How to Scan a Document from a Canon Printer to Email?

Scanning documents from a Canon printer directly to your email can be a quick and convenient way to digitize paperwork. With just a few steps, you can send scanned files to yourself or others without needing a computer or cables. This guide will walk you through the process of setting up and using the scan-to-email feature on compatible Canon printer models.

How to Scan a Document from a Canon Printer to Email?

Many Canon printer models include built-in support for scanning directly to email. This allows you to scan a document or photo directly from the printer’s control panel, then send it as an email attachment right from the printer itself.

Here’s a quick rundown of how scan-to-email works on Canon printers:

  • Compatible Printer Models – Scan-to-email is supported on many Canon PIXMA, MAXIFY, imageCLASS and Laser printers. Check your printer’s manual or specifications to confirm if it has this capability.
  • Direct Connection – The printer must be connected directly to a network with internet access. It cannot scan-to-email through a USB connection to a single computer.
  • Email Sending – After scanning, the printer connects to your email SMTP server to send the message directly from the printer. No computer or cables are required.
  • Email Attachments – The scanned document is sent as a standard email attachment. JPG, PDF and other file formats are supported depending on printer model.
  • Recipient Addressing – You can choose email addresses when scanning or pre-configure them in your printer address book.

Now that you understand the basics, let’s look at how to set up scan-to-email and use it for the first time.

Step 1 – Confirm Printer Compatibility and Network Connection

Before setting up scan-to-email, you first need to make sure your Canon printer model supports the feature and is properly connected to your network:

  • Check Manual for Scan-to-Email – Your printer’s instruction manual or the Canon website will confirm if your model supports email scanning. This guide covers PIXMA, MAXIFY and other Canon printers with this capability.
  • Connect Printer to Network – The printer must be connected to a wireless or Ethernet network that provides internet access. Scan-to-email will not work with a USB printer connection.
  • Test Internet Connection – Try printing a webpage to confirm your printer can connect to the internet which is required for sending email.

If your printer model supports scan-to-email and can connect to the internet through your home or office network, you’re ready for setup!

Step 2 – Configure Scan Settings on Printer

The next step is to configure your Canon printer’s scan settings from its control panel. We need to define a few options:

  • Select Scan Type – Choose the default scan type (JPEG, PDF, etc) for your scan-to-email attachments.
  • Set Scan Resolution – Choose a standard resolution (300 dpi is common for documents). Higher resolutions create larger files.
  • Pick Color or B&W – Choose whether scans will be in color, black & white or automatic.

Refer to your printer’s user guide for steps to access the scan settings menus and configure these options.

Step 3 – Set Up Email Sending Settings and Address Book

With your scan settings defined, you now need to set up the email sending options:

  • Enter SMTP Server – Find your email provider’s SMTP server settings and enter them on the printer. This allows sending directly from the printer.
  • Select Default Email Account – Choose the email address you want to show as the sender for your scan-to-email attachments.
  • Configure Security Settings – If your SMTP server requires authentication, enable this and enter your email account password on the printer.
  • Set Up Address Book – Add frequently used email addresses to the printer’s internal address book. This allows you to select them when scanning.

Again, check your printer’s manual for details on accessing these menus. Having the email sending settings configured will allow seamless scan-to-email capability.

Step 4 – Run Your First Scan-to-Email

You’re all set for your first scan-to-email! Just follow these steps:

  • Place Item on Scanner – Place the document, photo or other item face-down on your Canon printer’s scanner glass.
  • Select Scan-to-Email – On the printer control panel, choose the option for scan-to-email or scanning to an email address.
  • Enter Recipient – Type in or select an email address from your address book.
  • Start Scan – Initiate the scanning process. The item will be scanned based on your configured settings.
  • Check Email – The scanned file will be sent to the email address as an attachment. Go to your email account being used and verify that you received the scan properly!

And that’s it – you’ve successfully gone from physical item to scanned email attachment using your Canon printer’s handy scan-to-email capabilities!

Tips for Successful Scanning to Email

Here are some useful tips to follow when scanning documents from your Canon printer to email:

  • Double check scan settings – Before important scans, confirm your resolution, color mode and file type are configured optimally.
  • Clean the scanner glass – Dust or debris on the glass can show up on your scans. Wipe it down periodically.
  • Scan one page at a time – Place only one document page or photo on the glass at a time for best results.
  • Check paper alignment – Make sure your document or photo is centered cleanly face-down on the scanner.
  • Scan a test page first – When scanning multi-page documents, scan one page first to confirm settings.
  • Review email attachments – After receiving a scanned document, open and verify the attachment scanned properly before deleting originals.

