Using Canon MP-198 Scanner Without Ink or Cartridge

About: Mechanical Engineering, majoring Mechatronic, finished thesis about Snack Vending Machine's Build and Manufacturing, having exp as an Assistant for Researcher at LIPI Bandung, passionate for Computer (Hardwa...

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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5 Discussions


Question 7 months 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 1 year 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)


1 year 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.)

2 replies

Reply 1 year 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 1 year ago

At least your instructions got me further ahead. :)