Error U052 on Canon printers

MAJ 14/10/14

Error U052 appears on these Canon printers: MX850, MP540, MP530, MP600, MP610, MP970 and others...

Message error: The type of print head is incorrect install the correct print head U052

Solution 1:
  • Remove and replace the cartridges.

Solution 2:
  • Insert new cartridges

Solution 3:
  • Reseat the print head to correct print issues or clear error.

Solution 3a (thanks to Tony LeBaigue):
  • Remove the ink cartridges.
  • Remove the printhead: cleaned the rear contacts with a cotton bud and surgical spirit.
  • Left the part 5 minutes to dry.
  • Install the printhead and the cartridges.
  • The printer wil be into printhead clean mode and will return to normal mode.

Solution 3b (thanks to Arjen - Canon MP610):
  • Power off the printer.
  • Press and hold both selection buttons underneath the screen, and switch on the printer. 
  • After a long start up the 'copy' screen appeared, and it printed a copy of a sheet.

Solution 4:

Solution 4a:


Lowndes said...

Judging from all the posts I see on this very same problem, as well as my experience, this is a manufacturer's problem, a system defect. I've got this error and it is THE SAME print head that came with the printer. Genuine CANON cartridges, always. Canon printers never have impressed me and the service is worse than none.

Stizy said...

I was happily printing things, then went to print something else and this error message came up. Talk about great timing..NOT. I am in the middle of sorting my accounts for my tax return :-(. Now it is going to take me time to sort this that I don't really have.

Jaime said...

Same problem here with original print head and Canon ink cartridges only. Found a forum where a few folks tried rehabbing their existing print head. They ran water through the print head until the water ran clear, then allowed it to dry thoroughly before re-installing. A few claim it worked. It didn't work for me,same old U052 message, but it also didn't cost me any extra money...

What is so frustrating about this error is that it makes the unit completely inoperable. The scanner is still perfectly functional, bur I can't use it because the printer error message takes over the whole unit!

Looks like the next step is to try a replacement.

Anonymous said...

Same problem as listed above. HOwever, i purchased new Canon printhead + all new cartridges. What a waste of money that was! still same error. Even the Service Mode is inoperable.

Anonymous said...

Our printer did this last night. We recently upgraded our Mac laptop system software (or whatever) and when I tried to print a Word doc, the error message popped up and wouldn't leave. I left the printer turned off overnight and the message was gone this morning. I used it this afternoon to print some Adobe files with no trouble but when I tried again to print the Word doc it popped up again. So I turned the printer off, made a pdf of the word doc, and then printed it.

Anonymous said...

Canon says this is an internal malfunction that will require service if standard cleaning did not fix this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone. I've tried all the tips with no success. I will be purchasing a new printer which will not be a Canon.

Anonymous said...

I too will fix this problem by replacing this Canon u052 problem with a new printer. It's amazing how much support was given to Canon by the "techs" who sold out!

Anonymous said...

Dopo aver fatto anche io ciò che dice Jaime, sono molto contrariata dal fatto che una multifunzione diventi una zero funzioni solo per la testina di stampa.

Tony LeBaigue said...

I had the same error code. I removed the ink cartridges (not canon) and the print head (make sure you don't touch the underneath inking element or the rear contacts)and then cleaned the rear contacts with a cotton bud and surgical spirit. Removed a fair bit of blue coloured dirt. Left the unit 5 mins to dry and then put it all back together. The printer then went into print head clean mode on its own (5 mins) and afterwards back to normal - I hope this works for you too.

Skicolorado said...

Canon consumers should be aware there is a known defect with the PIXMA MX print heads that Canon has been hiding.
Federman & Sherwood has filed a consumer class action lawsuit against Canon USA, Inc., and was brought on behalf of all consumers who have purchased certain defective printers manufactured and distributed by Canon USA, Inc. Thus far, at least 16 different Canon printer models have been identified that display an error message of "U052: Wrong Printhead Error," after limited use. This error indicates that the printer does not recognize the printhead, or that the printhead itself is faulty, but disables all functions of the printer, including scanning and facsimile capabilities, rendering the printer unsuitable for its intended purpose and use.

Anonymous said...

Regretfully I too have have the same UO52 error which appeared out of nowhere. Have tried all suggestions I have read online with no luck. Waiting for return email from Canon but not expecting much help based on what I've read. Never again another HP and now Canon.

