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Canon Printhead FAQs

Need a new printhead for your Canon printer?

A printhead is the device in an inkjet printer which sprays droplets of ink onto a sheet of paper. Find the answers to your Canon Printhead questions.

  • How does a Canon Printhead work?
    The print head delivers very small drops of ink onto the paper. The ink from the cartridge is transported via small tubes. Heating elements heat the tubes, creating a small bubble of ink. The heating element determines the size of the drop to be applied to the paper.
  • How do I know I may need to replace my print head?
    There are a few symptoms that may indicate printhead failure or a clogged printhead. If the following symptoms continue even after replacing the ink cartridges and trying the troubleshooting steps in your user’s manual or those listed below, you may need to replace your printhead:
    • Pages come out blank, or you see poor print quality
    • Pages you print appear to be missing colors
    • Colors on the printed page are quite a bit different from what shows on the screen
    • Horizontal white lines or light-colored lines or light streaks appear throughout the page
  • Why would the print head have problems?
    After hours of printing, the heating elements may fail after being turned on and off hundreds of thousands of times. The printhead can also become clogged or blocked with paper debris or solidified ink. If your print quality is poor or your printer will not print at all, it may be time to change your printhead.
  • How do I troubleshoot my printer?
    If you are having problems before or after you change your print head, it sometimes helps to print test pages of different colors, do a print head cleaning, or do both. When doing a print head cleaning you should refer to your user’s manual or go to Canon’s website: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/support.

    Once there, select Printers from the Category menu, select your printer’s series on the Product Type menu, then the model number of your printer on the Model menu. On the Support page that opens, select “Step-by-Step Troubleshooting”. Generally, the procedure will be to continue through the following steps, stopping if printing returns to normal:

    1. Do a print head cleaning
    2. Print the nozzle check pattern
    3. - repeat steps 1-2 up to two times -
    4. Do a print head Deep Cleaning (Note: the Print Head Deep Cleaning Procedure uses a lot of ink)
    5. Print the nozzle check pattern (This will print a test page using all nozzles in the print head)
    6. - repeat steps 3-4 up to two times -

    If the output is still not normal, you may need a new print head; or, if you just installed a new print head, the print head may be defective. If you bought it from us please call and we will send you another one.

  • What if I do not have my user’s manual or access to the web, and I want to do a print head cleaning?
    For quick access to your printer’s utilities (drivers), do the following:
    1. Click the Start button, then click Run
    2. If anything is in the Open field, delete it, then type “control” (without the quotes) and hit ‘enter’ on your keyboard
    3. You should now see your computer’s Control Panel. If you see Printers and Faxes, click it; otherwise, click Printers and Other Hardware, then click Printers and Faxes
    4. This will bring up a page showing your installed printers. Place your mouse cursor over the printer icon and ‘right-click’ on it. On the pop-up menu, click ‘properties’. This will bring up the printer utility. Look for the ‘maintenance’ tab and follow the cleaning prompts.
  • What can I do to prevent my print head from clogging?
    A great way to keep your print heads from clogging is regular use. Be sure to use the color and black inks at least once a week. Keeping the printer clean of household dust and paper dust also helps minimize clogging. We recommend that you carefully blow excess dust from the printer using canned air about once a month (depending on how much printing you do, and how dusty the area is around the printer). Do not use a vacuum or high-pressure compressed air, as these have greater risk of damaging your printer.
  • What print head do I need?
    Simply click on the link below and find your model of printer. If you do not see your model, please email us or call and we will do our best to find the right printhead for your printer.

General Questions
For all other general/miscellaneous inquiries such as: account information, ordering (including rush processing), shipping, or assistance with a recently- placed order, please direct your correspondence to our customer service or fill out our online contact form. If you prefer, you may email us through your default email handler at .

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