How To Work Around Canon Scanner Error


I was trying to use my scanner on my Canon PIXMA MX492 when I got an error message saying that my scanner software Cannot communicate with the scanner. I usually go to Start – Canon Utilities – IJ Scan Utility.

This opens the little scanning options window but no matter what I tried to get it to work, it kept giving the same error message.

Online research suggested disabling the antivirus and firewall. I tried it and it didn’t work. It’s frustrating when something is working all along and then suddenly it decides not to. Everything else about the printer seems to work.

I’m planning to remove all the drivers and software and reinstall them as soon as I can find my CD or the software online. But I found a workaround that still allows me to use my scanner.


The Workaround

In your search bar type control panel and click on it when it appears on the menu.

In the Control Panel click on Devices and Printers.

Find your printer listed in the window that opens and right-click on it. I noticed right away that this was not the right printer driver originally installed. It should read, Canon MX490 series Printer and not FAX.

I right-click on the printer listed as Canon MX490 series FAX and then on Start scan. This gave me some access to my scanner software, which worked. This is somewhat good news because it seems to indicate a software issue rather than a hardware one.


The Fix

As I was writing this, I did a quick search on Canon’s website and found the driver software for my printer. So I uninstalled all the old software and drivers. Then I restarted my system.  Then reinstalled the Canon drivers and software again. This works.

About the Author

Terry Hollett

Terry is a self-taught computer aficionado, who after being exposed to Windows 3.1 in the early 1990's devoured every book and magazine on the subject he could get his hands on. A published author with over 20 years' experience building and servicing computers for friends and family he started his first website in 2002 at Hit Any Key.

4 Comments

  1. Terry,
    In light of current practices of computer manufacturers not supplying software installation media on CDs, I have a folder where I keep copies of all the installers for the programs and drivers for my computers in a folder in OneDrive.
    In the event that I run into an issue as you did, I can go to that folder and reinstall the program or driver, even without an internet connection. I’m using Windows 10 and on those occasions where I do a clean install of Windows, that folder is immediately available when I sign into OneDrive.
    I try to make sure that items in the folder are up to date, but even when they aren’t, I generally get notified of updated versions during the install.
    Drivers for my individual computers are kept in their own folders do that I don’t try to install drivers for my wife’s Inspiron PC on my Inspiron or HP laptops.

  2. Each year I spend around six moths at our home in Greece (which has a Canon Pixma MG2950) and six months in the UK (HP Photosmart C4780). I have lost track of the number of times I get similar messages to yours – again, often after weeks / months of successful working. As with you, reinstall seems to be the only way of getting things working but at 145Mb for the HP printer that process really does take an age. Why is it that printer drivers seem to be the biggest problem area!?

    • Hey John,

      HP printers are a robust piece of hardware but the software is extremely bloated and highly invasive. I bought a HP printer some years ago and the software went wonky after about 4 weeks so I decided to go through the usual uninstall/reinstall process. Got as far as the uninstall and was shocked to find literally hundreds of leftover entries all over the place. I ended up taking it back to the shop and exchanged it for an Epson. Have stuck with Epson ever since and never had a problem.

  3. What is it with scanners losing communication? I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap I use with Evernote and every so often for no reason it loses communication. So Fujitsu, rather than solving the underlying problem, has a utility that you run to reset the connection in some undefined way.

    The utility works 90% of the time, but occasionally I have to uninstall and reinstall the whole software suite for the scanner.

    It has been that way since 2013.

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