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Call to Arms for the dreaded U052 Wrong Printhead Error

Frequent Contributor

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.

1,472 REPLIES 1,472

Occasional Contributor

Hate to tell you this, but you are S.O.O.L.

Canon refuses to tell anyone the root cause of the "problem". Given that it shows up on Old Printers Only, it is strongly suspected that this is a scam along the lines of the Break All The Windows type in NYC who owned an auto glass emporium. This scammer, back in the days when more-or-less ubitquous public cameras were just coming on line, would run around the streets of Brooklyn breaking peoples' car windows in with a bat.

Not all of the victims of this perp would end up in his shop, but enough did to make it worthwhile. Until an unknown-to-him video camera caught him in the act, at which point hundreds and hundreds of busted-out windshields were traced back to him by the cops.

Canon is doing the same with printers; only, because of the DMCA, nobody gets to see their software bricking the printers so affected. Back when this first kicked in a decade ago a class action lawsuit was filed; before discovery was complete, Canon settled (more or less with the lawyers) and everybody else, since then, has been left in the lurch. This is the poster child of why settlements for things like this should be made public.

You see, you're the idiot: You bought a Canon. They got your money, you got nothing. Except, maybe, a "discount" on the next Canon printer they will urge you to buy, said discount being less than the amount you'd get off by buying at Amazon or NewEgg.

Canon=Crooks, when it comes to printers.

New Contributor

I am experiencing the dreaded error right now myself.  


I am making the last ditch/resort effort to clean the printer head, soaking it in hot water and cleaner which worked for some that tried it.   If it does not work, guess I am getting a new printer.


Unlike most of you, however, I am not overly upset with Canon, although I am sad to hear that they did not make any effort to fix the prolblem with any of you.


But I bought my printer (Pixma 6100) back in 2007, so have gotten14 years of great performance, and had a printer/copier/etc that was an envy of my parents and friends.    


Not sure what to get next.  Had my mind made up to get another Canon, but after reading many of these posts, I am much less sure what to do.

New Contributor

Today is March 9, 2014, purchased this printer just a few weeks over a year ago and had this error today - only error ever experienced.  VERY disappointed with Canon - it was a good printer but this is obviously a manufacturing issue, not a user issue.  Extremely clear to me that Canon printers should only be purchased during a VERY GOOD SALE.  This is my 3rd Canon not lasting past a few weeks over the year.

This has been happening to me over the last few months, sometimes if i open and close the top it will work but as of today it is truly bust.


I am appalled at the response from Canon on here and as an artist who has always used Canon SLR cameras for my work and am due to upgrade in a few months, i will definately be looking at another brand for my investment, even though my Canon cameras have never been a disapointment, out of principle i will choose to spend my money elsewhere,


If this is how Canon treats their customers with their cheaper products then i will shop elsewhere.


I'm kind of glad in a way this has happened as if i had not come searching online for this error code i would be none the wiser to the level of customer service and how this problem is clearly a fault that requires product recall.


It speaks volumes about Canon and i will no longer reccommed them to my students, friends and faculty until they start to value their customers. Appalling.

Occasional Contributor

I had the exact same experience.   Once one full year passed, the message .... wrong print head showed... Is it on a timer?

Occasional Contributor

PLAIN AND SIMPLE: IT IS NOT THE "WRONG PRINTHEAD" .  It is the printhead that came in the printer.  And people who replaced the printhead still had the same U052 Message BECAUSE the problem is not about the printhead. The eequipment is programmed not to be able to be fixed.       CANON THIS MESSAGE MAKES NO SENSE.MAKE MY PRINTER WORK OR GIVE ME ANOTHER ONE!!!!!!!!   I'm up for the suit. If they don't

fix this forget all future Canon products!

New Contributor

Well I'm in.


I bought canon's MX892 printer for my sister in September of 2012. After replacing the ink cartridges just one time she called me with the error message "U052 The type of print head is incorrect. Install the correct print head." I searched the internet for an answer when I found this page. I worked through canons suggested procedure to reset the error with no luck. Then I took out the print head and thoroughy cleaned it to no prevail. 


I am a huge canon camera fan and would whole heartedly recommend their cameras and camera lens, but at this time i could not in good faith recommend their printer products until these design related issues are resolved. I have an epson workforce 840 that I've had for years with no issues at all.


As a photographer I'm always looking for the next up scale photographic printer to replace my aging epson R1800, but at this time I'm now very hesitant on any canon related printer products. 


I hope canon does the right thing and stands beside their defective printer products.


Sincerely, Dave Grego

Occasional Contributor
Well Canon shipped out an MX922 to replace my MX870. I am not sure these are similar or notñ will know more when it arrives.

Occasional Contributor

I just received the much anticipated "private message" to which I responded with the information requested. So, now we'll wait to see what their response is.  Keep  posting updates everyone!

Occasional Contributor

Got the private message. Too bad, though: About two weeks after the failure and my original posting, I took the printer to town recycling center; the same day, went out an bought an Epson as a replacement.


It's disappointing on how few printers have the second, straight through printer path that the MP610/MP640's had, and none of the Canons I saw on display had that. Oh, well.