How to Troubleshoot a Canon Scanner

By Shea Laverty

When your Canon scanner malfunctions, your ability to process printed documents into your computer suffers. Depending on the nature of the malfunction, your scanner may require service or even replacement. Before you bring your scanner in for repair or replacement, however, there are a few things you can do to check and see if the problem is fixable on site.

Check Cable Connections

Check both the USB data cable and the USB power cable and make sure they're both securely connected to the computer and the scanner. If both are secure, one of the cables may be damaged and require replacement. Canon scanners use proprietary USB cables, which means that third-party cables may inhibit performance. Make sure you're using Canon cables with your scanner.

Update Drivers and Included Software

The next thing you should do is check to make sure your drivers and the included CaptureOnTouch software are both up-to-date. Out-of-date drivers may prevent proper function, as the computer and the scanner will no longer be able to communicate. If the drivers are out of date, you can locate current drivers from the Canon support website (linked in Resources). Make sure to supply the exact model name of your scanner to ensure you get the right drivers.

Scanner Glass and Rollers

If you're experiencing paper jams, multi-page feed errors or white streaks or splotches on scanned files, your scanner glass and rollers may need cleaning. Sticky substances like glue or correction fluid can build up on the rollers and glass and cause streaks. Carefully wipe both sides of the scanner glass and the rollers, applying only enough pressure to clean the area. If streaks continue to appear once cleaning is finished, you may have a scratch on the internal glass, an issue only a licensed and authorized technician can repair.

Insufficient Memory

If your scanner stops partway through a job and displays a message declaring insufficient memory, you'll need to change your scan conditions. Available memory largely depends on your computer's available memory, as well as the print job itself. Memory may be insufficient if any of the following conditions are true at the same time: color is set to 24-bit, the page size is set to a large size like "Legal" or the scanner's maximum size and the resolution is set to the highest setting. Changing any of these settings should reduce memory strain, but if the problem persists you can also disable "Moire Reduction" and "Prevent Bleed Through/Remove Background" to free up additional memory.

CaptureOnTouch Job Settings

If your scanner is scanning documents incorrectly, there may be a discrepancy between the CaptureOnTouch scan job settings and the scanner driver settings. Registered job settings always take priority over scanner driver settings, which can result in scans that don't conform to your expectations. You'll have to edit the existing job settings in CaptureOnTouch or create a new scan job with the correct settings.

Feeder Jams

If paper is jamming in the feeder, there are two possible solutions. First, the feed roller and separation pad may require cleaning or be improperly installed. Check to see that they are clean and installed correctly. If they are, fan the pages before loading them into the scanner -- static electricity can cause the pages to stick together, jamming the scanner.

Skipped Pages

If your scanner is missing or skipping pages, there could be an issue with the settings. The scanner is equipped with the ability to skip blank pages, but pages that don't have enough black coloration may unintentionally trigger this function. You'll need to decrease the likelihood of skipped pages from within CaptureOnTouch's "Scanning Side" settings menu, or use a different scanning mode like Simplex or Duplex.