Canon Printhead Problems

Updated February 21, 2017

A Canon printhead operates by delivering small drops of ink onto paper. Canon printheads can develop problems that may interfere with the printer's operation and may require troubleshooting.


A possible Canon printhead problem is heating element failure. The heating element is responsible for heating ink from the ink cartridges. Canon printheads also can become blocked or clogged as a result of solidified ink or paper debris.


Symptoms indicating a faulty or malfunctioning Canon printhead include an inability to print or frequent paper jams. Poor quality printing or the printing of blank pages also indicate possible problems as do pages that contain streaks or horizontal lines. Printed pages that are missing colours or show colours different from what is displayed on a computer screen are other symptoms of printhead problems.


Canon printhead problems may be solved using cleaning software typically included with the printer installation. Many Canon printheads have a "cleaning mode," which can be accessed on a user's computer via the Printing Preferences Box in the Printers application. Users may clean a printhead manually by removing it, clearing away any visible debris and rubbing it with a cotton swab dipped in hot water or isopropyl alcohol. If the Canon printhead does not function properly after being cleaned, it may need to be replaced.

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