Canon has a highly rated lineup of high-quality home office printers, but they are not without their issues. One such issue frequently reported by users is discovering blank pages. Fortunately, there are a number of proven, quick fixes you can try!
Canon Printer Printing Blank Pages
If you encounter your Canon Printer printing blank pages, first power cycle the printer, enable ‘Skip Blank Pages’ and run Windows printer troubleshooter. Then, remove ink cartridge pull-tabs and check ink levels. Next, clean and align the printhead. Lastly, remove and reinstall the printer driver and update the firmware.
Let’s walk through each of these corresponding fixes in greater detail.
I highly recommend you follow these steps in the exact order outlined below. We will start with the easier troubleshooting steps and then work our way to the more involved fixes.
Step 1: Power Cycle Printer
If your Canon Printer is working just fine one minute and the next it isn’t, the first thing you should always try is performing a power cycle.
Power cycle is really just a fancy term for ‘unplug it and plug it back in’.
I know, I know – this fix sounds too simple. Humor me and give this a try first.
Electrical devices have both software and hardware components that can often become overloaded with information, causing all sorts of issue. Canon Printers are no exception.
By removing power to the printer, it essentially refreshes the internal memory (RAM). This effectively allows the printer to function almost as if it were a “new” device.
How to power cycle a Canon Printer:
- First, turn off the printer and unplug the power cord from the back of the printer.
- Next, shut down the computer.
- Wait approximately 30 seconds.
- Now, turn the computer back on.
- Plug the power cord back into the printer and turn the printer on.
Go ahead and try printing a test page.
If the issue persists, advance to step 2.
Step 2: Enable ‘Skip Blank Page‘ Settings
Another easy troubleshooting step to quickly get out of the way is to closely inspect the document you are attempting to print.
Are there any blank pages within the document itself? Maybe even stretches of continuous blank pages?
Again, I appreciate that this may seem like an obvious step.
You would be amazed how many users discover their problem is due to there being actual blank pages in the document they are printing!
An effective way to eliminate this possibility is to enable the Skip Blank Page option within the Canon Printer settings.
How to enable Skip Blank Page in Windows:
- First, navigate to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners.
- Then, click on your Canon Printer model and select Manage > Printing Settings.
- Next, click the Maintenance tab and select Extended Settings.
- Finally, click the box next to Print Blank Page to enable it.
How to enable Skip Blank Page on Mac:
- First, navigate to Menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.
- Then, click on your Canon Printer Model and select Options & Supplies.
- Finally, under the Driver or Options tab, set Skip Blank Page to On.
Notably, some models may have slightly different steps involved. Furthermore, not every Canon Printer model offers the Skip Blank Page option.
If you are having trouble locating this setting, or if you are unsure if your specific model supports it, you can use the Canon Printer manual lookup to confirm.
Step 3: Run Windows Printer Troubleshooter
When encountering any printer related issues, it is always a good idea to run the printer troubleshooting tool that’s built into Windows.
The Windows printer troubleshooter can identify all sorts of software related printer issues. It is easy to run and typically extremely helpful.
To run the printer troubleshooting, navigate to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners then click on your Canon Printer model and select Manage followed by Run the troubleshooter.
Once initiated, Windows will search through your printer configuration and identify any settings conflicts that may exist.
If an issue is detected, Windows will ask you for permission to apply the relevant fix to get your printer back up and running.
Step 4: Inspect Ink Cartridges
In many cases, one of two leading ink cartridge related issues are causing the problem.
One of the most common issues users encounter is forgetting to remove the Canon Printer ink cartridge pull-tabs.
This is especially true if your printer is new or if you have just recently changed the ink.
The pull-tabs are positioned over small air holes in the cartridge that serve as ventilation mechanisms.
These pull-tabs are meant to be removed prior to installation!
If they are left on, air cannot flow properly through the cartridge, leading to your Canon printing blank pages.
Use the side opening to insert your finger and lift up to open the top of the printer to access the ink cartridge holder. Depending on your Canon model, ink access may be through the front panel of the printer.
Once inside, inspect the ink cartridges and make sure no coverings are present.
It is also not uncommon for blank pages to be caused by low or empty ink cartridges.
To inspect the ink levels on an Canon Printer, first make sure your printer is turned on.
Then navigate to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners, click on your Canon Printer model, and select Manage followed by Printing Preferences.
Within Printing Preferences, under the Main tab, select Ink Levels.
Here you will see information on each of the ink cartridges including their current ink levels. If any are low or empty, you will need to replace them.
Step 5: Clean Printhead
The Canon Printer printhead is the component that receives an image and then transfers the correct amount of ink to a page.
Overtime it is common for the printhead to become clogged up with ink, causing print quality to decline which can eventually lead to your Canon Printer not printing anything.
Canon Printer utilities allow you to perform printer maintenance directly from your printer settings, without the need to physically handle the device yourself.
This is by far the easiest Canon printhead cleaning option and you should always start your cleaning process here.
To access the Canon utilities, first navigate to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners.
Next, click on your Canon Printer model and select Manage followed by Printing Preferences.
Within Printing Preferences, select the Maintenance tab.
