Can't print in black ink only using the Epson Workforce 545?

Jan 20, 2014 12:25AM PST

I have an Epson Workforce 545 all-in-one printer and I have been unable to print anything for the past couple of days. I am currently out of magenta and low on both yellow and cyan but I have plenty of black ink. I am trying to print with black ink only but I keep on getting error messages that I must first replace the empty ink cartridge before proceeding. Is there no way around this problem? I have gone into printer properties and selected print in black/gray scale but that does not resolve the problem. Is there a solution out there?

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This question seems to apply to most printers.
Jan 20, 2014 12:37AM PST

If you need B/W printing the current king is the laser printer. Ink doesn't dry out, print costs are a lot lower.

And no to the question. Much has been written on this subject so I'll end quick on this one.

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Not done nowadays
Jan 27, 2014 9:53PM PST

If your printer error to low ink, it won't proceed even if you reset to black. In fact newer printer even if choosing black output still actually use a bit of color to keep the ink pathways afresh. Once the printer is actually corrected and printing again, can you use black only to help reduce color ink use. I said, "reduce" not eliminate as i stated it still uses some color ink. Worse, you have an Epson which strongly does this.

As Robert stated if you plan to continue in "monochrome" or black output, a laser or a inkjet printer that basically is a basic printer(very simple) will do this. However, most won't do this other than reset to black mode and again I offer as posted above what it does. Ink is $, so no printer maker will reduce this cash flow, period. Pssstt....sometimes its cheaper to buy a new printer "on sale" rather than buying new ink carts -OR- have another monochrome ptr. at the the ready. A cheap laser costs well under $100US though not an AIO type.

tada -----Willy Happy

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What is the error message you are getting ?
Jan 29, 2014 5:42AM PST

If your printer is network connected rather than connected via USB, you may be experiencing network related connectivity issues. Any network connectivity issues must be addressed first. Print and Scan Doctor might help you
and resolve your network issues that previously required a separate utility.

What is the error message you are getting ?

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Epson Workforce 545 black ink only doesn't print
Oct 29, 2014 5:17PM PDT

Windows 8 but previously same problem under Windows 7.
I have run around and around this on with my printer. I even bought the same model printer again which did indeed fix the problem. Now WHAMMO the same problem appears after retuning from long time gone.

This is NOT an issue with DRY INK cartridges or Network connectivity. The Black ink level clearly shows a decent level.
Not Cleaning, Nozzle check, or reseating the cartridge, Nothing Ink cartridge wise fixes this.
BUT HURRAY I did stumble upon a fix, sort of. Printing selecting Photo Paper Glossy paper with the Fine, Quality, or High Quality works to get BLACK TO PRINT AGAIN. I tried several but not every possible Photo paper choice but I believe all of them would work.
Printing as Plain Bright White paper with the Highest Quality just doesn't.
To me that is a DRIVER issue not a PRINTER issue.

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Epson Workforce 545 black ink only doesn't print
Jan 30, 2016 12:31PM PST

This worked for my Epson WF-7010 too. I ran driver update using Windows 10 which did nothing to correct the problem.
I agree that it is a driver problem.

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Changing Paper Type Fixes Non-Printing Epson WF-2630 too
Apr 5, 2016 6:21PM PDT

Brilliant find - thank you. Epson was no help. I used EZink remanufactured cartridges and Epson blames it on the cartridge. Have used them a long time with good results...until this week. I think I automatically accepted an Epson "upgrade" of drivers or firmware last week and suspect that started the issue. I emailed Epson the link to your post and asked them to give me a driver solution...since it obviously is NOT a problem with the ink cartridges. Yes - HURRAY - you just made my day!

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The problem is not "remanufactured" cartridges, it's EPSON
Nov 14, 2017 6:10PM PST

I know this is reply is more than a year late. I've never used anything but genuine cartridges and I've had the same problem printing - it works only when the paper is set to high quality. I've thrown out a lot of cartridges thinking, "I swear I just replaced this ink... but maybe I didn't!" because, you know, life... and then finally I realized that the ink is actually NOT the problem. I've heard that printer ink is one of the most expensive fluids on earth. Since Epson's name is on these ink cartridges, it stands to reason that they are definitely reaping the rewards by raping their customers.

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Workforce WF 2650
Apr 2, 2017 10:34AM PDT

Thank you very very much for that. I cleaned the heads over and over again, bought a new Epson cartridge even though the existing one was a genuine Epson and still full... nothing doing! And just when I needed to print 'artwork' for a demonstration! I found your post on my return, and am now printing all the stuff... ready for the next demonstration!

