Alternate title: "Two Weird Tricks Canon Doesn't Want Printer Users to Know!"
This is something that really gets on my nerves. You want to print a simple black-and-white text document on your inkjet printer, yet somehow you've run out of color inks (in my case without ever actually printing anything in color, another major annoyance) so the printer refuses to print. You also wouldn't be able to use any of the other functions on the printer's interface since the error blocks all input buttons.
Standard disclaimer applies, which is basically maybe this degrades your print quality over time or your printer breaks entirely. Secretly I am hoping it does break this POS so I have an excuse to get a black-and-white laser printer instead.
I have a Canon PIXMA MG5320. This works for mine but may or may not work with other printers.
In my case it was this terse little haiku of sorts:
The ink has run out.
Replace the ink tank.
Go fuck yourself.
There's two parts to this, one (sort of) hardware, one software. You may only need the hardware fix, but I always have to use both for good quality.
Disable Ink Level Detection
Press and hold the "Stop" button on the printer for 5 seconds. The error on the screen will disappear.
Now this isn't some fancy hack, it's actually documented. It's just hard to find.
Print in High Quality
When I print in regular quality after bypassing the ink detection, it usually has this strange kind of stripe pattern, where every other line is cut off partially. It also prints out very faintly in the background, "I HATE YOU, LOVE CANON" repeatedly. Strange.
Anyways, to get around that just choose the "high quality" option when printing. In Chrome this may require choosing "Print using system dialog" instead of using the built-in print function.
In Linux I had to choose "600x600 DPI HIGH" under the "Image Quality" tab. It should be easy to find with another OS.
No printer article would ever be complete without mentioning the Oatmeal's "Why I Believe Printers Were Sent From Hell To Make Us Miserable."
It's 2015, we have powerful computers in the palm of our hands, and we've got functioning self-driving cars, yet printers haven't really changed for years.