Why Is My Canon Printer Not Printing Properly? – Complete Guide

We know how frustrating it can be to try to print a document and see a printer error message on your Canon printer.

One day, everything is working as it’s supposed to be. The next day, you cannot even print a single black and white document.

So what could cause your Canon printer to not print properly at all?

Why Is My Canon Printer Not Printing?

canon printer not printing fix

Canon printers are supposed to be good home printers for those printing simple documents for their work or school. Canon printers may also print pictures and brochures. And since you paid for a brand new printer, it should work as such, correct?


Several dozen factors that can make your Canon printer stop printing. But we can all agree that it will not print because something is preventing it from working properly.

It does not matter what type or brand of printer you’re using, most printer owners would agree that you’re going to encounter at least one problem in your printer’s lifespan.

Before we go into details in how you can fix your Canon printer, let’s discuss first the common reasons that cause your printer to not print at all.

Common Reasons Why My Canon Printer Is Not Responding Or Working

Empty Ink Cartridges. Having only a small amount of ink inside your printer can already be considered an empty ink cartridge. And having empty ink cartridges can stop your Canon printer from printing documents properly.

Empty Paper Tray. Usually, most Canon printers will show you if it’s already out of paper. There would be a blinking light or an error message indicating you’re out of paper. Adding more paper to your printer should easily fix this issue.

Paper Jam. Jammed papers can cause a lot of problems to your printer’s mechanism. You won’t be able to print or copy any documents as long as there is a paper jam inside your printer. Even a tiny or small debris can cause your printer to show a paper jam error.

Ink Cartridge Errors. Ink cartridges are vital in your printer’s operation, so simple error on one of them can cause your Canon printer to stop working. Unfortunately, for ink cartridge errors the most common fix is to do an ink cartridge replacement.

Wireless Issue. Most Canon printers are wireless printers. And wireless printers often encounter connection problems either to your computer or your wireless network (WiFi). Not being connected to your WiFi router will cause your printer not to print any documents from your computer or even your mobile phone.

Corrupted Printer Driver. Your printer driver serves as a bridge between your printer and your devices. It’s comparable to a wireless connection, except it is installed on your computer. The printer driver gives instructions to your printer on what documents to print and how to print them. A corrupted printer driver will prevent your Canon printer from printing documents properly.

Canon Printer Not Printing Fix

The good thing about having a Canon printer is there are a lot of online resources you can use to fix your printer. Whether your Canon printer is not printing black ink. Or a printer paper jam error occurred. Or even a printer offline issue.

You can fix your Canon printer without the need to contact their support team.

Also, our Printer Not Printing team have compiled almost every printer issue you might encounter, and provided solutions for each one. You can use our printer issues resource page as a guide.

Now to start our Canon printer fix, let’s perform a basic printer checkup.

Basic Canon Printer Checkup

We advise all printer owners to do a basic printer checkup before performing any troubleshooting steps.

Here’s our step-by-step guide on how you can check you Canon Printer:

  1. Turn on your Canon printer.
  2. Check the display screen for any error messages, and make sure your buttons are all working properly.
  3. Place a document on your scanner glass.
  4. Select the copy button to make a copy of your document.

If you were able to copy a document successfully, then you can proceed to the basic troubleshooting steps below.

If not, then you have a much bigger problem here and you should go ahead and proceed to the advanced troubleshooting steps.

Basic Troubleshooting Steps For Canon Printers

Most Canon printer issues are caused by a problem with your printer hardware, so for these basic troubleshooting steps, we will be focusing on your printer’s inks, rollers, paper tray, and printhead.

  1. Check your ink levels

    Find the ink level icon in your Canon printer’s display screen, it usually is a set of colors or it looks like a teardrop icon.

    Unfortunately, the ink levels that you’ll see are just an estimate and may not show the actual ink levels on your printer. If it’s less than a quarter full and you are experiencing print quality issues, you may have to change your ink cartridges to fix your Canon printer.

    If you can’t see the ink level icon on your printer’s display screen, go in front of your computer. Open the “Run” program, and type in “control printers“, then click the “Ok” button. It should open your devices and printers folder. Locate your printer icon and name, and right-click it with your mouse. It should show you a set of options, choose “Printer Preferences“. Locate the maintenance tab, and it should show your Canon printer’s ink levels.

  2. Check your paper tray

    Locate your paper tray and open it to check if there’s enough paper in it. If your paper tray is at the rear part of your printer, you can easily add more paper to your printer by sliding it in.

    Check your printer manual if you cannot locate your paper tray. Also, do NOT overload your paper tray, there is a specific number of sheets that your Canon printer’s paper tray can hold.

  3. Check inside your Canon printer

    Grab a flashlight and open the cartridge access door of your Canon printer. This is the door you open to remove and install your ink cartridges. Look for any debris or paper that may have jammed inside your printer. Remove them carefully out of your Canon printer if you ever see one.

  4. Check your printer’s power source

    Locate where your printer’s power cord is connected on. Make sure it is connected directly to a wall outlet, so it can get all the power it needs. If your printer is connected to an extension cord or power strip along with your other appliances, you may have to remove your printer’s power cord there and insert it directly to a wall outlet to fix your Canon printer problem.

  5. Do a hard reset

    Doing a hard reset refreshes your printer system. You can do it by removing the power cable at the back of your Canon printer without pressing the power button to turn it off. This should shut down your machine. You must wait at least 2 minutes before reinserting the power cable back to your printer. You can turn on your printer again afterward.

