Brother Printer Only Printing in Black And White [Solved]

Is your Brother printer only printing in black and white? Do you want the answer to the question: “Why does my Brother printer only print black and white?” Then, read this article where we answer this question and give practical solutions to the problem.

We also discuss how to make Brother printer print black and white only. This will help you print even if you run out of colored ink.

My Brother Printer Only Prints Black And White [Why & Solutions]

The following answers the question: “Why is my Brother printer only printing in black and white?” We also discuss the solutions to each possible reason for this printer problem…

1. Empty Colored Ink Cartridges

The basic answer to the question “Why is my printer printing in black and white only?” is empty colored ink cartridges. So, you need to check your ink level if your Brother printer is only printing black and white.

How to Check Ink Level on Brother Printer

Do the following to check the ink level on a Brother printer…

Step 1: Press the “Menu” button on the printer.

Step 2: Scroll through the options with the “Up” and “Down” buttons. When the printer displays “Ink Management” press “OK”.

Step 3: Scroll through the options and press “OK” when “Ink Volume” is displayed on the screen.

Alternatively, you may open the small door covering the ink cartridges and check them one after the other.

If your ink level is low or the cartridges are empty, then the ink cartridge has to be replaced to solve the problem. Also, ensure you always make use of original Brother printer ink cartridges to avoid reducing your print quality.

This Brother printer ink cartridge is compatible with the following Brother printer: DCP J152W, MFC J245, MFC J285DW, MFC J4310DW, MFC J4410DW, MFC J450DW, MFC J4510DW, MFC J4610DW, MFC J470DW, MFC J4710DW, MFC J475DW, MFC J650DW, MFC J6520DW, MFC J6720DW, MFC J6920DW, MFC J870DW, MFC J875DW.

2. The Colored Ink Cartridge(s) was not Installed Properly

The Brother printer will only print in black and white if the colored ink cartridge(s) was not installed properly. To resolve this problem, you need to remove the ink cartridge and then reinstall them properly.

Do this in the following steps…

Step 1: Open the small door that covers the printer’s ink cartridge

Step 2: Remove each ink cartridge by pushing down the color levers.

Step 3: Keep the printer on so that it will detect the ink after installation.

Step 4: Put each ink cartridge in place according to its colors. Ensure you insert the cartridge from the arrow label on it.

Step 5: The printer will then send a confirmatory message as you install each ink cartridge. For instance, “Did you change magenta?” Ensure to choose “Yes” with each ink cartridge installed.

Step 6: Close the ink cover door once you are done installing the ink cartridge. 

Print any document and see if your Brother printer can now print in color. If it can, then the problem has been solved. If it still prints only black and white; go to the next solution.

3. Blocked Print Head

The print head of the colored ink cartridges may be blocked with dried ink possibly because they aren’t used often. Normally, your printer periodically cleans the print head. But they can still get blocked if you haven’t used your printer in a while. Or if you often switch off the printer when it is not in use, the printer will be unable to do the cleaning.

You can solve this problem in the following ways…

i. Clean the Print Head

How to Clean Brother Printer Printhead

You can make your printer do a print head cleaning by doing the following…

Step 1: Press the “Menu” button on the printer.

Step 2: Scroll through the options with the “Up” and “Down” buttons. When the printer displays “Cleaning” press “OK”.

Step 3: The options will be all the ink colors in the printer. You can choose the color you need to clean. Or you can simply select “All”, to clean all ink cartridges print head.

ii. Carry out a Power Purge

A power purge requires a lot of ink. So if the ink level of your printer is low, you may have to put in a new ink cartridge before you do the power purge.

How to do a Power Purge on Brother Printer

Follow these steps to do a power purge on a Brother printer…

Step 1: Switch off the printer and press and hold on to the menu button until the printer comes back on.

Step 2: Press the menu and hold on to the menu button until the printer displays “Maintenance”.

Step 3: Press 7, 6, and then 3 in this same order. The screen will display “Power_P ALL”.

Purging all the ink cartridges will consume a lot of ink. So, scroll till the printer displays the color you want to purge. For instance “Power_P Magneta”.

Step 4: Now press “Start” to start the power purge.

This video is a visual representation of the instructions above.

iii. Shoot Air in the Print Head

How to Shoot Air in Printhead

Do this in the following steps…

Step 1: Open the small door that covers the printer’s ink cartridge. Remove each ink cartridge by pushing down the color levers.

Step 2: There is a little hole in the print head through which ink goes out of the cartridge into the print head. Blow air with Canned Air into the hole to unclog the line.

Ensure you put on an apron and a glove as you do this. Print any document to see if the problem has been fixed.

We have given the most common answers to the question: “Why is my printer printing black and white only?”

If your Brother printer is still printing only black and white, then we advise you to contact Brother Authorized Service Center for further assistance.

To read more awesome articles, click any of the links below…

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Brother Printer Toner Override [Solution]

My Brother Printer Won’t Scan [How to Fix]

Brother Printer is not Printing [Reasons and Solutions]

Brother Printer is Printing Light [Quick Fix]

Why is My Brother Printer Printing Faded [Reasons and Solution]

How do I get My Brother Printer to Print in Black and White Only [Quick Fix]

Below we have given instructions on how to change your printer to only print black and white…


Step 1: Click the start button and then select “Control Panel” and then select “Devices and Printer”.

Step 2: Select your Brother printer to bring out the printer’s properties and then click on “Printing Preferences”.

Step 3: You will see a “Color/Mono” box, click on it, and then select “Mono”.

Step 4: Click on “Apply” and then “OK” to save your settings.

Note: This will cause all your print jobs to be monochrome. However, if you want the settings for a single job do the following…

Step 1: From the application you want to print from, click print options.

Step 2: Click on “Properties”.

Step 3: Do the above steps 3-4 but click “Print” instead of “OK”.


Step 1: From the print application, click on “File” and then “Print”.

Step 2: Select “Print Settings”.

Step 3: Now, select “Mono” from the “Color/Mono” box.

Step 4: To save your setting, it has to be saved as a preset. Do this by doing the following:

i. Click on the preset menu that will come up and then select “Save Current Settings as a Preset…”

ii.Put in your desired name for the present and then click “OK”.

Why is My Brother Printer Printing Black? [Reasons]

Your Brother printer is printing black pages because of the following reasons:

Dusty Drum Unit: Overtime, paper dust, toner, and other debris may accumulate on the drum unit. And this may cause your Brother printer to start printing black pages. To solve this problem, you simply need to clean the drum unit.

Defective Toner or Ink Cartridge: If the toner or ink cartridge is damaged then your Brother printer may start printing black pages. In this case, you need to replace the toner or ink cartridge.

For more information on this topic, read our article that focuses on the problem “my Brother printer is printing black pages”.