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How do I force my printer to print in black and white and not color?

Printing documents in black and white instead of color can be useful for reducing ink costs or printing draft copies. Most printers have settings to force black and white printing rather than color. Here are some tips for configuring your printer to print only in black and white.

Check Your Printer Settings

The easiest way to print in black and white is to change your printer properties or preferences to grayscale or black and white printing. Here is how to find the setting on common operating systems and printers:


  1. Open the Devices and Printers control panel.
  2. Right click on your printer and choose Printing Preferences.
  3. Look for an option called Color/Grayscale and set it to Grayscale or Black and white. On some printers this may be under the Advanced tab.

Mac OS

  1. Open System Preferences and click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Select your printer and click Options & Supplies.
  3. Go to the driver or options tab. Look for a setting like Color/Grayscale and set it to Grayscale.

HP Printers

  1. Open the HP Printer Software.
  2. Click Print, Scan & Fax and then Set Preferences.
  3. Go to the Color tab and change the Color Option to Black & White or Grayscale.

Canon Printers

  1. Access the Canon printer properties.
  2. Go to the Main tab and look for Grayscale Printing and enable it.

Epson Printers

  1. Open the Epson printer settings.
  2. Go to Extended Settings and click Grayscale.
  3. Select Black or Dark Gray as the grayscale option.

Change Settings Per Print Job

If your printer properties don’t have a grayscale option, you may be able to change the color settings each time you print:


  1. Open the document you want to print.
  2. Click File > Print.
  3. In the print window, look for a Color option and set it to Grayscale.

Mac OS

  1. With the document open, go to File > Print.
  2. In the print options, choose Black & White from the Color Matching or Color Options drop down menu.

Use the Printer’s Grayscale Setting

Many printers have a button directly on the printer that allows quick selection of black and white printing. Look for a button labeled “Grayscale,” “Black,” or with a color/grayscale icon.

Convert Color Images to Grayscale

If your document contains color images or graphics, they will still print in color even if the printer is set to grayscale. To force images to print in black and white, convert them to grayscale manually:

Microsoft Word

  1. Select the color image.
  2. Go to the Picture Tools Format tab.
  3. Click Color > Grayscale.

Adobe Acrobat

  1. Open the Tools pane.
  2. Click on the Content Editing section.
  3. Select the color image and click the Convert to Grayscale button.

Web Browsers

Most modern web browsers give you an option to print the web page as black and white. Look for this in the print options or preferences.

Check Color Cartridge Levels

If your printer still tries to print some pages in color despite the grayscale settings, one issue may be low ink levels in the black cartridge. The printer may default back to color ink if black runs too low. Check the ink levels and replace black cartridges if needed.

Remove Color Cartridges

If all else fails, you can physically remove the color ink cartridges from an inkjet printer to force black and white printing. This will allow only the black cartridge to be used. Just be sure to replace the color cartridges when needed for color printing again.


Printing in black and white instead of color is usually just a simple settings change on your printer, OS, or in the printing preferences. Look for a grayscale or black and white option in your printer properties or print settings. You can also convert color images and graphics to grayscale manually before printing. As a last resort, remove the color ink cartridges from your printer. Following these tips, you can force your printer to print documents and web pages in monochrome versus color.