Following these tips will help you get the best quality results from your Canon printer’s conveniet scan-to-email function.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What file types can I scan to?
    Most Canon printers with scan-to-email support JPEG, PDF and TIFF file formats. Some also support Microsoft Office document formats. Refer to your printer’s specifications.

  2. Can I scan in color or black and white?
    Yes, you can choose color, grayscale or black-and-white scanning, depending on your model. This is configured in the scan settings.

  3. How do I add email addresses to the address book?
    In the printer’s control panel menu, there is an option to manage the address book. Here you can add, delete or edit email addresses that you want to access quickly when scanning.

  4. How long can the scanned email attachments be?
    Most models have a file size limit of around 19MB for scan-to-email attachments. This allows scanning longer multi-page documents at common resolutions.

  5. Does scan-to-email work directly or only through a computer?
    On supported Canon models, scanning to email works directly from the printer without needing a connected computer or cables. However, you can also scan from a computer with proper software installed if preferred.

  6. Can I scan-to-email from a wireless Canon printer?
    Yes, as long as the wireless printer is connected to a network with internet access it will support scan-to-email capabilities. The printer does not need to be directly connected to a computer.

  7. How do I know if my email server supports direct scanning?
    If your email service provides standard SMTP server details that you can manually configure (such as SMTP name, port, security settings), then it should be compatible with direct scan-to-email from a Canon printer.

  8. What if my network has restrictions or a firewall?
    You may need to enable permissions on your network for the printer to connect to the email SMTP service. Check with your network administrator if scan-to-email is being blocked by firewall or access restrictions.

  9. Why are my scanned attachments so large?
    Check your scan settings – a high resolution and scanning in color will produce much larger file sizes. Try changing to grayscale or black-and-white and lowering the DPI resolution to reduce attachment sizes.

  10. Can I scan multiple pages into one document?
    Yes, most Canon models allow you to scan a multi-page document into a single PDF or TIFF file when using the scan-to-email function.

  11. How can I scan double-sided pages?
    Many Canon printer models support double-sided scanning. There will be a setting to enable duplex scanning which will scan both sides of each page.

  12. Can I scan multiple photos at once?
    Yes, you can place several photo prints on the scanner glass and scan them together into a single file when using the scan-to-email function. Just be sure to leave some space between them.

  13. How long does it take to scan and email a document?
    The scan itself takes only a few seconds, even for multi-page documents at common settings. Sending the email with the attachment will take as long as a normal email does to deliver, typically a minute or two.

  14. Do scans get saved anywhere on the printer?
    Usually the scans are not saved locally on the printer. But some models may have options to archive copies of email attachments to external drives connected to the printer. Check your user manual.

  15. Can I scan an item that’s thicker than paper?
    The scanner lid needs to close fully, so very thick items may not work. But you can scan lightweight card stock, photos, envelopes and other items up to about 1/8 inch thick with no issues.

  16. Is there a way to backup all my scans?
    If your email provider supports it, you can set up rules to automatically save incoming scan attachments from the printer to cloud storage like Google Drive for backup.

  17. Can I scan to email from a smartphone or tablet?
    If your Canon printer model is compatible with mobile printing apps, then scan-to-email should be supported through the app as well. Check the app’s documentation for details.

  18. How can I reduce file sizes of scanned PDFs?
    Change the PDF type in scanner settings to “Compact PDF” or “PDF (Compact)”. This uses advanced compression to reduce file size while maintaining quality.

  19. Can I index or organize scan attachments?
    Some Canon printers allow you to enter metadata like keywords when scanning. These get embedded in the file, allowing better organization in document management systems that support metadata.

  20. How many pages can I scan as an attachment?
    The maximum number of pages in one attachment varies by model but is typically at least 100 pages even for models with lower sheet capacity.SCANEXPRESS.


Equipped with scan-to-email capabilities, today’s Canon printers offer an extremely convenient way to get hard copy documents and photos into digital formats. The ability to go directly from scanner to email attachment speeds up digitization tasks, removes the need to involve a computer, and enables quick sharing of scanned items with friends, family or coworkers.

Hopefully this guide provided the information you need to successfully set up and optimize scan-to-email on your compatible Canon printer. Taking a few minutes to follow the setup steps, customize default settings, and program your printer’s address book will enable seamless scanning directly from the printer control panel. Keep the tips for care and feeding of your scanner in mind, and you’ll be emailing crisp, clean scans in no time. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your newfound ability to turn pieces of paper directly into email-ready digital files with the press of a button!


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