Unfortunately we do not know of any way to force a printer to print using only a black cartridge. There is a way to make a printer print only black and white (in the color settings), but the printer still needs a working set of all cartridges installed in order to operate. This is not consumer friendly, and we wish we had a way around this, but it is made like this by the printer manufacturer and probably to get customers to keep buying more ink from them. We do our best to save our customers money by providing low cost high quality cartridges, but unfortunately the need for color cartridges to be installed even if one needs to print only black, is an inherent problem to the printer itself.
Here is an explanation from a printer manufacturer about this situation (this is from HP):To answer your questions, if one or more cartridges is empty the unit will stop working and go into a sort of protective mode. As this unit has a built in print-head this is really a good thing as this will protect the print-head from damage. Something you off course do not want to happen to a built in print-head as this will mean the end of the unit in most cases.
See the article on HP’s website: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Printer-All-in-One-Install-Setup/cannot-print-black-only-until-I-replace-the-color-cartridges/td-p/90975
Note that this issue exists for all printer manufacturers, not just HP.
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