Printing in just black and white

Changing your printing to Black and White

We get a heap of enquiries from people wanting to just print in black and white. There is an easy way in Windows to simply default all printing to black and white only.

Be warned however that an inkjet printer will still use some colour ink when printing as it needs to do this to keep the printhead clean and free from ink build up. If it didnt do this then when you do try to print a colour image you may find that it could have white lines all the way through it.

I personally wouldnt recommend doing this with an Epson printer as they are known for print head clogging even when used in full colour mode. By defaulting to Black and White it could potentially cause major issues with the print head. 

Canon and Brother printers on the other hand are usually not as likely to have these issues. For those that are happy to default their printer to black and white printing only simply follow these steps:

For computers with a WINDOWS Operating System:
  1. From your computer, select Start > Settings > Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the name of your printer.
  3. Select Printing Preferences.
  4. Select the Advanced tab, then under the Color printing section, select Print Colors as Black and White.
  5. Click OK. 

Using the above procedure to print in just black and white is certainly a viable option however I personally would change the printer back to colour mode at least once a fortnight and print at least one page of colour. This would help to keep the print head clean and prevent it from becoming clogged with ink that has been sitting idle in the colour print nozzles for an extended period of time.

Remember that even if you do set your printer to print in only greyscale (black and white) that it will still use up the coloured inks. There is no way that you can stop a colour inkjet printer from using the coloured inks as it is a built in protection system for the delicate printhead.

If you want to print in black and white only and you dont ever use the colours then you are better off getting a cheap mono laser printer such as a Brother or Samsung which usually retail for around $100 on special.

A better Alternative for B&W printing

As stated previously the best alternative if you wish to print in black and white only is to purchase a laser printer. It doesn't really matter if the laser printer is colour or B&W as they will both be up to the task without the issues that an inkjet printer will have. By this I mean that a laser printer uses powder rather than ink so if you are not using the colour side of things then it wont matter as the powder can sit there forever and won't dry out like the ink does.

Using an inkjet printer for just B&W is not at all what they are designed for. If you want to print in just B&W then grab a Brother laser printer. Often you can find them for sale online second hand for under $150 and most of the time all they need is a new set of cartridges. 

Another huge advantage of using a laser printer is that they print so much faster and the generic toners are very cheap. On average a black generic cartridge for most Brother Laser printers are under $50 and are capable of at least 2,500 pages or more of print. 

If you buy a colour inkjet printer thinking that you will just print in B&W but once in a blue moon print in colour then think again. Often if you use an inkjet printer like this then by the time you come to print in colour the jets will be clogged from dried ink and the colour printouts will be of a very poor quality.

Also even when you use an inkjet printer for just B&W the colour inks will still get used up every time that the printer does an automatic nozzle clean. Once the colours expire then you will have to replace them as inkjet printers usually will not print even in B&W if one or more colour cartridges have ran out. I can't stress this enough that an inkjet printer IS NOT DESIGN FOR JUST B&W PRINTING! If you want to print in just B&W grab yourself a laser printer, I guarantee that you won't be disappointed!