  6. Clean your printhead

    If the issue you’re having is related to your print quality like being unable to print black and white documents or your Canon printer is not printing colors properly, then you may have to clean your printhead. You can do this on your printer’s display screen by looking for the printer maintenance option, or using your computer to access the maintenance tab for your Canon printer.

    You may refer to step number 1 for the steps on how to get to your printer maintenance tab in your computer or laptop.

  7. Clean your printer rollers

    Your printer rollers are located near where your printer paper tray is, since the function of these printer rollers is to pick up the paper that you’re going to print on.

    You can clean your Canon printer’s rollers with a clean cloth, tweezers, and a cup of clean water.

    No, we will not pour water in your printer. You just have to damp your cloth with water and wipe your printer rollers with it. You’ll know you have cleaned them properly if they’re moving and are not stuck in their place.

    If you want to easily clean your printer rollers, get some printer cleaning sheets. These are special types of paper that is sticky enough to collect the dirt and debris that may be stuck on your printer rollers and printhead.


After doing all those steps, you should be able to print your documents again. One way to test it is by printing a test page in your computer to your Canon printer and see if it will print it exactly the way it is on your computer.

If you still could not print documents on your Canon printer, please proceed to the advanced troubleshooting steps below.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps To Fix Your Canon Printer

Our advanced troubleshooting steps will now look into your printer software to make sure that your Canon printer issue is not because of a corrupted printer driver or a wireless connection issue.

You may refer to each tab to check how you can fix your Canon printer problem.

Canon Printer Driver Fix

If your Canon printer is not printing properly, it may be caused by a corrupt printer driver.

Printer drivers should be up-to-date for security reasons. Also, out-of-date printer drivers often cause printer issues, so it’s best to enable automatic updates on your printer driver for less hassle on your end.

One way you’ll know if there’s a problem with your printer driver is if you can’t print any documents from your computer or laptop to your printer.

The option to choose between printing with just black ink or a colored document printout won’t show if your printer driver’s corrupted.

To fix your Canon printer driver, you have to remove your old printer driver first.

Go to your computer’s Control Panel, and uninstall your printer driver from there.

Once uninstalled, you must download and reinstall the printer driver from Canon’s website.

You can download your printer driver by going to this link that will lead you to your Canon printer’s driver download page.

Once downloaded, you just have to install it and try printing a document to check if it fixed your problem of your Canon printer not printing at all.

Wireless Connection Fix

If you have a wireless Canon printer, and it’s not printing, you may have to check your wireless connection between your Canon printer and your WiFi router.

Go to your printer’s display screen, and look for the wireless icon. It looks like a radio antenna or a wireless signal.

Once you’ve found that proceed to setting up your wireless connection again. You just have to select your WiFi network name and enter your WiFi password. Once the connection is successful, you should be able to print again.

If not, check out our in-depth guide on how to fix any wireless printer connection issue.

If the above steps still do not work, you may have to do a semi-full reset to your Canon printer as our last attempt to make it work again.

A semi-full reset or reset to factory defaults is going to reset your printer back to its original settings. It’s like you have a brand new printer again, except it’s really not.

Hopefully, by resetting your Canon printer to its factory settings, it will start working again.

Since there are dozens of Canon printers, you may have to refer to your product manual for the instructions on how to do a semi-full reset or factory reset on your Canon printer.

If you don’t have your printer manual with you, you may download it directly from Canon’s User Manual Library page.

Canon Printer Maintenance Tips

Hopefully, those steps were able to fix your Canon printer not printing problem. Now that we’re able to get past that. Here are some basic maintenance tips in keeping your Canon printer in good working condition and to prevent printer issues from reoccurring.

  • Use only genuine ink cartridges.
  • Make sure you are using compatible papers on your Canon printer.
  • Get yourself a printer cover to prevent dust, debris, and other small particles from entering your machine.
  • Use your printer at least once a week. Avoid not using it for an extended time to prevent your inks from drying.
  • Replace empty ink cartridges right away to prevent damage on your printer’s printhead.
  • Connect your printer directly to a wall outlet whenever you’re using it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canon Printers

When it comes to cleaning your Canon printer, you should have a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule you can follow.

Daily schedule means whenever you use your printer, you should ensure it is in proper and working conditions like making sure it is covered with a printer cover.

Your weekly maintenance schedule can be a simple check if your printer has enough paper in its paper tray, and your cartridges have sufficient inks.

For your monthly maintenance schedule, you may check your printer for any paper jams or any dust build-up because you’re not using any cover for your printer.

If your Canon printer suddenly got disconnected to your WiFi router, it may be caused by your WiFi router giving your Canon printer a new IP address. An IP address is a unique set of numbers assigned to each device connected to your WiFi network.

When your WiFi router restarts or encounters an error, it may give your printer a new IP address.

Unfortunately, our WiFi router cannot change the IP address used by your printer on your computer.

To fix this issue, you have to remove and reinstall the printer driver for a new connection to be established between our computer and printer.

Print jobs may get stuck in your printer queue if there is a problem with your printer’s wireless connection or driver. You may follow the troubleshooting steps we have above to fix this type of issue.

If those do not work, you may go to your Devices and Printers window, and look for your printer icon and name. Right-click your printer icon and select “See what’s printing”.

It will open another window showing all the print jobs in your printer queue. Choose the “Printer” option on the top right, and select “Cancel All Documents“. This will delete all your pending print jobs and allow you to print your documents again.

When a Canon printer is on an error state, it may not allow you to navigate through your printer’s display screen.

The first step you should do to fix a printer on error state is by doing a hard reset.

If the hard reset does not solve your Canon printer issue, you must consult your product manual on how you can do a semi-full reset or reset your printer back to its factory settings.

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