Is it Time for a New Toner Cartridge?

If you're like many people, then you use a printer regularly. Whether that printer is used for business, personal use, or both, it's important to keep it well-stocked with supplies, including a quality toner cartridge.

With that said, even the best toner cartridges will not last forever. And, when your toner cartridge goes, your printer can stop working and doing the job you need it to do. For this reason, it's important to be aware of the warning signs and to have a replacement cartridge on hand so that you can immediately replace it when needed without any effects on your productivity.

Printer Warnings

Fortunately for you, many modern printers are equipped with detective devices that know and then let you know when your toner cartridge is running low. Thus, pay attention to any pop-ups or warnings on your printer screen or your computer, depending on the model of printer you own. If your warnings aren't so easy to access, then read your printer manual to determine how to access the toner level monitoring panel. By alerts or through checking the levels yourself, you'll be able to know for sure if it's time for a new toner cartridge.


Pay careful attention to the quality and clarity of the documents that you print. One thing to watch out for, for example, are vertical or horizontal streaks marring your printed materials. Not only are these streaks annoying and unprofessional-looking, but they also may indicate low toner levels. When toner gets low, the ink may not be able to fully coat your printer heads, which can lead to the streaking you see on your printed documents.

Too Much Time

Even if you are not experiencing toner issues, pay attention to how long your toner cartridge is slated to last. This can vary from one cartridge to the next but is usually indicated clearly on both the toner packaging and on the toner cartridge itself.

If you don't use your printer as often as others, you may get more use out of a toner cartridge, even outside of its expiration date. However, regardless of use level, if you've had your cartridge for a while and it's nearing its expiration date, go ahead and buy a replacement to have on hand just in case. Sometimes, toner cartridges can dry up or develop problems just because they simply get too old.

Thankfully, most printers are pretty good about letting you know when your toner cartridge is running low. The key is simply to know the warning signs and then replenish your printer supplies so your productivity never declines.