Full Fix: Cannot communicate with Canon scanner on Windows 10

By: Milan Stanojevic
5 minute read

Cannot communicate with scanner is a common error message that can appear with Canon scanners on Windows 10. This can be a big problem, and in today’s article we’ll show you how to fix it.

How to fix Cannot communicate with scanner message on Cannon devices?


  1. Reinstall the drivers
  2. Update your drivers
  3. Perform a Clean boot
  4. Enable bidirectional support
  5. Run the troubleshooter
  6. Move the problematic directories
  7. Switch to the Power-saving mode

Solution 1 – Reinstall the drivers

If you’re getting Cannot communicate with scanner message on your Canon device, the issue might be related to your drivers. To fix the problem, you might have to reinstall your Canon drivers. This process is quite simple, and you can perform it by following these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + I and choosing Device Manager from the list.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  2. Locate your Canon driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall device from the menu.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  3. A confirmation dialog will now appear. Check Remove driver software for this device and click the Uninstall button.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  4. Once you remove the driver, click Scan for hardware changes button. After doing that, Windows will install the missing drivers.

Once the drivers are successfully reinstalled, the issue should be resolved and this error message shouldn’t appear anymore.


Solution 2 – Update your drivers

According to users, if you keep getting Cannot communicate with scanner message on your Canon scanner, the issue might be outdated drivers. To fix the problem, it’s advised to visit Canon’s website and download the latest drivers for your scanner.

After updating the drivers to the latest version, the issue should be completely resolved. Downloading drivers manually can be a complicated task, but if you want to quickly update your drivers, we suggest that you try TweakBit Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus).

This is a simple application that will update all your drivers with just a couple of clicks, so be sure to try it out.


Solution 3 – Perform a Clean boot

In some instances, third-party applications can interfere with your hardware and cause Cannot communicate with scanner message. To fix this problem, users are suggesting to disable all startup applications and services.

To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Click OK or press Enter.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10   
  2. When System Configuration window opens, go to the Services tab. Now check Hide all Microsoft services and click Disable all button.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  3. Go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  4. List of startup applications will appear. Right-click the first entry on the list and choose Disable. Do the same for all entries on the list.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  5. Close Task Manager and go back to the System Configuration window. Click Apply and OK to save changes and restart your PC.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10

After your PC restarts, check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t reappear, the cause is one of the disabled applications or services. To find the exact cause, you need to enable disabled applications one by one or in groups until the problem reappears.

Once you find the problematic application, remove it or keep it disabled, and the issue will be permanently resolved. Few users reported that their banking software was causing this issue, so be sure to remove it and check if that solves the problem.

If you want to be sure that the application is completely removed from your PC, we suggest that you use an uninstaller software such as Revo Uninstaller to remove it. Uninstaller software will completely remove any unwanted application from your PC, and ensure that leftover files don’t interfere with your system.


Solution 4 – Enable bidirectional support

Sometimes Cannot communicate with scanner message can appear with Canon devices if your printer configuration isn’t correct. In order for your printer/scanner to work properly, it needs to be configured correctly.

To do that, you just need to change a couple of settings by following these simple steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter control panel. Select Control Panel from the list of results.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  2. Now go to Devices and Printers.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  3. Locate your printer and right-click it. Now choose Printer properties from the menu.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  4. Go to the Ports tab and check Enable bidirectional support. Now click OK to save changes.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10

After enabling this feature, the problem should be resolved and everything will start working again.


Solution 5 – Run the troubleshooter

Sometimes Cannot communicate with scanner message can occur because there are certain glitches on your PC. Your printer/scanner might not be configured properly, and that can lead to this and many other problems.

However, you can fix this issue by running the built-in troubleshooter. Windows has many troubleshooters that are designed to automatically fix various problems. If you have any issues with a Canon device, you might be able to fix it by running a troubleshooter. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, go to the Update & Security section.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  3. Choose Troubleshoot from the menu on the left. Select Printer and click Run the troubleshooter button in the right pane.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  4. When Troubleshooter window opens, follow the instructions on the screen to complete it.

Once the troubleshooter is finished, check if the issue is still there.


Solution 6 – Move the problematic directories

According to users, sometimes Cannot communicate with scanner error can appear due to certain directories. Your scanner stores certain information on your PC, and if that information is corrupted, you might encounter this issue.

Users claim that they fixed this error on Canon PIXMA MG5420, simply by moving a couple of directories. Although this solution works for the aforementioned model, it might also work for other Canon devices.

To move the problematic directories, do the following:

  1. Go to the C:\twain_32 directory.
  2. In there you should see two PIXMA directories and a wiatwain.ds file. Leave PIXMA and wiatwain.ds alone, and move other files and directories to a new folder on your desktop.
  3. After moving the files and directories, restart your PC.

Once your PC restarts, your printer/scanner will recreate the missing files and the problem with scanning should be completely resolved.


Solution 7 – Switch to the Power-saving mode

Canon users reported Cannot communicate with scanner error message on their device. Several users discovered that this message can be caused by your power settings, and in order to fix it, you need to switch to the Power-saving mode in Windows 10.

This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter power settings. Now select Power & sleep settings from the menu.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  2. Click on Additional power settings in the Related settings section.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10
  3. Select Power saver mode from the list.
    cannot communicate with scanner canon windows 10

After doing that, your scanner should start working again. We have to admit that this is an unusual solution, but several users claim that it works, so feel free to try it out.

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