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It worked on my Workforce 610, too!
Apr 22, 2017 2:13PM PDT

Thank you very much! I wonder why this suddenly became a problem after 5+ years. I had not used the printer for some weeks, and ended up running the nozzle check repeatedly, with minor improvement in the black pattern (moved from 10% to perhaps 35%), but your recommendation worked perfectly.

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Change Epson WF 545 to Photo Paper Glossy - High Quality
Jan 13, 2019 8:53AM PST

That's the ticket. Thought I was going crazy. Thank you so much for posting the solution. Go figure.

I could print in every other color but black whose cartridge I just replaced so I assumed it was the cartridge, which it still may be. Was using my standard printer properties of plain paper with normal quality and all colors printed but black. Now, just by changing the printer settings to PHOTO PAPER GLOSSY and HIGH QUALITY, everything prints fine.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Post was last edited on January 13, 2019 8:57 AM PST

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Epson Workforce WF-2540
Sep 23, 2017 3:39PM PDT

I have the same problem as you all. I noticed the first post on this was from 2014 and now 3 years later, all except two people have the same problem.

I am surprised that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has not filed complaints against Epson.

Not only are they are cheating all customers, but they are causing personal problems for the USA Consumers,

This has happened to me with this this WF-2540; my daughter has an Epson XP-220, she needed to print a copy of the Birth Certificate of one of my grandchildren that was extremely urgent to print, and guess what, the yellow cartridge was empty and it was impossible to print. It was Sunday night, all places that can print for you were closed, so she emailed me the pdf file for me to print so I could take it to her....

Guess What... magenta cartridge was out and it was impossible for me to find a workaround to make it print.

I borrowed a Brother laser printer from my neighbor, printed everything and problem solved.

Next day,, Monday, ran to Office Depot, spent $70 dollars on a large 200XL black, and the other three cartridges, my wife wanted to be able to print in color once in a while.

Another caveat was that sometimes we didn't print for three or four months, which was the case this time.

Installed the cartridges, tested them, I cleaned the nozzles, the heads, whatever to make it print legibly,

I used up three of my new cartridges, just trying to get it to print, and the reason they black didn't run out was because I bought the 200XL.

I bought a Samsung Laser printer and it's great, i tried to see if i could figure out a workaround to this problem, since I've been a programmer since the late 60's and I wrote software till 2011 when I retired.

So, all my IT life I've never met a programmer that didn't leave some kind of error in the software that I can exploit. or wrote his own software like myself that didn't rely on packaged programs to check you code and write all the other stuff that the OS does now.

No Luck, I'll keep working on it, but so far I think it's the embedded code in the printer not the driver, I installed a generic driver and the printer did the same thing, in my case it just produced internal errors

AAARRRGGGHHHH What a piece of crap, i'm wasting time on it because there is nothing good on TV and I can only drink so many beers.

I was going to film the destruction of it, but I'm sure there is some kind of law that will get me arrested... maybe I'll take it into the desert and shoot it up and maybe it will work then...

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No solution to this
Nov 22, 2017 1:59AM PST

Hello, there are many cases like this and i would tell you that it doesn't work out with plenty of black ink as you mentioned. Just refill your ink and everything will be proper after that.

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Compatible Ink for Epson Workforce 545
Nov 26, 2017 9:59AM PST

Hopefully someone knows. I am in the UK & can’t order from Epson account in States but I need color cartridges. Unfortunately they don’t have the 125/126 I think it is, that it requires.
Anyone know if any others will work e.g. T1306 or T2165 (or close anyway). Any other would be great.
Thanks for the tip on printing with just black to everyone.

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In the UK, Amazon.
Nov 26, 2017 10:04AM PST
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Jan 25, 2018 2:41PM PST

You are correct, corporate greed at its finest. Board rm meeting, research and development came up with shutting down all print functions, when any of four cartridges shows empty or etc., forcing the product buyer to throw the machine away or run out and get the replacement cartridge.

Do not patronize this extortion. Use a monochrome printer, b&w laser, etc. Use an off brand cartridge company, cartridge world, etc.

Call Epson. 800-463-7766. You will get outsourced to Philippines, no surprise. Ask for a manager, and ask the manager for a US call center, they will transfer you after a hold. Tell the US rep what you think. Extortion is extortion. And do not buy epson cartridges or printers until they fix this problem.

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Got it
Mar 14, 2018 7:08PM PDT

Well read this and tried suggested settings and driver. Finally got a bunch of prints by shaking the cartridge. Yup, if you see the small window for ink level there is a float that signals the printer and if you shake it hard a few times the ink bubbles up and artificially raises the float to trick the printer. Will print! Just try it

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Nov 30, 2019 6:34AM PST

Interestingly, I cannot print using windows as an OS but Linux prints w/o a problem. Rather than print from my windows PCs I just print from my Linux PC. Hope that helps.

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