"Cover Open" Error on Printer

By Nick Davis

This error appears on your printer's display or on your computer screen.
i Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

The “Cover open” error on your business's printer means that the cover's open sensor is not working properly or is missing. The error message could also mean that one or more doors on your printer is not closed properly. The error requires your intervention, as your printer will not work until you close the cover properly or have the sensor or one of the printer's doors serviced.

Open Sensor

When the “Cover open” message appears, open your printer's doors and locate each door's open sensor. The sensor is located in the area that's opposite of the doors' latches if it is an inkjet printer, or close to the printer's toner cartridge if it is laser printer. The sensor is glass-like and can become dirty over time. Use short bursts of air from a can of compressed air to clean the sensor and remove any dust and dirt. If the sensor is hanging off your printer's casing or is visibly damaged, you likely need to replace or repair it.

Variations on the Error

Your printer's version of the “Cover open” message may also include the wording “please close cover” or similar wording. The messages mean the same thing, and can appear after you've replaced ink or toner, or if you've opened one of the printer's doors after clearing a jam or replacing a drum or other component.

Cover Physically Open

If your printer's open sensors are not missing or knocked out of place, close any open printer doors and see if the message disappears. If the message is still displaying, open all of your printer's doors and re-close them, making sure they are latched properly. Turn off your printer and turn it back on to reset the device.


If the “Cover open” message is still present after re-closing your printer's doors and resetting the printer, consult the printer's manual for a service center in your area. Take your printer in for repair, or contact your printer's manufacturer if a service center is not in your area -- your printer's manual also includes a telephone number for contacting the manufacturer for repair.