FIX: Steps to Fix Canon Printer Error 5C20

Error 5C20 is an error associated with many Canon printers, especially those of the MX series. Error 5C20, like most printer-related errors, basically inhibits the user from printing anything using their device. Error 5C20 is often accompanied by weird rattling sounds when the user tries to print anything. Error 5C20 almost always points to a hardware issue, specifically an issue with the printer’s logic board that is preying on its ability to successfully move the rollers and cartridge carriage. Fortunately though, the following are the three most effective methods that you can try out on your own to give fixing your Canon printer yourself a shot:

Method 1: Reset the printer

Resetting the printer basically erases its flash memory and resets the device, often putting an end to printer-related problems such as error 5C20. However, it should be noted that, when you unplug a Canon printer from its power outlet, all of the faxes stored on it are deleted.

Press the Power button on the printer and wait for it to turn off completely.

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Unplug the printer from its power outlet.

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Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then reconnect the printer to its power outlet and turn it on. This will successfully reset the printer.

Method 2: Check the printer’s print head

If error 5C20 is accompanied by crackling and/or rattling noise when you try to print something, the cause may be a problem with the printer’s print head. To determine if that is indeed the cause so that you can move onto either cleaning or replacing the print head, you need to first unplug the printer from its power outlet and then take off the printer’s cover panel to gain access to its insides, lift the orange/grey lever to the lift of the ink cartridges, remove the ink cartridges and check on the print head to see if that is the problem.

Method 3: Make sure that the belt that moves the cartridge carriage is in place

If the print head turns out to be completely okay, the cause behind error 5C20 can be a problem with the belt that moves the cartridge carriage back and forward inside the printer to release ink onto paper. This belt is located directly behind the cartridge carriage, so remove the carriage and use a flashlight to check on the belt, make sure that the belt is in place and has not slipped off its wheels on either end of the printer and does not need any lubricant. If the belt feels dry, gently apply a very small amount of white grease to it using a Q-tip.

If none of the methods listed above manage to get rid of error 5C20 for you, your only choice may be to have your printer serviced as the cause of error 5C20 in your case is likely to be hardware-related. You should contact your nearest Canon service center (or a qualified printer serviceperson) and set up an appointment to have your printer looked at and fixed.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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FIX: Steps to Fix Canon Printer Error 5C20

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