Thursday, July 3, 2014

How to Check the Toner Levels in a Ricoh Printer

Ricoh printers (both monochrome and color) will display a message on the screen that tells you when the toner levels are getting low, and then another message when the toner is completely empty. On color printers, you'll see individual messages for the different colors, so you could have a message telling you that the cyan toner is completely out at the same that you have a message saying the yellow toner is getting low.

While these messages are useful, it can also be helpful to check the toner levels before they get to that point, for example if you are placing an order for supplies and you want to know what colors are getting close to needing to be replaced. There are different methods of checking the toner levels for different printer models, so depending on what kind of printer you have, use one of the methods specified below.

For multifunction printers (MFPs) that can also scan and copy, you can print out a configuration page that will display all sorts of system information, including the current toner levels. To print the config page, press the User Tools button on the operation panel, and then from the menu that appears on the touch screen, select Printer Features. Under the first tab, List/Test Print, there will be a box that says Configuration Page or Config Page -- touch that option, and the configuration page will begin to print out.  (On some models, it may print two pages). Toward the top of the config page will be a set of boxes, and the number of boxes that are filled in represents how much toner is left in the bottle or cartridge. For color printers, there will be a different set of boxes for each color.

On printers that don't scan or copy, you can also print out a configuration page, but the procedure is slightly different. These printers don't typically have a User Tools button (if they do, you can follow the procedure above) so press the Menu button instead and then scroll through the choices until you come to List/Test Print.  Press the OK button, then scroll down to the Config Page option and press OK again.  The printer will spit out a page or two of system information, as described above, including the estimated toner levels.

On newer model color MFPs (ones with a touch screen that's not monochrome), you can view the toner levels without having to print anything out.  When you are looking at the Copy screen, there are two buttons at the bottom of the screen -- System Status and Job List.  Touch System Status, and the machine will show the current toner levels, using the filled and empty box representation just like on the config page. (Newer black and white MFPs also have the System Status screen, but for the toner level it will only show if it's okay or low.)

Depending on if the option has been enabled or not, some newer Ricoh MFPs will even show you the toner levels on the screen without you having to do anything.  On these models (from the Aficio MP series) the toner levels will be represented graphically at the bottom of the copy, print, fax, and scan screens, as either vertical bars (for color machines and some black and white machines) or a horizontal drawing of a toner bottle (for other black and white machines).  This representation will change as the toner levels decrease.

(Originally published on, June 2010, and updated since then)

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