Anonymous said...

Idem come tutti gli altri post.. le ho provate tutte .. ma niente da fare...è completamente inutilizzabile...ora capisco perchè lho pagata 99 euro in offerta da Euronics...gli altri amici miei che ho invogliato(purtroppo)ad acquistare.. per lo stesso problema, le hanno buttate nell'immondizia almeno dal 2012.....che delusione.. mai più canon

Anonymous said...

ahh ... scusate non ho terminato.. ci sono pure degli imbecilli.. che vendono le testina a non meno di 80 euro.... questi sò proprio scemi...sparatevi..

Anonymous said...

U052 Cost me a day fooling with my mx5320 JUST out of warranty, but nearly new w barely 100 pages printed in graysCale text mode- but still halfway into black cartridge #3 to add it all up it costs a buck or 2 per page to print plain text WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAPOLA!

I never even got around to using the scanner or fax machine and it still has the original film cov3r on it. No dust or wear even, but now it's a frigging brick grrrr.....

CANON I will never buy your products again-NEVER!

frankie said...

how do you remove the print head? would like to try the cotton swab cleaning

Anonymous said...

UO52 code and I followed the usual instructions and removed all CANON ink cartridges and removed the print head. Washed the print head with hand warm tap water until no ink color was apparent. No scrubbing just water. Installed everything (twice) and still UO52. I looked at the gold contacts on the print head and they looked clean. Since I had nothing to loose I decided to clean them with pure 96% alcohol (isopropanol will also work) and a make up cleaning pad. To my amazement it worked! It was an electrical contact issue... We will see how long it will work...

Anonymous said...

Hi, What part of the printer head do I clean with alcohol?

Jann Lassalle said...


To clean the printhead:

Anonymous said...

This problem suddenly popped up on my printer. Called Canon Tech Support, was told to unplug, press PWR 5 times, the plug in. Nada. I asked about a service manual, and was told it was proprietary! After learning about the class action lawsuit I can see why they are ducking and covering, but it sure takes Canon off our organization's printer purchase list until they come clean.

Tony said...

Tony here
I too have had the U052 error come up on my Canon 892. I took the printhead out and cleaned it several times with alcohol--not the best--and soft eraser. No luck...I still say it is an tiny elctrical problem. I then rubbed, touched the ribbon wiring leading from the printhead to the printer. I tenderly pulled and pushed a little on the ribbon, especially where the ribbon is connected to the printer. Damn, something happend, because my printer-892-- works now. I just checked my printer again. It is still printing. Hope you get yours printing and I hope mine continues to print.

Anonymous said...

Just Trashed a MX-892. Error code U052 popped up mid page when printing. Went through all of the same things other contributors tried to reset. Call to Cannon completely unhelpful. Ink is expensive, machine jammed easily in home use. Just picked up a new EPSON, hopefully these guys are doing a better job in production. My first and last Canon product.

Anonymous said...

I decided to clean the ribbon that the printer head runs on and the rollers cause they were all mucked up. U52 the UFO code popped up. Canon tech had me take it all out and put it back together. Told me to run water on it but not soak it (sink got blue) and said no alcohol. Plugged, unplugged etc. Frustrated and ready to try alcohol. I am pretty sure it has to do with the ribbon thingie or rollers now being unhappy or out of whack. Yuk. Oh, and before this, half the time the fax button would not work and it would be stuck in print mode and I'd have to turn it off and on to get it to fax.

Anonymous said...

Just had the error on my ms5320. I've had it less than a year. Looking into getting a new printer, not a Canon.

Anonymous said...

I have an MG5350 and this error message simply appeared one day and shut my printer down. I have followed all teh online tutorials, YoutTube, Canon website etc. and the error is not going away. Not sure what to do now. AM amzed that Canon do not have a fix after so many years. My printer is only a 1.5yrs old and if don't solve by weekend that's me and Canon going our separate ways. This is amazing how these companies treat their customers.

Arjen said...

