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U052 Printhead Problem MX870


Stopped printing while in the middle of a big job with full ink tanks, then when turned back on, gave the dreaded U052 print head error message.  I have tried everything given by Canon to re-start the printer, nothing works.


It dawns on me that maybe my ink tank stopped feeding ink despite the tank being full- the vent hole might not have been open all the way to allow ink to pass through.


I'm wondering whether this could somehow mess up the printhead, maybe it needs ink to keep it cool during operation or something??


It's completely aggravating that it stopped as it has and now that prevents even the scanner or fax from working-- this seems like a bad design.


Does anyone know whether the print head can be messed up if the tank stops feeding ink while in the middle of a print job?


Thanks!  And if you know that answer, then what do you do to get printer working again??




This "solution" DOES NOT WORK.  I have tried it 15 times, the printer still comes up with that same error message.


What's worse, it DISABLES THE ENTIRE PRINTER -- I can't use any other function.  I have been left high and dry because I have desperately needed to send scanned contracts out and there is no way to do it.  I have had to rely on my partner to send me photos of the contracts so I can continue with business.... Canon has produced a terrible product because a simple failure puts the entire machine out of service, not just the failed print head mechanism.  Horrible design, terrible software or hardware installed control system. 


You even told me that purchasing a new print head won't fix the crazy thing.  Who the heck designed this crazy piece of junk?


How do I get it it replaced or repaired?   Moderator Note:  Removed personal phone number per forum guidelines.

View solution in original post


This solution worked for me, after my printer was jostled (picked up and turned 90 degrees, then set down) and then began showing this error. I had never had the error before this, although the printer has been moved/jostled MANY times. It is old, and the print head will probably die soon. However, this worked. I made sure to turn the power off RIGHT AWAY after closing the lide, before the printer was able to process its way back to an error. This will probably not work if the print head really is dead. Another idea is to make sure the contacts are clean - you can search on the internet for detailed instructions on how to do that.


It a very sad thing to say but it's true.  I have yet to get a solution from Canon that has worked.  And here is yet another example.  When I called to get a resolution their suggestion was to buy yet another Canon printer.  I want some of whatever they are smoking.  Why would anyone throw good money after bad.  I need a printer that is going to be dependable and this Canon printer is a prime example of the opposite.  I guess I'll try an HP as they are about 1/3 the price.  At least if it doesn't work, I won't feel like I've wasted an exorbitant amount of money like I did with this one.  Canon needs to stop building disposible printers, or if they can't build in quality, at least make them cheap enough that they can be considered disposible when they are purchased.  A very disgruntled ex-customer. 

This has resoved the UO52 problem on very few printers, what we need is a firmware update.

I must agree with seadog!!!

I have a Canon Pro9500-II, a Canon Pixma MX885, a Canon Lasershot LBP-1120 (the laser printer that they told me to throw away, because they would not supply printer drivers for any OS later than Window XP), a Canon 7D camera, Heaps of Canon lenses and I have recommended Canon for the last 25 pus years. I have just had a very close friend call to say he he had an error which said “The type of print head is incorrect. Install the correct print head.” he has a Canon MG5460. After I had read the huge amount of problems associated with this problem and no fix to speak of, I told him to bin it and buy an Epson. I am sitting here waiting for "my turn" to have the same error and will do the same - BUY AN EPSON! When I upgrade my cameras and lenses I will also be dumping anthing that has CANON written on it and will be purchasing NIKON. I cannot believe that Canon is ignoring the very people who support them. It makes my blood boil! I do believe that Canon could easily fix this problem and regain some respect - MAYBE! I also believe that they are legally responsible for this mess simply because they know it exists. If they know they have defective products, the least they should morally do is recall them to either repair, replace or refund - take a look at our friends at VW - perhaps a class action would hurry things along. We are all just used by these big companies for one thing - PROFIT - and yes are letting down their customers and making them feel worthless. Thanks for reading.

I am having the same problem on my MX870.  The Canon solution posted did not work, and neither did a variation on the solution provided by one of the other posters.  What can be done to resolve this?

Hi bsaavedra,

If I were you, I would not waste any more time on your crappy and useless Canon Printer. It is dead. Canon know it and so do hundreds of other cheated consumers! At least Toyota Australia has announced the recall of roughly 98,000 RAV4 SUV cars due to potential damage to their seatbelts in the event of a crash. Well Canon printers have ALREADY CRASHED! and what do they do about it? ZIP.


I would take it to your nearest Canon dealer, stand at the front door and throw it over the counter so it smashes on the floor, tell whoever will listen that Canon and their CEO's stink and hope they choke on the last dollar that you are ever going to spend on the greediest, selfish and uncaring company that evere existed!!


Canon should have immediately responded with:

"Please give us you address, so we can express courier a brand new printer to you and please accept our most sincere appology for any inconvenience that the faulty printer may have caused you".

Don't hold your breath, simply because these types of people (who live under rocks) just don't give a **bleep**!


After all that, go buy an Epson !! Man Happy

I have had the same problem with the U052 Printhead Problem. I see that hundreds of other people have had the same problem and that there has been a class action which ended December 2015.

I have been a Canon product buyer for many years but will not buy another Canon printer because it is obvious that Canon does not stand by their products when their customers have to go to such lengths. Goodbye Canon!

A class action settlement has been reached in the U052 Printhead Issue. The official Court Decree is dated April 26, 2016. Go to this site for details:

If you sent in your claim form be the indicate deadline date, you will get what you selected from the choice of $50 cash or $75 gift certificate to be used in the Canon Store ... I chose the cash!

Good news about the Cash offer OR Gift Certificate. PLEASE everyone who is eligible, take the CASH and put it towards another printer but NOT a CANON. Chose a brand that offers more than what CANON does - one that honours and backs it's products, unlike CANON. The very fact that that there was a class action against CANON, speaks volumes about that disgusting company and it's non-caring attitude towards it's loyal customers. I'm syre that all the head honchos of CANON are laughing all the way to the bank after the court decree - it will have a negligable effect on their business. Goodbye CANON!

P.S. You may have noticed that I used capital letters when I used the word CANON - that is because I have respect - unlike they!

Cheers and thanks for reading,


Well crap. What if we are just now getting the error? Do we have to start up another class action suit???