Regardless if you use a printer for occasional home use or every day high-volume printing needs, the expense of purchasing replacement toner is always lingering. The price of replacements is contingent upon the model of the printer and the maximum capacity of the cartridge, but some laser printers have another way to save on toner costs that many owners may not be aware of, the Toner Save mode.
While not included with every model, most modern laser printers include a Toner Save mode. When enabled, the printer will lower the amount of toner used per page. This generally reduces the output quality, but also reduces printing costs. It is best used for in-house memos and other everyday printing, where quality may be less important. This mode sometimes goes by other names, such as EconoMode or EconoFast, but they are all similar in purpose.
Depending on the printer model, there may be a number of different ways to enable the Toner Save mode on your laser printer.
On the Control Panel
Many printer manufacturers tout the Toner Save mode as a major feature, and therefore, they make it very easy to enable. Some models have a dedicated Toner Save button right on the control panel, while others put the feature within the menu of the control panel. If your printer does not have a dedicated button, look in the Options menu on the control panel, or in the Quality menu for the feature and enable it. Most models with a button include an indicator light, which tells users when the mode is enabled at a glance.
In the Print Settings Dialog Box
When you are sending a document to be printed, you are often given a range of options, including the number of pages to print, margin settings, and more. Printers with a Toner Save mode often display a checkbox for the feature, or you can choose a lower quality setting such as Draft in the Print Quality section of the print settings page. The benefit of this method is that you can choose it for only one print job, instead of setting it as the default.
In the Windows Control Panel
The last place to look for the Toner Save feature is in the settings for the printer itself. If you were provided special software with your laser printer, launch it from the Start menu. Otherwise, open the printer settings:
- Click Start.
- Click Devices and Printers.
- Right-click the icon for your printer and choose Printing Preferences.
- You may need to click Advanced to access the Toner Save mode setting, or choose the Quality tab, depending on your model.
This video demonstrates how to change Printing Preferences, and also talks about the difference between preferences and defaults:
These tips will give you a general idea of where to find the Toner Save mode on your printer if it is a supported feature. For specific instructions for your exact model, consult the manual or the manufacturer’s website. Also, remember that the Toner Save mode does reduce the quality somewhat, so you may not want to use it all the time, especially when printing photos or other projects where you want the best quality possible. If you are looking for other ways to save money on toner costs, consider using remanufactured toner cartridges instead of expensive OEM versions.