How to Add a Canon Printer to Your Computer?

Adding a new Canon printer to your computer is a straightforward process that allows you to start printing documents and photos once it is set up properly. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step instructions to add your Canon printer on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

How to Add a Canon Printer to Your Computer?

Connect the Printer Hardware

The first step is to physically connect your Canon printer to your computer or network using the appropriate cables, power cord, and any other required hardware as outlined in your printer’s instruction manual.

  • For USB connections, plug the USB cable from the printer directly into an open USB port on your computer
  • For wireless printers, ensure your WiFi router or access point is powered on and connected to your computer

Once connected, turn on your Canon printer using the power button located on the device.

Install Printer Software and Drivers

Next you will install the printer software and drivers which allow your operating system to communicate with the device:


  • Open the Start Menu and click “Settings”
  • Click “Devices” then select “Printers & Scanners”
  • Click “Add a Printer or Scanner”
  • In the list of available printers, select your connected Canon printer and click “Add Device”
  • Windows will automatically install the printer software and drivers
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation


  • Download the Canon printer installer from the Apple App Store if available for your printer model
  • Open the downloaded .DMG file and double click the installer package icon
  • Proceed through the installer prompts and input your administrator password to install the Canon printer software and drivers
  • The printer should now appear in the list of available printers

Print a Test Page

Once the setup process completes, print a test page to ensure the physical connectivity and software installation was successful:


  • Open the Start menu and click “Settings” followed by “Printers & Scanners”
  • Right click on your new Canon printer name and select “Print a Test Page” from the contextual menu
  • A test page will print showing connection status messages


  • Navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners
  • Select your Canon printer and click the “Print Test Page” button

If the test page fails to print, revisit the connection and setup steps outlined above to ensure the printer was properly configured.

Finalize Default Printer Settings

For the best printing experience tailor some final default print driver settings like media sizes, orientation, and print quality. These steps will guide you through optimizing those options:


  • Open the Start Menu and click “Settings” followed by “Printers & Scanners”
  • Right click your Canon printer name and select “Printing Preferences”
  • Navigate through the various tabs like “Finishing,” “Media,” and “Quality” to select options that match your typical printing needs by material type, print quality, page orientation, etc.


  • Navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners
  • Select your Canon printer and click the “Options & Supplies” button
  • Choose paper sizes, orientation, and print quality options in the various drop downs that match your normal printing needs and media types

Once configured your Canon printer is ready to start printing from any program on your computer! Repeat these instructions for setting up any additional computer connections. Refer to your printer’s user guide for more details on specific models.

Key Takeaways

  • Physically connect your Canon printer to your computer or home network before installing software
  • Download and run the Canon printer installer package on your operating system
  • Print a test page to verify successful setup
  • Customize default printer options for paper sizes and print quality

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the default administrator login when installing Canon printer software?
    The default administrator login varies by operating system. On Windows use an account with administrator access privileges. On Mac, input the password for the computer’s primary macOS user account during Canon printer software installation.

  2. How do I reconnect to my wireless Canon printer if the connection was lost?
    Navigate to your computer’s list of available WiFi networks, select the wireless Canon printer again as if connecting for the first time, and re-enter the WPA2 WiFi password if prompted. This will reestablish the wireless connection.

  3. My Canon printer says it is offline and will not print – what should I check?
    If your Canon printer is showing as offline, try checking the cable connections to ensure they did not come loose, inspecting the power cord to guarantee the printer is still powered on, and confirming your WiFi router has an active internet connection if attempting to use a wireless Canon printer.

  4. What is the process to reset a Canon printer back to factory default settings?
    The steps to factory reset a Canon printer varies by specific model. Consult your device user manual which outlines the hardware buttons combinations and display menu options required to navigate to the factory reset functions. In general, factory resets are performed from the printer’s front panel buttons and screen.

  5. How do I check how much ink is left in my Canon printer cartridges?
    Most Canon printer models will display the estimated ink levels remaining in each cartridge right on the LCD front panel screen, or when you print a status report page. You can also check ink levels by navigating to the “Device Status” or “Supply Status” area of your printer preferences dialog box in your computer’s operating system.

  6. Why does my Canon printer display an alignment error message?
    Alignment errors typically mean the print head nozzles require cleaning to realign their positioning to produce crisper text and graphics. Refer to the cleaning and alignment process outlined in your Canon printer user guide which is typically performed through a series of front panel menu selections.

  7. What paper sizes does the Canon PIXMA printer series support?
    Most modern Canon consumer and prosumer PIXMA printer models support common paper sizes including 8.5” x 11”, legal 8.5” x 14”, A4, A5, 11” x 17”, No. 10 envelopes, letter envelopes, and small photo paper like 4” x 6”. Check your exact PIXMA printer specifications as some specialty formats are only supported on certain units.

  8. How do I clear a paper jam in my Canon printer?
    Carefully open any access doors on the Canon printer and slowly pull out the jammed paper from the print path following the prompts on your printer display panel. Inspect inside for any torn pieces of paper and remove those remnants fully. Refer to the precise paper jam removal steps outlined in your specific Canon printer’s user guide if needed. Be gentle when removing jammed paper.

  9. Why does my wireless Canon printer keep disconnecting from my home WiFi network?
    Frequent wireless disconnects can be caused by locating the printer too far from the central WiFi router or access point resulting in a weak signal. Periodically switching the wireless channel your router transmits on can improve reception. Or consider moving the printer physically closer to your router if possible or installing network range extenders to amplify WiFi signal strength.

  10. What types of image files can I print photos from on my Windows computer?
    The most common photo file formats printable from Windows-based applications and photo software include JPG, PNG, BMP and sometimes TIFF files. Refer to your specific Canon printer user documentation for all officially supported image file formats. RAW camera files may require conversion to a standard image format first before printing.

  11. How do I change the default paper size to print on letter size on my Mac computer instead of A4?
    In your Mac computer settings navigate Apple Menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners, select your Canon printer entry, click the “Options & Supplies” button, pull down the Paper Size drop down menu selection to Letter instead of the common default A4 size. This will update the new default paper dimensions.

  12. Why do my printed documents have streaks, faded areas or lines across the page?
    Defects like streaks, uneven fading, and lines on the page can indicate low ink, clogged print heads, or the printer may need cleaning. Open the top cover and inspect the print heads for obstructions. Review troubleshooting tips in your device manual. Also print a test page report – display defects will confirm a printer hardware issue needing service or ink cartridge replacements.


Adding and setting up Canon printers is a straightforward process on both Windows and Mac operating systems. By taking the time to properly physically connect the hardware, install the printer software, configure initial settings that match your use cases, and validating connectivity by printing a test page, you will have a Canon printer that provides years of service for all your documents and photo printing needs. Don’t hesitate to refer back to your user guide or contact Canon support if any issues occur.

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