Printer won’t print b&w without color ink [Epson, Canon]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Your Epson printer may stop printing black and white prints if the printer detects the color ink cartridges to be empty.
  • However, you can force some Epson printers to print black and white prints without color ink cartridges by following the steps below.
  • If the issue persists, make sure to check our Printer errors section for more resources.
  • Consider bookmarking our Peripherals hub for future reference.
Epson printer won't print

Printer makers are known to configure their printer in a way where the printer may stop printing if one of the ink cartridges is depleted. Even if you have a full black ink cartridge and want to print in black and white, the printer still will not print.

If your Epson printer doesn’t print black and white without color ink, you can force the printer to print in black and white with a workaround.

In this article, we discuss both the official workaround and other steps that can help you to print black and white without color ink in Windows.

Epson printer won’t print black and white without color ink

1. Canon printer won’t print black without color ink

Set Grayscale in Print Options

Epson printer won't print

  1. Make sure the print job is canceled. When the Epson Status Monitor status appears click Cancel or Stop.
  2. Load plain paper in the tray.
  3. Click File.
  4. Select Print or Print Setup
  5. Click on Properties or Preference
  6. Open the Main
  7. Select the appropriate Quality Option settings.
  8. Select Plain or Envelope as the Type setting.
  9. Choose the Grayscale checkbox in Print Options.
  10. Click OK to close the printer settings window.

Now try to print your file to see if the Epson printer can only print in Black and White. Epson Status Monitor will appear on your computer screen, simply click Print in Black to print with black ink.

Note that, according to Epson, this workaround will only work on SX420W/SX425W/NX420 series printer. If you have a different model, give it a try to see if it works.


Printer not responding in Windows 10? Try these steps!


2. Force print in Black and White

Epson printer won't print

  1. Close any applications that you are using to print.
  2. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  3. Type control and click OK to open Control Panel.
  4. Click on Hardware and Sound.
  5. Right-click on the printer that you are trying to configure.
  6. Select Printer Preferences.
  7. Open the Color
  8. Select the Print in grayscale
  9. Select the High-quality setting in the drop-down list under Print in grayscale option.
  10. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Close the Devices and Printers window. Open any program with a print functioning and try printing the file. Click OK on any prompt that will confirm printing in black and white only.


3. Disable Epson Status Monitor

Epson printer won't print

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Type control and click on Control Panel.
  3. Go to Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers.
  4. Right-click on your printer and select Printer Preferences.
  5. Find the box that read Speed and Progress.
  6. Locate Disable Epson Status Monitor and check the box to disable it.
  7. Select Save.

By following the above steps, you can disable the annoying Epson Status Monitor warning message that may occur due to the use of third-party ink cartridges.


4. Run Printer Troubleshooter

Epson printer won't print

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  2. Open Update and Security.
  3. Open the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click on Printer.
  5. Click the Run the troubleshooter button.
  6. Follow on-screen instructions and apply any recommended fix.

Once applied, try printing in black and white to see if the error is resolved.

If the issue persists, you may want to check if there is an issue with the printer hardware. Try removing the cartridge and looking for any debris that might be blocking the printing. Also, check if you have sufficient ink to print in black and white.

Most of the printer requires the user to use their proprietary ink cartridges and does not print if a third-party ink cartridge is used. We have some excellent Epson ink cartridge recommendations below.

Best Epson ink cartridges to buy

1. Epson T252XL120 DURABrite (Black)

Epson printer won't print

Epson’s revolutionary DURABrite Ultra Ink produces smudge, fade, and water-resistant prints for the brilliant result on both plain and glossy papers.  You can only replace the cartridge that runs out with individual ink cartridges.

Get Epson T252XL120 DURABrite


2. Epson T069120-BCS DURABrite

Epson printer won't print

Epson T069120-BCS DURABrite comes in an Ultra Black and Color Combo pack that contains Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow color cartridges. It is an excellent choice for occasional printing. If you are into high-volume printing, look for XL/High-Capacity package.

Get Epson T069120-BCS DURABrite

The Epson printer won’t print black and white without color ink usually occur if your printer notices the ink cartridges to be depleted. However, you can bypass this issue using the workarounds listed in the article above.

FAQs: Learn more about Epson printer not printing in grayscale

  • How do I get my Epson printer to print without color ink?

Click stop to cancel the printing job. Load plain paper, open Printer Preferences, choose the Main tab > enable Grayscale under Print options.

  • Can I print in black and white if I have no colored ink? 

Some printer does allow you to print in black and white if color ink cartridges are depleted. If your Epson printer won’t print, try these steps.

  • Do you need color ink to print black and white Epson?

Yes. This is due to the printer requiring to use a small amount of ink from all the cartridges to keep the print head clear and ready to print.

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