Common Canon Printer Error Codes

Canon LogoOver the years, printers have developed from simple, basic machines to complex, multi-featured, all-in-one devices that can handle enormous daily office volumes or produce beautiful images.  This rapid development is evident in printer display panels, which started as small, 2-line black-and-white screens and now offer large, color, touchscreen LCDs.

Error messages for Canon printers at one time were provided in numeric code, as ample space wasn’t available to give you full descriptions of the issues.  Of course, current models have error messages that provide more detail about each issue, making it easy for you to diagnose and fix the problem.  However, for those who still get error codes, here is a list of some of the most common, and some solutions to help you get up and running again:

Code Problem Possible Solutions
11 Out of paper Load more paper.
12 No cartridge installed or printer is open Install the cartridge or close the printer.
13 Paper jam Clear the paper jam.
16 Low toner Shake the cartridge to re-distribute Canon toner or replace the cartridge.
21 Sent print job is too complex to complete (print overrun) Reduce the font size, remove some graphics, split the task in two or add more memory.
55 Failed communication between printer and computer Check the cable connections, shut down the computer and the printer, then restart and try again.
5200 Printhead is overheating Turn off and unplug the machine to let it cool. If the problem persists, contact technical support.
5400 Internal temperature not correct Turn off and unplug the machine to let it cool. If the problem persists, contact technical support.
U043 Cannot read cartridges Try to run a cold start.  If that doesn’t work, contact the manufacturer or cartridge vendor.
6A00 Cartridge is jammed See how to fix a jammed cartridge.
5700 Sheet-feeder error Clean or replace the rollers.

These are some of the most common numeric error codes that you will find when you use Canon printers.  Most of them have quick, simple fixes.  For the issues that are slightly more complicated, you should consider contacting technical support.  Every time you handle things yourself, you are running the risk of further damaging your machine.

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

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