Using Canon MP-198 Scanner Without Ink or Cartridge

Introduction: Using Canon MP-198 Scanner Without Ink or Cartridge

About: Mechanical Engineering, majoring Mechatronic, Finished thesis about Snack Vending Machine's Build and Manufacturing, Passionate for Computer (Hardware/Software), Microcontroller Programming (Arduino-Raspberry)…

If you ever had a Canon Multifunction printer, or MP series, or a Multifunction printer in general, then maybe you already know that in order to use all functions on that Multifunction printer, it has to be in "Ready to use" condition, in other word, for example: if you want to scan a paper, your printer ink and cartridge must be installed AND not running low. If your ink is in low level or lets say empty, you can say goodbye to your Multifunction printer's "scanning" capability.

Sounds ridiculous? well, YES and NO.

Yes, if we think (as user) : "Scanning paper doesn't require or need any ink".

No, if we thing (as manufacture): "in order to (continue) use our product (your multifunction printer), you must (continue) buying our ink/cartridge".

So instead of talking about who's wrong who's right, in this instructable, i will share my trick or tips, or hack, or way around, or howto, or whatever it called, to Scanning with Canon MP-198 printer without using any ink/cartridge.

  • All you need is Canon MP 198 printer, and 1 sheet paper.
  • NO ink, NO cartridge.
  • Assumption: driver are installed properly since i assume that you already use the printer to print before.

Well lets start:

As seen on pic above, that is what will happen when we try to use canon mp198's scanner function, when ink are running LOW or Empty.
There will be an error warning when we open scanning windows to acquiring image from your image editor, bla bla bla, na na na, and for sure it wont scan anything.

Step 1: Remove All Cartridge

We need to remove all cartridge. No ink, no cartridge.

Turn printer ON, lift upper body to access cartridge, remove cartridge by pushing it to the front (to you).

Step 2: Enter 0 Mode

Now we need to enter 0 mode. I call this 0 mode because its simply show 0 on the display.

This is the steps:

  1. Turn printer OFF.
  2. Disconnect USB cable.
  3. Close front lid (where paper come out after printed).
  4. Insert A PAPER into paper tray. (please use new sheet, dont use crumpled paper).
  5. Press and HOLD "stop/reset" button.
  6. Press and HOLD "ON" button.
  7. Release "stop/reset" button.
  8. Press and release "stop/reset" button 2x.
  9. Release "ON" button.
  10. Wait a moment, printer will enter into 0 mode, it will show "0" (zero) on its display.
  11. AFTER show "0", turn OFF printer by pressing ON button.
  12. PAPER will slightly coming/moving in.

Go to next step after PAPER slightly coming/moving in.

Step 3: Enter E3 Mode

Then we enter E3 mode. E3 mode will blink "E" and "3" continuously.

The steps are:

  1. TURN ON printer.
  2. PAPER will continue moving into the printer.
  3. After half of paper inside, it will stop moving.
  4. Then it will display E3, blink "E" and "3" continuously.

Continue next step after E3 mode.

Step 4: Enter 1 Mode

We will then enter 1 mode, because it will show "1" on its display. 1 mode means printer are ready to use (as scanner) even without ink/cartridge.

The steps:

  1. Open front lid (where paper come out after printed).
  2. PAPER will continue moving and eventually coming out from front lid.
  3. Close front lid again.
  4. Finish, wait and it will go to 1 mode.

Step 5: Start Scanning Without Any Ink or Cartridge

Connect USB to your PC, and finally you can start using your Canon MP 198 as a scanner (again).

This is video for entire steps, Scan with Canon MP198 without ink / cartridge:

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14 Discussions


4 weeks ago

Thank you. The problem was solved and I could scan using the printer. But when I switched it off and then switched it on the error e13 appeared. Every time I have to do all those steps to be able to scan??


8 months ago

Hello. Thanks for the post becuase I used it as the starting point to make my Canon MP240 can without cartridges installed. So ,if you have an MP240, neither the MP198 nor the MP250 solutions work. Here is the procedere for Canon MP240 , that I discovered by a lot of trial and error.

Step 1: Press the "reset" button and keep it pressed. Then press the "ON" button and keet it pressed. Then realease the the Reset button and press it 2 times again like in the original instructiion.
Stept 2: Power down the printer by pressing the "On/OFF" button.
Step 3: Insert a piece of paper int othe tray
Step 4 (and here isthe diffference): Press the "Reset button" and hold it while pressing the power button. Release the Reset button. The left led with the triangle will light up. Then while keeping the "ON/OFF" button pressed, press again the Reset buton and the left led that has the triangle will turn off.
Step 5: Release the Power button. Voila. Now instead of the 0 you will get a 1 after the paper you loaded went through the printer and out.


