’t print gorgeous pictures, but ink is C$10 for black and C$15 for colour, or C$23 for a bundle containing one of each, so even though the tanks aren’t huge, they’re cheap and easy to replace, because even that printer pulls this stunt – but dealing with it isn’t nearly as painful as HP or Epson or whomever else does this where their ink tanks cost $40+ each.

Well, that’s the reason I switched to lasers… way more cost effective.

I have an old HP printer (circa 2002) and you can override the printer to always do black and white. In fact I do this anytime I need to print a webpage whose coloring is unimportant to me.