Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Autofocus not working. (18-55mm lens)




The autofocus on my Canon 18-55mm is malfunctioning and I'm afraid it may be broken.

All the internet research I've done points to issues electronic, but I believe this to be mechanical simply because of the noise it makes. With the lens set to AF, it does nothing, but makes a slight whirring sounds as if the camera is trying to, but can't focus the lens. In MF, turning the focus ring makes soft clicking sounds.

The autofocus works fine on the other lens I have.

The lens has not been dropped. I take really, REALY good care of my stuff!  Any other recommendations or bits of advice are much appreciated!


Rising Star

Hi marcosochoa!


amphoto1 makes some very valid points, and it does sound like it could  be the motor in the lens. We have found that sometimes we're able to remedy this without a costly repair, but it is a multi-stepped process.


Try this:

  1. Take the lens off of your camera.
  2. Put the lens in MF mode.
  3. Twist the FOCUS ring (the tip of the lens) all the way to one side (extend it). You may hear a click noise or two, this is good, but don't FORCE the lens.
  4. Twist the FOCUS ring all the way to the opposite side (retract it). Again, you may hear a couple of clicking noises. What we hope is happening is the focusing motor being put back into its proper place.
  5. Put the lens back on the camera.
  6. Put the lens in AF mode.
  7. Turn the camera on.
  8. Put the camera in AUTO or P mode.
  9. Take a test photo.
  10. Profit.

Hopefully this solves your problems, and you never have to worry about it again! With my personal lenses that are not USM or STM, I always store and transport them with the AF/MF switch in the MF position. This disengages the focusing motor and prevents any accidental damage to the auto focusing motor.


If this didn't solve your problem, please feel free to click HERE to contact us for additional troubleshooting, and explore other options that might be available to you.

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

View solution in original post


Thank you SO MUCH - worked like a charm - and to think I was about to give up and toss it!

I can't believe your tip actually worked!!! I am estatic!  Thank you so much.

Thanks for your tips on restoring the autofocus on the 18-50mm kit lens. it now works fine.

It has saved me buying a new lens.

Thanks again from the UK!

You are genius!! I registered as a user here just to thank you for your advice. I had a similar issue with AF not working. It worked with my zoom lens, but not my 55mm lense. I looked up the issue online and finally came across your suggestion of the chiropractic tecnique. It did snap when I turned it and now it works perfectly! Thank you very much for your help!!! You rock!

Thanks Julius!  It worked pefectly!



Hi have just tried the remedy for the AF not working on the 18-55mm lens, it works! Many thanks indeed.

Tried pulling on the lens ring with it in MF mode..still won't focus!

@johnnybongo wrote:

Tried pulling on the lens ring with it in MF mode..still won't focus!

Instead of "pulling" on the lens, which can only damage it, try rotating the focus ring.  Read the post by Canon Product Expert Julius on the first page.  


I also suggest that you read all of the posts, because others had one trouble or another, but found a way to overcome them and described what they did.  In most cases, people just had to have a little courage and TURN the focus ring a little bit harder.  


NOTE:  Canon has made a few different versions of the 18-55mm lens.  This fix is not intended for lenses with model numbers that end with "STM".  If your "STM" lens seems stuck, then you need to contact Canon U.S. Support at 1-800-OK-CANON.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Hmmm, my AF was working some of the time - untli I tried this. Now it doens't work at all. Any suggestions to undo whatever went wrong?  No clunks or pops durign the steps. I did extend and retract the zoom - I always have had issues figuring out which ring the focus one is.

I fixed it! Thanks!

click here to view the gallery