So we all know the frustration of trying to print something in black and white because you know your colour ink cartridges are empty, and then the error message "cannot print, Yellow ink low" pops up. When this happens, we have all thought “I know my yellow ink is low, printer, that’s why I want to print in black and white!”

Regardless of all of us thinking that this is just another way for our printers to make printing even more frustrating, this one actually has a reason, unlike some other frustrating error messages that pop up. Every single printer in the world leaves a digital footprint; tiny, microscopic dots of yellow ink are printed to make a little pattern that displays your printer’s serial number and a time stamp on every single page you print out.

This is put there so that every single page can be traced to the printer that printed them (so you shouldn’t print out those blackmail or ransom demands letters unless you want to get caught. lol). This is called digital steganography – hiding data inside data.

Why does your printer do this? The main reason is for counterfeiting. The US government convinced printer manufacturers to make their printers include this code as a way to track those who would use their own home printers and printer ink to print their own money.

The only two printer companies in the world that don’t include the coded dots on pages printed by their machines: Samsung and OKI.

So even though you will not be able to print in black and white while your yellow ink is empty, at least you’ll know why.

If you have any questions, you can always contact us.

3@1 is a member of the Surefire Franchise Developments Company. 

Canvas Printing