does scanning use toner

Does scanning use toner? – Tricks To Make A Scanner Work On All-In-One Machines When Out Of Ink Leave a comment

Since the invention of scanners, they underwent several changes in their anatomy. They are also compounded with the most used computer peripheral of both household and offices, i.e., printers. Further, this encouraged the usage of scanners as the all-in-one machines were economical compared to buying them separately. It is no wonder the users end up using it more than they thought they would due to its farfetched uses.

Though you might be aware of how these scanners work, today, particularly, you will understand how to use it while you have it in combination with the printer. Since scanners were not given much importance while manufacturing devices and the printers were the main aspects, they were manufactured with a significant design flaw. They did not allow scanning when printers are out of tonner.

Further reading: The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Scanner That Best Fits Your Needs

Generally, this brings us to the most sorted question, i.e., Does scanning use toner? Here this issue is addressed in this article, and you find a few ways to overcome this issue when you read till the end.

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Printer Cum Scanner or All-in-One – Scanner Function Working

The all-in-one machines are handy, versatile machines. However, they have a design flaw; at least most versions still have it, i.e., the scanner works only if it has ink in the printer cartridge. The newer models by some manufacturers, such as Brother MFC-6890 and Canon MF-4350D, do not have this issue.

However, prior models that are still marketed by Epson, Canon, and HP have this issue. Technically a scanner does not need ink to scan a picture. Due to the design flaw, when the printer does not function, the scanners are also unable to perform, making it mandatory to have ink or cartridges replaced for scanning. Generally, this doesn’t make sense, and you find it frustrating to have a device and not use it due to single unrelated obstruction. They come mainly in two ways.

Error State: Though scanning does not need ink to perform, an all-in-one device does require ink as it contains a printer. Also, that brings us to the irony, does scanning use toner? It goes into an error state, meaning you cannot perform any action unless that error state is cleared. It does not happen to reset even if you try reinstalling it as the error message blocks all input to the device except the error fixed state.

Configuration: It is valid for both USB configuration and wireless configuration. These devices are configured to check for the ink levels as and when powered up and only then are allowed to proceed with further action. Many users are frustrated with this setting and have several requests on the product-related forums to fix this firmware issue and allow the scan function to perform typically.

Does Scanning Use Toner?

There are several tips and tricks to overcome this issue and using your printer cum scanner or an all-in-one device by surpassing the error message. Depending on your model and the software you use, any of these tricks may work for you and help you get your scanner working despite the printer running out of ink.

For Windows Devices

Windows comes with a default scanner software. You can activate your scanner and scan the documents using this software. It works even when your proprietary printer software that came with the device does not allow you to go forward with the process.

  • Click on the “start.”
  • Select “Devices and printers.”
  • There you find the scanner device icon
  • Double click it to launch the scanner
  • Use it without any hassles

Canon all-in-ones

When your Canon all-in-one stops the device’s functioning with an error warning of empty toner, you can fix it as follows. Hold down the power button or the stop/reset button for 5 seconds will allow you to bypass the error message. Additionally, this will enable you to use the device as normal, of course, if you are to use the scanner.

Here Canon MP 198 uses the factory reset trick by holding down the power button and clicking the stop/reset button thrice. You can see that the scanner is working correctly after that action, whereas it was showing the error state before.

Factory Reset On HP Models

Doing a factory reset in HP models did seem to work for some of its users. You might get an error message, but still, the HP printer assistant is kind enough to let you go forward regardless of the error message. For users who did not try going past the error message, this information might be a breakthrough.

In this video, you can see how the HP Photosmart Premium C309g-m all-in-one printer does not obstruct the scanning operation. It does display the error message for the device, saying it requires attention; however, it even lets you scan.

You can see how to access the scanner from the link given in the details, and I am also listing them here below for following them step by step.

  • Open the printers and devices from the start menu
  • Select your device and access its properties
  • Once the properties window is open, check for the web services tab
  • Click on the webpage URL provided in that tab
  • You have access to all the operations of the device listed on left
  • From where you can select the Webscan option listed under applications
  • From here, you can adjust the scanner settings and run the scan


The digitization of documents is the need of the hour, making the scanner a staple device for every household and office. Hence the manufacturers are now focusing on this useful device, which was neglected for years previously. Also, the number of users is growing considerably. Subsequently, new challenges and requirements are emerging from time to time.

The drawbacks mentioned here are not present in all the scanners, especially the most advanced scanners. However, existing users and the current market still have such scanners, and you need to check these precautions carefully before you opt for one. Needless to say, those answered the “Does scanning use toner?” question as “no” and worked on it have a more remarkable customer base for their all-in-one devices.


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