Click Cleaning on the Maintenance tab and when the Print Head Cleaning dialog box opens, select the ink group you wish to clean.
Finally, select Execute to begin the cleaning process.
When the cleaning process has finished, a Nozzle Check dialog box will appear. To check whether the print quality has improved, click Print Check Pattern.
If the print quality is still poor, run the Cleaning function a few more times.
If, after multiple cleaning attempts you see no improvement, an additional option called Deep Cleaning under the same Maintenance tab should be selected next.
For difficult cases, where the regular cleaning utility is not sufficient, deep cleaning will often do the trick. While each of these self-cleaning methods unfortunately result in the loss of a fair amount of ink, they are often highly effective.
In the event both the cleaning and deep cleaning utilities don’t unclog the Canon printer heads, try turning the printer off overnight. Often times this will allow the caked on ink to soften up a bit, at which point you can try running the self-cleaning utilities again.
In extreme cases, where the blockage cannot be fixed using Canon Printer Cleaning, you may need to perform a manual printhead clean and nozzle flush.
As this process is a bit more involved, it is best to follow the instructions within the video below closely.
Step 6: Align Printhead
Canon print heads routinely become misaligned over time.
In most cases, your printer will still print but the output will appear slightly “off”. However, in more extreme cases, your printer may not even print at all.
Printhead misalignment is extremely common following Canon Printer cleaning. For this reason it is critical to run the Print Head Alignment utility immediately after cleaning.
To align your Canon printhead, go to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners then click on your Canon Printer model and select Manage followed by Printing Preferences.
Within Printing Preferences, select the Maintenance tab and this time click Print Head Alignment.
Run BOTH the horizontal and vertical alignment tests and follow the on-screen instructions.
Users have indicated that interpreting the alignment print tests can be confusing. If you are having any trouble, check out this Canon printhead alignment guide for additional information.
Step 7: Remove And Reinstall Printer Driver
If none of these fixes have solved the problem, it’s highly likely that your Canon Printer driver is corrupt and needs to be reinstalled.
Before attempting to reinstall a new driver, you will need to first fully remove and delete the old one.
How to delete Canon Printer driver:
To delete your current Canon Printer driver, you will need to start by making sure the printer queue is empty. If a print job is in the queue, you CANNOT fully remove the driver.
Go to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners, then clink on your Canon Printer model and select Open Queue.
If there are any print jobs listed here, click on them and then push the Delete key.
Next, within the same Printers & Scanners window click on your Canon Printer model and this time select Remove Device.
Finally, once again within Printers & Scanners, scroll down beneath the printer names and select Print server properties.
Here under the Drivers tab, you need to select your Canon Printer and click Remove.
A prompt will appear asking if you would like to remove the driver only or remove the driver and driver package. Select Remove the driver and driver package and click OK.
Leftover printer files can cause compatibility issues when you attempt to reinstall the new driver. It is therefore critical that you remove both the driver and driver package so that all of the associated Canon Printer files get deleted.
How to reinstall the latest Canon Printer driver:
- First, turn on and connect your Canon Printer to your PC.
- Then, go to the official Canon Printer downloads page, and enter your printer model.
- Lastly, under Drivers & Downloads, locate Drivers, select your Operating System (OS) from the drop down menu and click Download.
That’s it! Go ahead and try to print something.
Step 8: Update Printer Firmware
Printer firmware updates change how your printer accomplishes its tasks. By updating your firmware, you can fix all sorts of problems.
To update your Canon Printer firmware, you must first connect your Canon Printer to WiFi, or directly to your PC via a USB or ethernet cable.
Next, navigate to the official Canon Printer downloads page and enter your printer model into the search field and select it from the menu.
Then, under Drivers & Downloads, locate the latest Firmware update available for download for your specific Operating System (OS).
From here you can follow the on-screen instructions to make sure you have the latest firmware downloaded.
Important Note: Do not use your device while the updates are underway, as interfering too soon may result in your Canon printer not turning on.
When you try to print, are blank pages coming out? As it turns out, this is a fairly common problem. Here’s how to fix it.
Canon Printer Printing Blank Pages – Troubleshooting
- Power cycle printer
- Enable ‘Skip Blank Pages’ settings
- Run Windows printer troubleshooter
- Inspect ink cartridges
- Clean printhead
- Align printhead
- Remove and reinstall printer driver
- Update printer firmware
If you are still having issues despite attempting each of these troubleshooting steps, you can contact Canon’s Customer Service team at (877) 438-0092.
As a last resort, if you need to replace your printer, be sure to first verify your Canon Printer warranty plan.
I hope your found these Canon Printer troubleshooting steps helpful.
If this post helped you fix the issue or if you solved your issue some other way, be sure to leave me a comment below so that we can include it!
Chelsea Ashbrook is a Senior Manager of Corporate Digital Experience at Genentech. Chelsea received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and has spent the last 10 years working in the technology field.
Her professional experience spans information technology services, web content management, and platform development.
For the past decade, long before the work from home revolution truly began, Chelsea has been working in the technology field remotely.
This blog is her outlet to share her findings with you.