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How Do I Scan a Document from My Canon Printer to My Computer?

One of the most common questions I get asked is: how do I scan a document from my Canon printer to my computer? Well, it has never been simpler. 

All you need to do is put the source materials on the scanner and then begin the process. However, this will not work if the set-up was never done to begin with. Today, I will show you how to do it and also provide some troubleshooting steps to common issues.

Of course, we cannot cover all potential issues that you may have, but we will try to address many common problems that you are facing with scanning with Canon. 

How Do I Scan a Document from My Canon Printer to My Computer?

Step 1: Connection and Installation

The first thing you must do is connect the cable of the Canon printer to the computer. Canon printers come with CD ROMs. Use the CD ROM to install the software program. 

If your laptop or PC has no CD ROM drive, what you must do is visit the Canon website and look for your printer driver. If you cannot locate it, or if you have no internet, you must buy one of those detachable CD ROM drivers. 

It is necessary to install the driver. Otherwise, your computer will not communicate with the printer. A driver is a software program that communicates with the hardware. Now, depending on your printer model, you can connect the PC to it via cable or WiFi. 

Step 2: Set the Document

The next step is to lift the lid of the scanner. Put the document face down, and make sure that the edges of the paper are aligned on the glass.

The scanner can only scan what is visible on the glass. Make sure that the paper has no folds. Close the lid gently and follow the next steps.

If you are scanning a book, it will do you well if you hold that book while the scan is going on. If you don’t do this, it can slide, and you will not get a good scan. 

Step 3: Scan

The last step is to find your Canon software on the PC. You can do this by going to the Canon Utilities folder, which was set up during the installation process. 

You can also click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom left of the PC taskbar and then search for “scan.” Here, you will see the Canon Scan program. 

Click that, and a window will pop out. The window will show you a preview of what the scan will look like. It is here where you must re-arrange the paper if you must. 

You can also toggle the settings of the printer. From here, you can choose where the scanned document will be saved. The final step is to click the SCAN button.

Common Canon Scanner Problems

Now, I want to discuss some of the most common problems that you may face if you are using a Canon printer to scan to your computer. 

Problem 1: The scanner is too slow

If this happens, what you must do is shut off the scanner. You must also restart your computer. Turn off the scanner for at least ten seconds, and then reboot it.

If the scanner is still too slow, it is possible that there is a communication gap between Canon and your PC. Shut down all apps except the Canon scanner, and try again.  

If you still get this issue, your PC hardware may already be outdated, and you need to keep up with the times. 

Problem 2: My computer freezes when the scanning is in progress

If this is happening, it is likely that you have so many applications open, and they are hogging all the resources.

The only solution here is to quit all other applications but leave the Canon software open. This should free up some memory space in the system.  

Problem 3: The scanner will not turn on

First of all, check if the scanner is plugged. If it is, make sure that the scanner is connected to your PC. Some people connect the USB cable of the printer to a USB hub. In this case, it is possible that the issue is the connectivity.  

If both of these solutions fail, you must contact a technician as it is possible that the error is caused by hardware failure. 

If the scanner does not turn on, it is possible that the power is damaged. In our experience, there is a high likelihood that the electronics inside got fried. 

Problem 4: The scanner is not recognized

This is a problem that has several causes and solutions. First, you must uninstall the driver and then re-install the most recent version.

If you have done this already, make sure that the scanner cable is connected directly to your PC, not through a USB hub. You must also disconnect the scanner from the PC if you are connected via WiFi. Sometimes, USB hubs fail to connect because they are processing so many data between devices.

One obvious reason for this issue is the power. If the scanner is not turned on, the PC will not detect the printer at all. 

The other cause is that you are using a cable that is not designed for the Canon printer. You must only use the cable that came with your Canon scanner. If it is out of order, you must order a new one. Most shops that sell Canon products can help you with this. 

Problem 5: Document feed is not aligned

If the scanned document is askew, it is highly likely that you put the physical document on the scanner that way. For example, you may be scanning a book. While the scan is in progress, the book may have moved. As such, the scan is askew. 

The fix here is obvious—just align the document on the scanner’s glass. It is also likely that the scrollers of the scanner are no longer aligned. In this case, you need to take the scanner for servicing.  

Problem 6: The CaptureOnTouch Lite mode is not working

If this is happening, it is possible that the security software is blocking the USB. You need to go to your firewall settings to fix the issue. 

On some occasions, it is not the firewall of your PC blocking it but an anti-virus software that you are using. Check your anti-virus program and see the area where it is controlling the USB.

Problem 7: The document is not scanned according to the settings

If you are using the CaptureOnTouch mode, the Canon scanner will use this as a priority source of settings. If you want to edit your job settings, you must create a new job setting and use that, not the default one. 


How do I scan a document from my Canon printer to PDF?

To save as PDF Files:

1. Select the images you want to save, then click Save as a PDF file.
2. Specify the save settings in the Save as PDF file dialog box.
3. Specify the file type, file name, and destination folder. 
4. Click Save.

Why can’t I scan a document to my computer?

Check that the cable between the scanner and computer is plugged in at both ends. If the cable seems to be working fine, try a different one to see if that fixes the problem. If not, try a different USB port on your computer.

How do I scan from my Canon printer to my phone?

  1. Place your original document or photo on the printer’s glass surface or in the document feeder.
  2. Open the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app on your phone or tablet.
  3. Tap the Scan icon > Scan button.
  4. Tap Scan to scan another page, or tap Exit when done.

How do I scan from my Canon printer to my iPhone?

  1. To scan something on your iOS device, open the Canon PRINT Inkjet / SELPHY app.
  2. Tap Scan from the main menu.
  3. Use the Change settings button to make any needed adjustments before scanning.
  4. Tap Scan to begin the scan.

How do I scan from my Canon printer to my Chromebook?

Keep in mind, in order to scan you will need Chrome OS 89 or later installed.

Follow these steps to scan into your Chromebook. 

  • At the bottom right, select the time > Settings.
  • At the bottom, select Advanced.
  • Click Print and scan to open the Scan app > select Scan.
  • You can also search for Scan by opening the Launcher.
  • Under Scan, select your scanner from the list.
  • You can customize your settings and select the Scan button to start scanning.
  • Scanned files are saved to the location you specified in the Scan to option.
  • When your scan is complete, click on the Show file location link to find your scanned files.


Canon made it easy for individuals to own three-in-one printers at home. Most of their printers come with a scanner and a copier too. 

The most important step if you want to know how to scan from your Canon to a printer to your computer is to install the correct driver. If you have it, just check if your driver is updated.