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How do I get printer to use only black ink cartridge when color cartridge runs out?

New Contributor

I have a Canon Pixma MX490 printer. I never use the color cartridge, and it has now gone dry. The machine suddenly won't print at all, giving me the message that I must replace the color cartridge. I have changed the printing preferences to “Greyscale”, but it still won’t print. The little orange light on the printer is on permanently. How do I get the machine to accept the “Greyscale” instruction, and only print with the black cartridge?


Product Expert
Product Expert



The PIXMA MX490 must have both ink cartridges installed and contain ink in order to use the printer.


To clear the error, please insert a new color ink cartridge into your PIXMA MX490.


Once inserted, you can the PIXMA MX490 to only print from the black ink cartridge.  To do this, please follow these steps:


 1.  Open Control Panel.


 2.  Click on Devices and Printers.


 3.  Right click the PIXMA MX490 series Printer and left click on Printing Preferences.


 4.  Click on the Maintenance tab.


 5.  Click on the Ink Cartridge Settings button.


 6.  Select Black Only from the drop down box and click OK.


Your PIXMA MX490 will now be set to only print from the black ink cartridge.

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New Contributor

Hi, I have recently changed the printer settings to print only from the black cartridge but I now get a warning every time I print that the quality may be affected because of this.  I have tried to turn off printer notifications but it hasn't helped.  I do a lot of printing and this pop up is driving me insane!  I am on Windows 10 and the printer is a Pixma MX376.  Any advice as to how to stop this notification whilst still being able to print only from black would be greatly appreciated!





When either the Black only or Color only modes are used, the warning that appears before printing cannot be removed or disabled.


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I used the suggestions here and was able to find my way to a resolution even though my printer is a 472 and is configured a little differently.  Thanks for the ideas.

that's just greedy to require that and then make your ink cartridges so expensive. I'm trying to get a job and print resumes and i can't pay the price of a color ink cartridge. I've returned all the old ones i have and now this printer is useless to me.

I had same problem, the printer gave instruction touch the button to the right of the screen of your printer (it looks a bit like a kite shape) for 5 seconds this overrides the printer knowing there are empty cartridges. I did this it worked

New Contributor

I have followed these for over a year and it worked fine. But now the printer is using both cartridges although my settings are for the black ink only. I've reset the printer, my computer but the color ink is running dry. What do I do now?

yes quite correct but you must have a colour cartridge in the machine or it will not work. by telling to print black only it will do until the colour cartridges  runs out, as stated above when you switch on or wake up from sleep mode the printer injects a small amount into the jets even the colour one so when the colour cartridge runs out the printer stops working, the red button solution sounds good i can't wait to try it when my colour cartridge runs out.

New Contributor

Many thanks for all the advice. It worked perfectly when I held down the red "button" on the printer (above the orange flashing light showing that the ink cartridge was dry) and I held it down for quite a long time (it seemed longer than 10 seconds – perhaps 15 or longer). My printer is now working perfectly, printing with only the black cartridge, and I am very happy with the result.