My over 6 years old MP610 suddenly showed the U052 error. I looked up in Google and did all cartridge tricks without results. The next step would be cleaning of the printhead, but that would mean dismantling of the printer what I didn't liked. So I tried some start up tricks: Pressed and hold both selection buttons underneath the screen, and switched on the printer. After a long start up the 'copy' screen appeared, and it printed a copy of a sheet that I had placed on the glasplate. The next test was prining the pdf that initiated the error: that also went fine. so I think the error has been solved.

Anonymous said...

I just went to the site and put my name on the class action list. These printer companies need to be brought down a peg. Their consumables are nothing less than a ripp off. This printer had light duty. I have a Minolta PagePro 1350W that is older and has printer thousands of more pages than my MX700.

I am not expecting any money from the class action or if there is any it will be minimal. will be a whip to make Canon to change their business model.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem as well and it doesn't look like any of the suggestions work - cleaning the printhead, cleaning the insides, using alcohol. I get either a printer error (B200) or Error U052. Looks like I have no choice but to by another printer at this point.

MorrighansEye said...

Same problem here. Suddenly a U052 message. Nothing works. I have to buy a new printer but this wil NOT be a Canon. Never again!!

Anonymous said...

Same here. This is just a "built-in obsolescence" issue to con you into buying a new printer.

Anonymous said...

..continuation of previous comment. Epson did a similar thing to me a few years back.

Anonymous said...

Canon could bat away the "U052" class action if they were honest and changed the test to "U052 Buy a new printer error"

Anonymous said...

Canon could bat away the "U052" class action if they were honest and changed the test to "U052 Buy a new printer error"

Anonymous said...

Same problem as everyone else. Last Canon product for me. Piece of junk.

Anonymous said...

Solution 3b worked for my Canon MP560 w/ U052 error. Thank you!
Solution 3b (thanks to Arjen - Canon MP610):
Power off the printer.
Press and hold both selection buttons underneath the screen, and switch on the printer.
After a long start up the 'copy' screen appeared, and it printed a copy of a sheet.

Anonymous said...

this happened to my MP620 last week. the selection button solution isn't working, either is taking inks out and putting them back. I will try cleaning it and using alcohol on the metal parts.
what do I have to lose at this point?

Anonymous said...

B200 error on MG5250 fixed with following procedure:
(got from

- Unplug the power cable.
- Open the printer
- Push the whole print head mechanic to the center
- While the printer still open, plug the power and turn it ON.
- When the printhead still moving and is going to the very LEFT, close the cover.
- Wait until its boot up.
I did it 2..3 times to recover succesfully from B200 error message.

u052 error said...

two different class action lawsuits in regards to this error. I posted the infor in the canon forum and mods keep deleting it.

I don't know how else to get the word out, but since you made that huge topic about the problem i am passing the info along

contact info for one of the law firms:

Robin Hester, Legal Assistant
to William B. Federman
10205 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73120
(405) 235-1560/Fax: 239-2112




So, my story:
MP600 - u052 error
I reset the printer. No success. I replaced the cartridges. No success.

Bought Replacment MP600R.
Worked for 2 Month, then same error.
I made a reset.
Didn´t work.

I thought: WTF, found this side, and tried again.

I did:
Replace all the catrigeds in the MP600R from the "old" ones in the MP600 (which also showed the u052 error) from a different Manufacturer.

Also, I took of the print head (its super easy, just open the clamp above and strip it out), scratched a bit with my finger nail in the tint INLET which seemed little bit different then the others, cleaned the contacts on the backside (don´t touch the valves on the downside!), set it back into the printer.

Et voila, it worked again.

I cannot say if it was the exchange of all the catridges (the "new ones" made my first MP600 actually show the u052), the "finger nail clean procedure" on the pigment black tint inlet (the one most prone to "get stuck"), or the refitting of the print head which helped.

BUT - I have one suspicion. The Printer is black. It is located directly at the window since 4 Month.

In this 4 Month I had 2 perfectly working printers gone defective.


Just a theory, though.

It´s probably a combination of non-perfect replacement tint with longer periods of no use and a lot of dry / hot air around.

Anyway, Have fun!

meomarte said...

I was able to make U052 go away by letting the printer find no print head on reboot.
1. Remove ink cartridges and print head
2. Power down printer for 3 min
3. Power up, let it make error "no print head"
4. Insert the same print head and ink cartridges
5. Begin regular cleaning cycle from windows-control panel-devices and printers-canon-maintenance etc. while printer is inspecting the "new" print head.
Note: my MP970 is still clogged so the problem might reappear after cleaning as it did before. But at least I can now scan.

