Beware of Canon multi-function printers

Seems that even two years later a problem still exists with Canon multi-function printers (MFP) with most Windows home users. If you recall, a MFP is a peripheral that prints, scans, copies and sometimes faxes.

Here is the problem. When Windows Vista came out, Microsoft finally killed off Outlook Express. They rebuilt it to look more like a trimmed down version of Outlook that is part of their Office package. They named it Windows Mail [catchy title, eh?]. So Canon updated their MP Navigator EX software to reflect the change. This software controls the scanning and copying features.

Somewhere in early 2009, Microsoft released Windows Live Essentials 2009 which is a suite of Internet applications including Windows Live Messenger and an updated version of Windows Mail called Windows Live Mail [WLM as it’s too long to type!]. Without checking, those who used Outlook Express or Windows Mail [as well as future Windows Live Mail users in Windows 7] were caught off guard when they discovered that they could no longer scan a document and send it by E-mail automatically.

When they went through the preferences in MP Navigator EX, they discovered that the software did not detect WLM after WLM was installed. You can’t add it either.

If you searched the Internet you would find many people who had the same problem: they were able to scan and E-mail but not with WLM.

Fast forward to now – approximately two years since WLM was released [as well as an updated WLM for Windows 7 and Windows Vista users only] – and Canon still has not corrected the problem.

As a matter of fact, I contacted Canon Canada and it seems that the support guy couldn’t even read the question. I said specifically that with the latest version of the software [it is listed as fully Windows 7 compliant] that one can still not scan and E-mail. The support guy responded with a cut and paste job of where to find the latest version. When I responded with that it was already installed, the guy responded with stuff about Outlook – not WLM. On the third try and he responded with “If it does not work with Windows Live Mail, then it is due to a compatibility issue“. Ya. Right.

The problem exists because Canon seem to have “hard coded” [i.e. the lazy programming way] Windows Mail in the MP Navigator EX. At this time, the only option is to scan and save the document and then manually attach the file to an E-mail.

Note that some Xerox printers initially had a similar problem but have since [from the information I got] has been fixed with an update from Xerox. You still must update the software on your own. This issue may not appear for all Canon printers. Those using Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Mail probably don’t have this issue.


About ebraiter
computer guy

4 Responses to Beware of Canon multi-function printers

  1. tuzzaman says:

    Thank you for this information.
    Agree it is a pain in the backside…when I bought a new Canon MP printer/scanner at the same time as my Windows 7 laptop, I would have hoped they were all compatible.
    I have a friend complaining too, after I set up their Windows 7 laptop with the latest Navigator EX version.

  2. tommo says:

    Now Canon tells me there is a compatibility problem with Scanning -Widows Live Mail !!! And afetr spending >1 hour on the phone to the Canon Techs.
    Ah well I am used to being ripped off by the IT industry.

  3. i have been looking for a good printer that works on Vista and Windows 7 bro had a hp functional printer whose drivers were a mess on Windows 7 and vista…it just never worked stalled all the time and hardly ever printed anything

    • ebraiter says:

      Never been a Brother fan. Unfortunately few All-In-Ones install so much crap that your computer ends up loading [in some cases] 10+ executibles on start up. In some cases you have separate apps to check for updates.
      Computer manufacturers that also sells printers [HP, Dell,…] sould have just one application to check for updates – and not every day. An updated driver generally isn’t as critical compared to other software and the OS.

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