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out of color ink, but won't let me print black and white


They want to force me to their site to buy an expensive color cartridge even though I never print other than black and white and my black ink cartridge is full. I HATE THIS PRINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It is slow, noisy and annoying. NEVR AGAIN CANON!!!!!



You don't have to hate Canon. This clever little "undocumented" feature comes "factory" from ALL printer manufacturers. That little microchip on the cartridge... what do you think that's for? To make you buy more ink!

This is part of the game. Ink is a company's bread and butter. If you want black and white only, I'd invest in a good B&W only LaserJet.

Bay Area - CA

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If they deliberately won't allow b/w printing when a color cartridge is out, they are lower than whale poop on the ocean floor. Canon sucks!

I called there support lie and they told me the secret. Hold down the red STOP button for 10 seconds. Why should we havbe to do that????  Because they don't want us to know we don't need to buy more expensive ink from them.

This didn't work for my MF 644 CDW (where the MF could stand for something else) but pressing the stop button did eventually (I don't know how) to force it to print. Maybe this isn't a "greedy corp" tactic but just lazy and/or incompetent programmers. Anyway, I hate printing in general and rarely do it because it's such a headache and look forward to the day where this dying industry finally breathes its last breath.

Wish this had actually worked.  I tried - no luck.  Either it shut the printing process down altogether, or it still printed in color.


Its not just Canon... I purchased Epsons for years and switched to Canon to give it a try... I like both but found Canon easier to use.  With Epson I had to keep swapping out black inks when I changed paper from glossy to matte... sigh.  Both companies are good but all have their issues.


As John points out... _every_ inkjet printer does this.  It’s not a Canon thing.


Ounce for ounce... inkjet printer ink is more expensive than fine perfumes, single malt scotch whiskey, and beluga caviar.


Years ago I bought my mother a color inkjet (Lexmark) because she *really* wanted a color printer.  But she’d use it (try to use it) only about once every three months.  Of course the nozzles would be dried out and no amount of cleaning would fix it... and there goes $75 on a new set of inks.   I’d buy and install a new set of ink cartridges, she’d print ONE piece of paper (usually a photo of one of the grandkids) and be happy with it... then ignore the printer for the next 3 months.  I told her it was costing me $75 per photo/page because of the clogging problem.


I took the color inkjet away (it was not a great printer anyway) — and replaced it with a black & white laser printer.  Laser toner is basically finely ground up plastic ... since it’s already a “dry” substance, there’s no drying out problems.  A single toner cartridge (usually around $75) is good for about 5000 average pages ... and some higher capacity cartridges do 10,000 or more.  The “per page” cost is VASTLY cheaper than inkjet (and it doesn’t have the drying/clogging problems).  


If you’re just printing B+W... consider switching to a laser.  For the odd occasion when you want to print a photo, you can either walk into a store or use an online service to have it lab printed and mailed to you.


I now use color inkjet ... but I use it enough to be worthwhile.




Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Great advice. Next time laser b&w.

Great advice... have you tried printing quality B&W photos on different kinds of photo paper on a laser printer? I am just wondering about the longevity of the ink? It would be nice to switch to a laser for B&W as its so much cheaper. 😉