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Canon Printer Troubleshooting Guide: 8 Reasons It Isn’t Printing

When technology doesn’t work, it can become very frustrating. Printing a copy of your work should be as easy as clicking “Print”. But sometimes that click results in your Canon printer not printing properly.

Canon printer not printing? Here are 8 steps to Canon printer troubleshooting:

  1. Printer Cartridges: no ink, wrong cartridge, cartridge setup
  2. Blocked Print Head
  3. Paper Problems
  4. Default Printer
  5. Printer Firmware and Firewall Issues
  6. Print Jobs Stuck in Printer Queue
  7. Printer Offline
  8. Outdated Printer Driver

You’ll learn how to fix each of these problems in our Canon printer troubleshooting guide.

We will discuss the issues and how to correct them, and we will have you printing your documents and photos in no time.

Canon Printer Troubleshooting

Canon Printer Troubleshooting: 8 Steps

Here are the most common reasons your Canon printer’s not printing correctly.

1. Printer Cartridges

You might be having difficulty printing due to your printer cartridge. The cartridge can cause several issues.

A. No Ink

The most manageable problem to troubleshoot is when you have run out of ink. Replace the ink cartridge, and you are back in business.

B. Wrong Cartridge

The Canon printers require a genuine Canon printing cartridge to print correctly. Inspect your cartridge to ensure you are using the correct one; if not, replace it with an original Canon cartridge.

Here’s how to change the ink in your Canon printer. Be careful when placing your cartridge. If it is inserted incorrectly, you could get a Canon Support Code 5100.

C. Cartridge Setup

Printer cartridges can be finicky, and you need to set them correctly to work.

If you need to adjust the printer cartridge, here is the simple process.

  1. Refill the paper tray
  2. Click on the “Install” button
  3. Choose Tool and then click on “Adjust Printer.”
  4. The printer will print an aligned paper. Click “OK” to complete the task.

2. Blocked Print Head

Dirt and dust can find their way into your printer, and the accumulation of dirt and dust can block your print head which will cause your printer to stop working correctly.

A. In-Printer Cleaning of Print Head

This problem is easy to fix as the printer will clean its print head, and you must tell the printer to do this chore.

  1. Open the paper output tray
  2. Choose the installation option
  3. Click on the device icon
  4. Choose the Maintenance menu from the toolbox
  5. Click on “Deep Cleaning” from the Maintenance menu
  6. Confirm by pressing “Yes” and then “OK.”
  7. Your printer will start the cleaning process

Once the printer has finished cleaning, restart it and try to print again. If the print head was blocked, this cleaning should solve the issue.

Still need more help? Here are 3 ways to clean your Canon print head.

B. Manually Wash Blocked Print Head

As you’ll see in the following video, you can also clean the print head by removing it from the printer and manually washing it.

It would be best to clean your printer head regularly to prevent this issue.

One way to keep your printhead from clogging is to use it regularly. You can print small items regularly to ensure it is in good working order.

3. Paper Problems

It is hard to believe, but the paper you are using can be causing the problem. You have to ensure that you are loading the correct size paper for your printer.

Insert the paper neatly and precisely in the tray, or the printer may not print as desired.

Be careful about trying to print on paper stock that is too thick for your printer. Here’s more about printing on construction paper.

Open your printer and look for any paper jams. Jams will stop the printer from working. Remove any paper that you can see and try to print again. Your printer has many moving parts, so you may have to open it up and investigate.

Here are 5 ways to fix a paper jam. And here’s how to fix your Canon printer from printing blank pages.

4. Default Printer Setting

Another common problem is that you have not set your Canon printer as your default. You can fix this issue quickly. 

  1. Open your Contol Panel
  2. Go to Devices and Printers
  3. If your Canon printer is not set as the default, right-click on the “Canon printer” and click “Set as default.”
  4. Ensure that the printer has a green check mark on it.

5. Printer Firmware and Firewall Issues

To determine if your firewall has a problem, you will have to disable it temporarily. 

  1. Go to the search bar and enter “Windows Defender Firewall,” and click on it
  2. Choose “Turn Windows Firewall on or off,” located to the left
  3. Disable the firewall on the public and private networks.
  4. Select “OK” to confirm the changes

Once you have disabled the firewall, try printing again. If the printer works, you know there was a firewall installation problem.

You should not leave your firewall disabled, so you should reinstall it as quickly as possible.

6. Print Jobs Stuck in Printer Queue

You may encounter that your printing job is stuck in the printer queue, and you will have to clear the printing queue and then try printing again.

Follow these steps to clear the printing queue.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Enter services.msc in the search bar and press enter
  3. Scroll to Print Spooler and right-click. Click on Stop
  4. Go to “Run,” type “Spool,” and hit Enter
  5. Open the “Printers” folder
  6. Delete everything in the folder
  7. Go to the “services” window, right-click printer spooler, and choose “Start.”
  8. Try reprinting your job

7. Printer Offline

Your printer may be showing that it is offline, but you can change the settings from offline to online. There are several reasons for this message.

Check that the Canon printer and device are connected to the same internet source. It might be wise to determine if you have internet.

If there is no internet, your printer will show as offline, and you will have to wait until the internet is restored before you can print.

Canon users should check all cables to determine if everything is plugged in. A disconnected or loose cable can also cause an offline message.

Here is what you have to do:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Click on “Devices and Printers”
  3. Find your Canon printer and right-click on it.
  4. Choose “See what’s printing.”
  5. Go down to “Use printer offline” and make sure it has not been selected
  6. If it is showing a check mark, click on it to change the setting to online

Here’s how to fix your offline Canon printer.

8. Outdated Printer Driver

It is essential to keep your printer driver updated. You should install the latest updates as soon as you can.

You can update your printer driver by following the following steps.

  1. Go to the Windows search option and enter Run
  2. Enter “devmgmt.msc” in the search box and hit enter
  3. Go to printing or print queue
  4. Right-click on the Canon printer and tap on “Update Driver” from the list
  5. Select “Check for automatically updated driver program.”
  6. Follow the on-screen directions to continue the installation.

Curious about what printer you have? Here’s how to know if you have an inkjet or laser printer.

Get Printing!

Sometimes, Canon users can run into printing problems that can be frustrating. The issue is often minor and can be resolved quickly and easily. 

In this Canon printer troubleshooting guide, we have addressed the common problems that Canon users sometimes face and explained the solutions. Before investigating, check your power source. A fluctuating power source can cause your Canon printer to stop printing, and resolving the issue might be as simple as finding another power outlet.

What worked for you? Please share your experience to help other users resolve their Canon printer problems.

Terence Kinnear

Wednesday 28th of February 2024

"Sometimes, Canon users can run into printing problems that can be frustrating." Understatement of the year! The sheer volume of messages, questions and complaints on-line shows how frustrated owners of Canon printers are. And the many solutions offered don't work! I shall never purchase another Canon printer.

Bryan Haines

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Sorry that you're having a hard time with your Canon printer. Hopefully you'll find a solution here to help get printing again.


Saturday 6th of May 2023

I have my printer set at default, but when it prints a page, the print is at 1/4 size. How do I change this? Cannon Maxify MB5360