How to use Canon's driver website
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In this comprehensive tutorial, I will walk you through the process of finding and installing the latest working hardware driver for your Canon printer. We will visit Canon's webpage, learn how to download the driver (as well as other useful software) and how to install it.
There are quite a few problems that could appear when trying to use a new printer. Some of these problems are easy to troubleshoot, while others seem impossible to solve. Here are some real problems from real people all around the world:
- "Recently we installed Windows XP and now the Canon Laser Color Printer only prints colorful Test pages instead of what we select to print? Also the computer is part of a network. We downloaded an updated driver from Canon thinking maybe there was problem with windows XP but our problem still exists. Please help!"
- "For a year we have had no problem using Picasa and printing from our Canon. Suddenly we encountered a situation whereby when we access Picasa with the printer hooked up, the screen becomes light and we are told that the program is not responding. When we disconnect the printer the program then works fine. If you go into Picasa and ask for a picture to be printed and the process begun and then connect the printer, the screen becomes light again and the program non-responsive BUT the picture does print out meanwhile."
- "I bought a Canon printer and plugged it in, everything is connected full to the computer, the bubble pops up to tell me its on and the icon in control panel says it's online. BUT at first it wouldn't print documents at all then it printed them all at once. I printed the printer's test sheet and the cartridge is fine, it came out clear and readable. Now it will print on time but it just prints me a blank page. I did troubleshooting on Canon and on Windows for this printer. They both ended with me still having a printer with blank pages."
As you can see, there are some complex problems which don't have an obvious cause. For example my printer, a Canon Pixma MP 600 is having problems printing. Sometimes it prints the pages but they are blank and sometimes it just wastes my time and does not print at all. There are no errors and no indications. I have installed Windows XP Service Pack 3 just a few days ago. Let's start searching for the problem!
Finding the problem
The first place to look for errors is the Device Manager, so let's start from there. Go to Start, click Control Panel, double click System, go to the Hardware tab, and click Device Manager. This useful tool lists all the devices found in, or connected to, your computer. Keep in mind that a yellow exclamation mark (or question mark) means an error. And here is how my device manager looks like:
As you can see, my printer definitely has a problem. Windows sees it but something is still wrong. In this case, we will have to install the latest hardware drivers for my Canon Pixma MP600 printer. If there are older drivers installed, it is a good idea to uninstall them. Double click the device in Device Manager, go to the Driver tab, and click Uninstall driver. Once it is uninstalled, we can install a new one.
Finding and downloading the latest hardware drivers for our Canon products
All manufacturers keep an updated database of drivers for all of their products, both new and old. The database is usually found in the Support or Downloads sections. Let's navigate to Canon's website at www.canon.com. Here is how their main page looks like:
A very clean website at first glance. We immediately notice the link to the Support section at the left of the page. Click it and you will have to choose your location, like in the image below:
We now see some categories. We have to search for our product. MP (in Canon MP600) comes from MultiPASS, so our printer must be listed in the Multifunction Printer Incl. MultiPASS section. Expand the drop-down menu and search for it. I just found it:
Once I click the link, I will reach the following page:
We immediately notice the Download Drivers section at the top of the page. We also notice the "Click here" link. Do as the link asks and click it to reach the following page:
As you can see, there are 21 results. We need the driver, but we can also download a few other useful tools from here. Easy Photo Print Version 3.7.0 (Windows), Easy-LayoutPrint Ver. 1.0.3 (Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista), Canon Easy-WebPrint Ver. 2.6.4 (Windows), and My Printer Ver. 1.6.1 (Windows Vista/Vista64/XP/2000) are useful downloads. If you click any of them, you will see information about it (what it does, how it helps you, size, etc). However, our main goal is to download the driver, so we will click on PIXMA MP600 Windows 98/Me/2000/XP Driver OR PIXMA MP600 Driver (Windows Vista), depending on what operating system we use. I use Win XP, so I will download the XP version.
Once you click the link, you will see Canon's Disclaimer. At the bottom of the page is the download link:
Click it and you will see the download window:
Click Save File and choose an easy to remember location on your hard drive. Once the file is downloaded, take a few minutes to save it on a CD or DVD so you can have easy access to it whenever you reinstall your operating system.
Installing the downloaded Canon driver
Double click the downloaded file (either on the hard drive or on the CD/DVD) to start the installation. You will see a security warning from Windows:
Since we know that the file is genuine and it is from Canon's official website, we can click Run. The installer will extract a few files and you will see the following window:
Click Next to continue:
Choose your place of residence and click Next:
You must accept Canon's license agreement. Click Yes to continue and the installation begins. Here is what you will see next:
Do exactly as you are instructed and click Complete. The installation is finished. Restart your computer so that Windows can make the necessary changes. Once the computer is restarted, go to the Device Manager and look for the printer. The error sign should be long gone!
Congratulations! You have just installed the latest drivers for your device (and, hopefully, some free additional tools). Enjoy your working Canon printer!