Continue Printing When Toner is Low on Canon Laser Printers

TLDR: Put your file (PDF or jpg) on a flash drive and plug it in directly to the printer which will bypass the quality check.

Here we are in 2022, and printers are still the worst
(check out this very accurate comic by The Oatmeal).

Canon laser printers will annoyingly warn you when the toner gets low requiring you to press a continue button on each print, then they will stop letting you bypass the message. I have a Canon MF634 Printer that stopped printing anything. Not even a black and white document when it still had a black toner that isn’t even low.

Continue Printing (Quality Not Guaranteed) The cartridge for the following color has reach the end of its lifetime. Printing is possible, but continuing to use the catrdige may cause a device malfuction. Replacing the cartidge is recommended.

Now I understand companies want to offer only the best output, but the amount of toner that gets wasted is really high in printers. It’s partly that the toners don’t actually have sensors in them to detect how much is actually left, it’s all just estimated page counters. Also, it is really annoying because if you do override it and print anyways, mine was still printing flawless full-color edge-to-edge prints when it said the toner was out.

How to Print Anyways

Eventually, the warning messages will remove the Continue anyways button. I stumbled across something interesting, digging through the menus to try to find a way to bypass this, I hit the option to show Consumable Status Report but instead of it showing it on the screen, it started to print the page.

The trick is when it is low or out of toner, the software won’t let it print but if you use a flash drive and print directly on the printer, it doesn’t do this check.

So I copied my pdf to a flash drive and went to print it via the touchscreen interface.

You might need to convert pdf to JPG, the printer has limited capability and complex PDFs will not open.

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I'm a 35 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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