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Call to Arms for the dreaded U052 Wrong Printhead Error


This is a "call to arms" for all of you Canon customers who have had this problem and have had their printers disabled because of it.  Please respond with the model of your printer and if you were able to fix it, what you did to fix it. 


We need to put pressure on Canon to respond this product defect.  It appears to be bad firmware that does not allow the user to override the problem and to continue to use the printer even in a degraded mode.  From my investigations the problem is NOT a printhead issue - no way one can be printing fine and then have this error alert without having changed the printhead or ink cartridges!


Canon, PLEASE take this issue seriously and provide a solution across the affected models.  If nothing else there should be a trade-in allowance for those printers that have been affected by this product defect.


I have had many Canon printers because they have superior functional specifications. I want to be able to continue using Canon products but only if I can have confidence that this product defect will not destroy my investment.


If Canon is unresponsive our next step should be to aggressively publisize this product defect on social media and on major product vendor outlet sites as negatives reviews.


Forum Users, please reply with your affected model number(s) and with details of any succdessful fix procedure.

1,477 REPLIES 1,477


I went through the BS to file a claim on the class action lawsuit on my Pixma MP830 and was denied the $50.00 due to my printer was not on the list of printers having problems. So why is my printer showing incorrect printhead and I hardly ever use it. I replaced the printhead and 13 months later same **bleep** and my printer was not on the list. Canon you suck and I will never use Canon products again in the future and I will advise everyone to not use Canon as well


In my case, the replacement printhead did not work, directly out of the package. I tried it on 2 MX 860 printers, on each of which an old printhead worked fine. I was tempted to return it - especially because the printhead as delivered was wet with ink and some other fluid, but found that a printhead cleaning procedure enabled it to function well (for me, this time).

For the procedure you will need: 1. Water; 2. Glass cleaner such as Windex; 3. Rubbing Alcohol; 4. A dish or bowl (plastic or glass or ceramic (or metal?) whose diameter is large enough to accommodate the printhead; 5. A heat source to dry the printhead after cleaning.

Procedure: 1. Spray the printhead liberally with glass cleaner. You may want to direct the spray into the incoming and outgoing ink orifices; 2. Soak the printhead in a water+glass cleaner solution dish for an indeterminate time; 3. Swish the printhead around in the solution to extract from the printhead ink that was presumably used in manufacturer testing; 4. Rinse the printhead off with clean water. Pat its orifices with a towel or paper towel; 5. Dispose of the solution; 6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until no ink seems to be leaching from the printhead either into solution or onto the towel; 7. Pat the printhead dry with a soft towel or paper towel; Do NOT let the printhead dry any further yet!; 8. Soak the printhead in rubbing alcohol in the dish. Swish it around with the goal of displacing water left in the printhead with the rubbing alcohol. Let it sit in the solution for an hour or more; 9. Repeat step 8 with new rubbing alcohol another time or two; 10. Dry the printhead with non-destructive heat. I used a combination of soft toweling, sunshine and forced air house heat; 11. Try it out again in the printer. I hope that it works for you.




Three-year-old printer. Out of the blue, good one day, worthless the next. Bought new OEM printhead ($100), same. Occasionaly it will "print" out a black page before it throws U052 error. Needed a new printer, bought an Epson.


Well well well. Yesterday I finally received my $50 settlement check. Certainly not enough, but proof that Canon screwed us.

Canon settlement check.jpg


I am getting this repeatedly.  This morning I tried the procedure that worked before and it did not clear the error.

There is no permanent fix except to trash the lousy Canon printer. I will NEVER buy another Canon product again.


Add another MG5320 to the list. I took the print head out while troubleshooting a B200 error, which was was a result of following the procedure for clearing an internal paper jam. Sheesh. I've been in High Tech for more than 30 years doing software, hardware, and documentation, new development and maintenance; I've seen a lot of problems and fixed a lot of printers, and this is absolute bull**bleep**.


mx882.  its now Aug 2016 and still nothing has changed, but we continue to experience the problem. Mine started last week on a 3yr old machine.  I got here, because of having the U052 problem. I see Cannon still refuses to acknowledge or fix the problem.  What else is there to say except it's my last Canon product and the last any of my friends will ever get after I give them my no-buy Canon products recommendation.  Simple as that. Nothing else to do.


Got this error today on a MG5305S. Printer is around 3 years old. Tried removing and cleaning the printhead and leaving the printer unplugged for 10 minutes before powering up but nothing will clear it.


Has a fix been found yet or is it a case of buying a new printer?



The only fix is to put the printer in the trash and buy a new printer with a different brand!