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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.

1,478 REPLIES 1,478


Well, you can add my MP830 to the long list of printers with this problem.  Too bad for Canon.  I own the MP830 and  an MG8120 but I can't imagine ever buying another Canon product.  Really a shame.........

I had received a note from " Christa",,,, no title, nothing formal.  She said I should send name, serial number, etc. to receive a replacement.  I thought the note was a scam.  When there is a LARGE error in a product and there is an attempt by the corporation to make amends, I thought there would be a formal  announcement.   I did not believe " Christa" with no title , so I deleted the message.

I have learned, recently, that customers receive a replacement after they send their unworkable Canon printer for 'repair."  I can't carry a big box like that up and down 28 steps, so I bought an HP printer and that will be that. I just need a place to recycle the Canon and all of those cartridges I bought..... I wonder how long the replacement Canons will work before the printhead error shows up.  


Ok, I've done a bit of unscientific research on Canon printer reliability and have come up with the following:  It seems that up to about 2012 Canon printers had a very good reputation for quality and reliability.  Since then, reliability has begun to slip for some reason.  I'm sure the U052 error is part of this.  Has anyone else been able to arrive at the same conclusion?  Also, is it just my opinion  the error could be fixed by firmware upgrades across the rage of affected devices?  Current data indicates that Brother is making the most reliable printers despite print quality not being quite as good as Canon's.  I think I may look to them for a replacement for my MP830 brick.  Any thoughts?

I have no solid evidence myself but your theory has merit. The whole industry seems to be caught up in the race to market the cheapest full-function printers by earning their real profits on their own branded cartridges. To this end they use software monitors to detect non-original inks and shut down the machine. The aftermarket ink suppliers are pretty quick to find ways around this but it is a constant game of cat and mouse. We the consumers are the real losers here and the numbers of potentially useful printers going to landfill just increase year on year. When my ten year old HP finally gave up a while ago I bought an Epson. Perfect until my first cartridge replacement using a compatible. It shut down and refused to play unless I use genuine inks. I gave it to a charity shop. I replaced it with a Brother, which although clunky and a bit tedious to understand the controls, it will accept compatibles. I wouldn't like to say that other models in their current range will but at least I got lucky with that basic unit. I decided to bite the bullet and get a multifunction printer/scanner with WiFi. The reviews all applauded the Canon MP560 and as it was in my price range and compatibles were easily available I went for it. Brilliant machine apart from one thing. I am away from home for several months at a time and this time when I returned and tried to use it, a message came up saying one of the inks needed replacement. I carried on with the print and afterwards replaced the cartridge. After that up came the dreaded U052, Canon's equivalent to Microsoft's "Blue Screen of Death". After three days of trying every trick on the internet, and emailing Canon Europe, this one is on the way to landfill! My next gamble will be a Brother mono laser printer. At least I will get a decent amount of copies before having to throw it away, and I am told that lasers will tolerate long periods of OFF time.
Always hate to see corporate ripoffs by companies we used to trust.


I found this link after my MP610 failed with the U052 message. I have used it for 2 years now, and was only doing a standard print job when it failed. I have tried resetting the print head, cleaning it, resetting the printer, and leaving it to rest for a few days. Occassionally the printer will show error message 5200 after powering up again, only to go back to U052 after a while. I live in the Netherlands, so does anyone have experience getting a replacement printer in Europe? I will contact Canon later today, and see what the possibilities are. Thanks for all your postings! My next plan was to try to buy a replacement printer head, but I can see that it's been tried and doesn't work.

I tried approaching Canon Europe without success. They just trotted out the old "take it to your nearest service centre" response. They don't acknowledge that there is even a problem. Canon sucks, bigtime!
Always hate to see corporate ripoffs by companies we used to trust.


Read my post of 4-27-14. I have a Cannon MG5320. Include me in your "call to arms." This U052 wrong print head error is more wide spread than I thought it was.



If there is a class action taken, keep in mind some of us already recycled our printers at local recycle centers after trying all the "fixes", that never worked.  (My original post at Message 18)

I can only presume that no one from Canon is reading this thread.
Either that or Canon don't care.

In any event it makes choosing the replacement easier - Canon last!

They must be because they already replaced my MX870 with a new MX992 so....
click here to view the press release