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Why is Your Canon Printer Not Scanning? 6 Causes and Fixes

Why is Your Canon Printer Not Scanning? 6 Causes and Fixes

Have you ever come across an issue regarding your Canon scanner? Specifically, even though it can still send items to print out, it simply isn’t scanning them anymore. When this happens on a seemingly functional device, it can be a very irritating phenomenon, but there are ways to fix it. But first, what you need to understand is what exactly causes this. 

You may have issues scanning with a Canon machine because of hardware issues, incompatible updates, or the Toolbox not working correctly. On the other hand, you may also be facing permission issues or conflicts with Windows itself. 

To learn more about how a Canon scanner can have difficulty scanning data and how to fix it, continue reading this article. We’ll explore each issue one by one and give you a detailed description of how to solve the problem. 

Why Can’t My Canon Scanner Scan Information?

There are several reasons why your Canon scanner may not be able to scan information correctly. To learn the actual reason, follow the steps below. You can then troubleshoot and identify what is causing an issue within the machine. 

Issues With Connection to PC

If you are trying to scan something with a Windows machine, but it’s not working, the first thing to check is your connection to the Scanner itself. This lack of connection is the most common reason your Canon won’t scan information correctly. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Disconnect the Scanner and switch it off completely.
  2. Plug the Scanner in again and switch it on.
  3. Connect the device to your PC once again.

You can also take the time while the Scanner is off to clean it up. You will want to focus on the Scanner glass as that needs to be pristine for optimal scanning. 

Incompatibility With Drivers

Switching your computer to a new operating system undoubtedly affects your Canon ScannerBecause Canon’s Scanner driver and Toolbox can conflict with updates, you may have to uninstall and then reinstall them

  1. In the search bar in the taskbar, search for ‘Device Manager.’
  2. Run the Device Manager and click on the list ‘Imaging Devices.’
  3. Right-click the name of the Scanner driver and Uninstall the driver. 
  4. Next, in the Control Panel, navigate to ‘Programs.’
  5. Find a program named ‘Canon Toolbox.’
  6. Right-click the program to uninstall it.

Now you have removed both of these programs; you will have to install them again. You may even need to install an updated version of the software if any has been released. If you cannot access the Toolbox, you may have to navigate in a different mode altogether. 

RelatedHow to Clean the Viewfinder on Canon Cameras

Windows Permissions Disabled

Each computer needs a Windows service known as the Windows Image Acquisition Service. With this tool, the operating system allows the Scanner to use it to create and scan images. For a Scanner to work effectively, this service must be enabled and up and running. Here’s how to switch it back on if it switches off: 

  1. In the search button of your Windows taskbar, look for the program ‘Services’ and run it. 
  2. Look for Windows Image Acquisition. 
  3. Right-click on the service, and select the option ‘Properties.’
  4. In the new window that opens up, set the type as Automatic under the General tab.
  5. Click on ‘Start’ and save the settings by clicking on ‘Apply.’
  6. Select ‘ Local system account under the ‘Log On’ tab.
  7. Select ‘Allow service to interact with desktop.’
  8. Under the ‘Recovery’ tab, select ‘Restart the service’ as a dropdown for First failure. 

Finally, you will want to save everything and restart your computer to run this service. 

Issues With Blank Page Skips

One of the ways that Canon aims to make scanning effective and efficient is with an option to skip blank pages. This feature is through a service in the Scanner setting program. The great thing is that this tool can be beneficial when dealing with many pages.

Photo: Canon UK

However, the harm is that the Scanner may not be perfect at identifying missed pages. It may just be misinterpreting some images to be blank and hence not scanning the pages. In the scanner app, disable this option and scan all photos, whether blank or not. 

Toolbox Authorizations Missing

Here, the culprit is your Toolbox software. Again, there may be a permissions issue in the specific instance where your Toolbox enables your Scanner to print information but cannot scan it. However, there does exist a solution for this problem. 

  1. Select the Toolbox icon, and right-click.
  2. Click on the option ‘Properties.’
  3. Select ‘Change settings for all users.’
  4. Run the program as an administrator. 
  5. Right-click the designated images folder and select ‘Properties.’
  6. Move to the Security tab, and then next to your username, click ‘Edit.’
  7. Select Allow on all security options. 

This change in security permissions will authorize you to use Toolbox to scan images once again. 

Corrupted PC Files

Any corruption or conflict in your Windows operating system will affect how the Canon Scanner works. If there are corrupted files on the system, this can severely debilitate its functionality. Luckily, Windows comes with a built-in tool that can help you detect corrupted and damaged files. Here’s to use this functionality: 

  1. In the search button on your taskbar, search Command Prompt.
  2. Right-click the result and select ‘Run as administer.’
  3. Search the term ‘scannow’ to start up the feature. 
  4. The System File Checker tool now evaluates the files and removes any corrupted ones so they stop causing issues. 


A non-functional scanner can become a frustrating problem, especially if you are on the clock. In some cases, you may not be able to solve the problem on your own. However, you can find out exactly what the problem is and how to fix it with these troubleshooting tips. 

If none of these fixes work, we recommend that you reach out to Canon customer support. You can also contact professionals through a Canon Service Center.