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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


Brilliant, thanks this worked first time.

 suggested procedure unblocked my EOS1200D EFS118-55 AF at the very first try. Thank you so much!

Thanks bud! I'm in a long trip in japan, and when the AF stop working I panicked, you literally saved my trip!

Happy to be of help. Enjoy your trip.

Thank you. When I twisted the focus ring I heard a snap. Lens was frozen in position and autofocus could not move it. Works great now.

Julius, you are a genius. I was so downcast that my lens was not working and then I tried your technique and it worked! 


I do believe if an authorized repair center could not fix it, that would not be an option either.

Thank you!!! Followed the steps above and my lens is back to normal!!! ((Virtual hug))




Has anyone experienced this issue but only focussing one way? My lens will focus on a subject further away but refuses to focus back to nearer subjects. Its such a pain having to set to manual in order to reset the focus to near everytime!

I'm having this exact same issue with my kit lens as well (EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS).

In MF mode i turn the focus to close-up. Then, when I switch to AF and focus to something further away it works, but when I try and focus on something closer again it won't focus/move.

Hoping that someone knows the reason why this is, helping me troubleshoot what the problem could be.

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