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Fix: Epson Error Code 0x97

There’s no doubt that Epson printers are one of the best printers that you can find in the market these days. But best doesn’t mean perfect. There’s a high chance that you will be a victim of error code 0x97 if you are using Epson printer especially for a long time. The error code 0x97 can occur at any time without any warnings or signs. Usually this error presents itself on the printer with an indicator to turn the printer off and on again. Usually this error code will show up during the printing process and your printer will stop printing afterwards. So for as long as this error keeps showing up, you won’t be able to use your printer.

The Epson error 0x97 happens because of an internal hardware issue. There are quite a few Epson models that are known to have this hardware issue where their motherboard will fail all of sudden. There aren’t many things that you can do once you’re facing a hardware issue. There are some workarounds for the problem but as you might have already guessed, there isn’t a permanent solution except for repairing or getting a replacement.

Try the methods given below to troubleshoot and solve the problem but if nothing works then your last choice would be to try the last method.

Method 1: Unplug and Plug-in

The steps given below require some technical knowledge of how to open and use your printer. If you aren’t sure then refer to the manual that came with your printer because the steps vary from model to model.

  1. Open the printer casing and check for any jammed papers or debris. If you find any, remove it.
  2. Remove all printing cartridges
  3. Unplug all the USBs and cables
  4. Once the printer is disconnected, press the power button as if you were trying to turn on the printer. This will discharge any residual current in the printer
  5. Now reconnect all the USBs and power cable
  6. Turn on your printer and check for the error

Method 2: Unplug and Plug-in (Alternative)

This method is a variation of the method 1. So if the method 1 didn’t work then try this method to confirm if the error is caused by the internal hardware failure or not.

  1. Turn off your printer
  2. Unplug all cables
  3. Wait for 5 minutes
  4. Press and hold the power button for 60+ seconds (DO NOT release it)
  5. When the 60+ seconds have gone, plug in the power cable while keeping the power button pressed
  6. Hold the power button pressed for another 60+ seconds (after plugging in the power cable)
  7. Release the power button after 60 seconds of plug in

Now check if the error code is still shown on the printer.

Method 3: Wet Tissue 

In some cases, the error code might be displaying because of waste ink around head sprayer.  Cleaning that waste ink with a wet tissue sometimes solves the problem. Follow the steps given below to perform the cleanup procedure.

Note: This method requires a bit technical knowledge and might not be suited for everyone. If you aren’t sure then ask an expert and take help from the manual that came with the printer.

  1. Turn off your printer
  2. Open the printer casing
  3. Take a tissue and wet it with warm water
  4. Now move the head to the center
  5. Put the tissue to the head cleaning mechanic pad
  6. Move the head to the parking spot
  7. Wait 10 minutes

Now remove the tissue and close everything. Turn on the printer and check if the problem is still there. Repeat this method 3 times if it doesn’t work the first time.

Method 4: Customer Support

The last resort for this problem, unfortunately, is to contact the customer support. If it really is a hardware failure then there is literally nothing that you can do. Even the repair costs will cost you more money than the printer itself or at least it won’t be economically beneficial for you in this situation.

The good thing is, if you have your warranty then the Epson should replace your printer with a new one within a few days.


  1. I thought I said this, because it’s exactly like what happened to me. I’m checking out the HP’s too.

  2. The biggest fraudulent junk of a printer!
    In the meantime we found out that if you use other quality ink you can successfully eventually de-clog almost completely the print head and resume almost normal printing!
    Here is where it gets legally really interesting: replacing the alternative ink with Epson ink, (Something Epson strongly discourages and even warns you that non-authentic cartridges have been inserted) the print-head eventually gradually clogs up again and to clean it you need a lot ink, which of course Epson, insisting that only their relentlessly overpriced ink is to be used, which they are of course happy to sell you!
    I smell a rat here!

    Read this well-documented factual story/ordeal with an Epson WF 7620:
    (if you wonder why I put up with this Epson garbage for so long the answer is that In our small business we required certain features that apparently only this printer has unless I spent thousands of dollars on another product.)
    UPDATED 11/07/17

    Guess what!? Today at 12:56 PM PST the fifth replacement printer from Epson died again with error code 0X97!!!
    Smudgy fuzzy printing using up cartridges by the handful for cleaning with no result! Eventually Error code 0x97!!!

    UPDATED 08/13/17
    This is an unbelievable worthless defective product!
    It is now after 4 warranty exchanges and the 5th piece of garbage Epson printer I’ve gone through in 2 1/2 years!!!
    It’s not even worth as a paperweight!
    The best thing is to shred it to small pieces and force feed to the engineers and management at Epson!

    A few days ago, after only four months (!!!) the 5th (!!!) replacement printer starts to irreparably smudge and smear again!
    I wasted 2 sets of cartridges (!!!) (more cost than the printer!) with no improvement. (See attached print out scans)

    This time so far it is not the electronics that crapped out. For a change on the theme it’s the printhead that fails after a few months.
    I still had the original first set of cartridges in it this replacement printer that came from Epson!!!
    Of course, two cleaning cycles emptied completely the remaining ink in these cartridges. I had to replace all with a whole new set of new cartridges (an extra set the print came with, outrageous courtesy of Epson…)
    Of course, again I had to go through several cleaning cycles but to no avail!
    It smudges and the print out is not legible anymore! (see attached images)
    Truly un effing believable!!!

    This is the fifth (5th!) printer from Epson which becomes useless within a few months. 5 printers in about 2 1/2 years!
    Despite that OEM original cartridges are in the printhead, for inexplicable reason after a few months but no longer than six months the print-outs become smudgy and this time In addition the yellow starts to print intermittently with cyan smudges and cyan lines!!!
    (I have scanned images of the print outs)
    A a few days ago the black started to smudge so I went through several full cleaning cycles but it did not correct the smudging and now I’m out of black ink again and low on all colors!