Jacqueline Berry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angry of London said...

After a whole morning spent cleaning and trying all the above remedies I eventually managed to make error U052 go away by firmly launching the canon mg 5250 piece of junk fifteen feet into the kitchen and onto the concrete floor.
Five minutes later ,after a small bit of sweeping and a light hoover, it had magically disappeared thereby leaving my house cleansed of canon, which is how it will stay in the future.

Hope this helps.

bleepbleep1961 said...

Add me to the long list of disgruntled Canon Printer uo52 message recievers ... My idea is to mail the unit to Canon C.O.D. ... then they can refurbish it and try to flog it on some new sucker ....
My new HP printer is on the way ....64.95 CaD ...

AlwayspraiseGod said...

I feel bad that so many people have this problem, even worst Canon isn't even helping, I find it odd there is nothing the law can do to help us, this seems like deliberate refusal to offer a repair/fix for this problem. I also believe there are some who, for what ever reason are inventing fixes that don't even make sense and say that they work, I think they simply want people to click on links to other sites that give them points etc. I haven't seen one thing that resolved the U052 error message, it has to be either a major defect or a chip that someone planted in these printers, could be similar to people who place foreign objects in soft drinks, medicine, chips, or other consumer products, there are some sick people out there, I would imagine Canon is trying hard to find the solution, I pray they find it soon.
God bless all

intolerant_goth said...

U052 error popped up yesterday afternoon when I wanted to print a letter on my Canon PIXMA MG5250. I had this U052 error before but couldn't remember what I did to 'fix' it.

Did a search on solutions, tried a handful - no luck. Then did a search on reviews on top All-in-printers and was surprised that Canons are listed as the top choice on many sites.

Today I cleaned the print head (again) and the print head cradle paying attention to the contacts, then followed meomarte's steps 1-4 and it worked!!!

No more U052 :)

Short term I'm not going to use it for printing, my immediate priority is to scan.

Anonymous said...

Same issue as the rest. U052 error message. 6 year old Canon Pixma MP610. Working fine last night, error message this morning. Read all above and, well blow me down; Removed cartridges, removed print head, reinserted print head and then cartridges, turned printer off and left for 10 minutes, rebooted PC in the meantime, turned on printer and shoot, error message still there.

Next; unplugged printer from mains and left for 20 minutes, went and cooked myself some poached eggs on toast, returned to printer, plugged back into the mains and then pressed the power switch holding down the two long buttons under the screen at the same time. Printer went through a longish boot up clearly going through a full print head clean process. Finally settled itself down and WOW, no error message. Did a couple of test prints and all seems OK - well for now at least.

Don't know what holding the two long buttons beneath the screen did or indeed whether it made any difference, nor do I know (yet) how long the error message will stay away for but the unplugging from the mains thing has to be worth a whirl.

Now to find a print head unblocking method that actually works and not most of the 'solutions' that appear on u-tube.

Have to say that Canon's support out of warranty is PITIFUL at best. Saying that if the power thing does not work 'sent it to Canon for a service' for some exorbitant whithout them telling you what is actually wrong is tantamount to Canon taking the pi*s. In fact why can't canon be transparent and tell you what the problem is anyway - unregulated industry !

Can't help wondering if it is something to do with either the ink tray that filling up after repeated print head cleaning sessions or there is some code that gets sent back to Canon when X hundred/thousand prints have been made ot otherwise is time activated. Very little surprises me with the way the computer industry works in the search for the Holy Grail of making even more money for the Rich !

Happy to give my name - Andy Coles and I live in the UK.

P.S. Apart from the clogged printer head and this error message I have to say that the Pixma MP610 is one of the best printers Canon have ever produced, nothing like the flimsy junk currently coming from that stable.

Jann Lassalle said...

Hi Andy,

Thank you for your testimony !

H MACLEAN said...


Anonymous said...


I’m writing from Australia.

I recently had the fatal U052 Printhead Error in a Canon MX715. I searched the web and found yours and several other useful sites:

I contacted Canon in Australia, referred to the law suit in the US, sent the printer to the authorised repairer, and it was replaced by Canon with an MX726.

I hope this information might be of help to you.