Reply 8 months ago

Wow thank you for explain this, it would be very very usefull information for Canon MP-240 users.


I have a Canon MP145 Pixma series printer. It has not been used for a long time. Nearly I connected it to my pc and turn it on. The ink cartridges are not been read by the device I think (ERROR CODE E5). Then I used to search over the internet for remedies, and buy some refill ink and inject it on to the cartridges, cleaned the cartridges with plane water so and so. But the status remains the same. Then I planed to use the scanner without ink cartridges. Thus I got this web link. I did the procedures given above. It's okay till the step 2. after step 2 it's going back to ''E5'' as it. Then I retried several times and rid off. Then after the Step 2, while turning on the device, when the paper engaged to the feed in, I hold the paper forcefully to don't enter it completely. Then it shows "E3". Then there is no change in this ''E3''status. It's blinking continuously "E3". After that I pressed power button. But it remains in standby mode only, never turn off. Then I removed the power cable and re-connected. Then turn on. Again same as ''E5''. Anyone have any experience with MP145, please help me.
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Reply 1 year ago

After you achieved "0", put the printer off & on and hold the paper back till it shows E8 and stopped pulling the paper. Pull out the paper from the printer, press once black/ color, display will be E3, press once more, here it is "1", .it is now ready for scan. Done!


Reply 1 year ago

I am sorry, but i dont think this trick will works for mp145. If you can view my youtube channel and watch the videi, on the comments section, no report for mp145. Its confirmed working for mp198 mp190 mp250 mp258 mp270.


Reply 1 year ago

do you have any idea for scan with mp145 without ink cartridges...?


Tip 1 year ago

TL;DR: on MP210, if you can't proceed from E3 to 1, pull the paper out of the printer. after pulling the paper, it waited a little and then it passed from E3 to 1.

okay thanks to melon's comment i got to the E3 error on my MP210. but after that nothing worked (opening the front lid or pressing buttons). at that point the paper was half way in, so i pulled it back. printer 'thought' a little bit then '1' appeared! BUT then i got some kind of driver/software error on pc. so i uninstall drivers and canon software and install from the old cd. computer couldn't read the cd. i plugged in printer via usb again to install automatically. that also didn't work this time (first time i followed the steps on screen and was ok). so i gave up after 3 hours of trying :(


3 years ago

For Canon PIXMA MP210 Users:

1. Initiate factory mode (A.K.A. "0" mode.)

2. Insert a sheet of paper.

3. Press the power button.

4. Press the power button again.

Be sure to be ready to tug the paper you have inserted.

5. When the paper feeds halfway, tugitout and do not let go.

6. When the feeding stops and the printer shows E3, It is now safe to let go of the paper.

7. Press the Black or Color button.

8. The epic "1" should appear on the display.

9. EPIC! (Canon might be mad at you, but the customers are clever, too.)


Reply 1 year ago

thanks! i also have mp210. i managed to get to the E3 error with these but alas when i press black or color button, it shows a waiting sign and then just gets back to E3.

i wasn't using this printer for years. maybe it has to do something with that.


Reply 3 years ago

Thank you MelonF. I was able to use your instructions to get one scan out of my MP210. Now I get the E2 and E4 messages. I powered it down and back up and now back to the E5 error. This is loads of fun.


Reply 3 years ago

At least your instructions got me further ahead. :)


Question 2 years ago

Tried this with a Canon MP460, but didn't work.

However, I did try the following:

Hold Cancel

Hold Power.

Release Cancel.

Press Cancel twice. (jam led toggles on and off)

Release power.

This gets to a state where the LCD shows 'Canon' in just plain text - not graphics. It feeds paper part way in. LCD then shows IDLE.

But there is no USB activity and you cannot see the scanner.

Pressing Cancel makes the jam and power leds alternate! But there doesn't seem to be a way to get the scanner to go. I tried various buttons, but none do anything except power and cancel.

If you repeat again but press Cancel 4 times instead of twice, you get a language menu.

After setting that, you get a message that just says "set the ink cartridge"

If you then try scanning from PC, the screen shows scanning in progress! Unfortunately it still doesn't scan.... Shame as I really thought I had cracked it!

Oddly, the printer is now crashed and has to be powered off at the mains to recover....


Tip 2 years ago

Hey, amazing instructive. Thanks for it.

I have tried it with my Canon Pixma MP250 just today (feb 19, 2018) and it worked straight away. However, I would like to note some differences between the MP198 and the MP250:

- Steps 1 and 2 are the same

- Steps 3 and 4 are slightly different. In MP250, paper will not sop moving at half, it will come out completely through the front lid (front lid opens automatically in MP250 if it is closed, I don't know about other models). Mode E3 doesn't happen, it just go to 1 mode directly.

- After that, it is possible to start scanning using the Canon MP Navigator EX (I did not try any other scanner sofwtare)