    A completely useless and defective product throughout!


    They must have hordes of incompetent and inept engineers specializing in producing useless garbage printers!
    I’d like to smash the printer their head until it goes to pieces!

    Read this story and tell me how long you would put up with this nonsense!

    “TAKE 1”
    Bought this printer in late December 2014 t a special “trade-in-your-old-printer-get-$50” discount deal at Office Max.

    “TAKE 2”
    5 months later fatal error code 09xD
    Epson support shipped a new one in June 2015, told me to dump the old one.
    several months ago again developed printing problems, nozzle clogging.
    Now not even 1 year is up and it does not print well.
    To many lines drop out.
    Head cleaning doesn’t fix it.
    Wasted a full XL ink cartridge ($ 35.-) on head cleaning!!! No go.

    Epson Ink can cost you after average small office use quickly more than the printer purchase price!
    You ‘ll end up spending a multiple on ink vs. the actual printer purchase in a year!

    “TAKE 3”
    Today April 9, 2016 the replacement printer stopped after printing 1/3 of a page.
    No go again. Dead again.
    Called support again.
    They will again ship a new one again, told me once more to dump the old one.

    “TAKE 4”
    Today APRIL 4th 2017 this glorious inane piece of a garbage of a printer failed again:
    Error code 0x97
    This is un effing believable! I’m in the middle of doing my taxes and now this!!!!
    Can I print with this piece of garbage or is it a “let’s play defect” junk?

    “Take 5”
    Around mid April 2017 I received after some elevated support back-and-forth with Epson a refurbished unit but was damaged in shipment because of poor packaging by Epson. They sent me a new unit (For the fourth time!) requesting the old unit to be sent back (free).

    Around early August 2017 the printer started to smudge. So I invoked Nozzle cleaning cycles. The print output quality improved a little bit but then shortly thereafter smudged even more. Looking closely at the paper it looks like the ink gets squirted around all over the place, the edges are very fuzzy and diffuse. (see attached images)
    I went to another cleaning cycle and another one and another one without improvement but emptying All the ink cartridges In the process! I replaced the whole set of ink cartridges went again through several cleaning cycles with no improvement!
    now have again almost empty print cartridges and a printer not capable of printing clearly!

    What a piece of crap! What a defective product this is!
    Hello Epson! What about product liability? You produced a defective printer were the only thing that works reliably is that it fails!

    This is clearly a defective poorly engineered product! In my opinion, this should be looked into by the FTC as this is a product that does not deliver what people paid for! This is half a fraud and half criminal to dump such defective product on the market ripping people off with selling overpriced ink cartridges to the defective product. Your print head needs cleaning just after about every 20 pages consuming one-third of the ink in the cartridge!!

    Just imagine if this were a car…! Or for that matter any other product you need to rely on!

    (If Epson tells you to just dump the old one, then you can imagine what worthless piece of low-cost junk this is to them, the main thing they can sell you overpriced ink cartridges, making a killing!)

    If that is not enough alternately the printer fails again!
    This is completely ridiculous and TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!

    My advice: Get another brand! Stay away from Epson, they’ve gotten sadly too cheap, crappy and unreliable.
    A real piece of real worthless dysfunctional unreliable poorly engineered junk!

  3. Regarding the Epson printer error code 0x97…Make sure all of your ink cartridges are snapped in. My black ink was just a little lose. Took two months to find and fix.

  4. I did eventually to get that stuck print head to move. Must have not held my mouth right the first time.

  5. Thank you Konz. I had tried countless fix suggestions to get rid of error code 0x97 to no avail. Just prior to ordering a new printer I came across your comment and gave it a try; worked like a charm.

  6. WOW! Cannon thank you enough for Method #2 above. Excellent! I had a sudden, unexplained, and seemingly unfixable 0x97 error that was about to end the life of this printer, early, at a time I really needed it. And that fix worked like a charm! Thank you. How did you (or someone) figure out this method?? What does it actually do for the printer? Thanks again. And I recommend trying this fix.

  7. Method #3 worked for my WF3640. Also, I did check that the ink was engaged as others suggested. I’ve liked this model better than my WF610 that died and Epson sent me a replacement.

  8. I almost gave up, but I continued to use Method 3 and Method 2 alternately. I removed all of the cartridges, and used moist paper towels to clean the inside of the cartridge holder as well as the pad. I left the towels in place for 5 to 10 minutes at a time and also wiped the pad. I used a lot of paper towels which soaked up a lot of ink. After significant cleaning of the cartridge holder and the head cleaning pad, I used Method 2 again, and my printer finally started working. I’ve had my printer for about a year and a half and never had an issue until I decided to try the XL color cartridges. I had used the XL black from the time I initially purchased the printer. When the XL color cartridge are used up, I plan to go back to the regular color cartridges.

  9. Thank You!! Method 3 worked!!
    I did the moist tissue method 3 times before I tried restarting the printer!
    It was really dirty.
    Thanks Again!!!

  10. If you ever need to move the print head again in the future, shut the printer off. Power it up and as you can hear the motors turning and the carriage moving, pull the plug. If the print head is not over the maintenance station, then it will move freely. Just do not move it all the way to the right or it will lock. You can also start a print job and when it starts pulling paper, pull the plug. This works as well if you do a cleaning cycle. Always pull the plug when the printer is live. Don’t forget to remove the paper that started to feed.

  11. i called epson they said its hardware failure and they ll send me a new one for no extra cost.
    i m getting it next couple of days
    by the way m from canada

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