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Canon Error Codes and Solutions

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 31, 2024 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions

All electronic devices are prone to one error or the other and the Canon Camera is no exception. These errors can be very frustrating; and scary even, especially if you do not know how to handle these errors.

The good thing about the Canon camera is that you get notified when your device has an error restricting it from performing at its optimal level. These notifications usually come in the form of codes popularly known as error codes.

However, not all Canon camera errors require professional handling or large amounts of money to resolve. A lot of the errors are quite common and can easily be resolved through simple DIY repairs. Read on and get the solutions as well as how to recover camera photos that are lost due to camera errors.

Part 1 What Is Canon Error Codes

As mentioned earlier, notifications of errors atop the screen of your Canon camera usually come in codes. These codes are unique codes labeled help to identify the possible cause of the malfunction. To understand error codes, you first have to understand the basics of how a digital camera works.

1. About Digital Camera

First of all, a camera according to Wikipedia is an optical instrument used to capture still images or record moving images that are stored in a physical medium such as in a digital system or on photographic film.

Now, a digital camera captures these images or photographs specifically in digital memory. A lot of the cameras produced today are digital with some specially built into mobile phones and many other mobile devices.

How Digital Camera Works

A digital camera captures images; moving or still, by using sensors to capture light that comes in through the lens. This light then travels through an open shutter that strikes the image plane.

The digital version of this image is then displayed on the small screen attached to the camera. The image which is immediately stored in the camera can also be deleted if you wish.

A few advantages of the digital camera include:

  • The images are stored immediately after they are captured and can be deleted at any time
  • You can store as many images as you want without the need for film
  • You can transfer the photos immediately to your mobile devices or PC and edit them.
Related: Further, read and know more complete details on how to fix data transfer problems.
- 2 minutes to read it.

About Canon Error Codes

Canon error codes appear as error messages atop your Camera's LCD screen whenever there is one malfunction or the other. However, it really should not be a cause for alarm in most cases. Common causes of the appearance of Canon error codes include Lens errors, low battery, SD card errors, stuck shutter, card write errors, etc.

Part 2 Common Canon Camera Errors and Fixes

Now that you understand how a digital camera works and the meaning of Canon error codes, this part of the article is set to help you figure out what error most of these codes signify and how you can fix some of them yourself. Some error code descriptions, causes, and solutions are introduced here.

1. Canon Error 20

1) Description:

Shooting is not possible due to an error.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This error code is quite common and pops up usually as a result of a mechanical malfunction with the shutter or mirror assemblies.

Canon Error 01Canon Error 20
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:

If you ever get a message with this error code, all you need to do is turn off the power on the camera, take out the battery for a moment and put it back in, then turn the power back on.

If putting the battery back in immediately does not work, you could try leaving the battery out for a few hours before putting it back in.

2. Canon Error 01

1) Description:

Communication between the camera and lens is faulty.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This is often caused by miscommunication of some sort between the lens and the camera for one reason or the other. It could mean that the aperture ribbon is stuck or something, possibly dirt, is obstructing the lens and preventing it from getting the message the camera is trying to send.

Canon Error 01Canon Error 01
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Check to see that nothing is stuck on the lens.
  • Carefully check to see that the lens is not tilted or out of place.
  • Gently clean the electrical contacts on the camera and lens with a clean and dry cloth. The contacts are highlighted in the image below.

3. Canon Error 99

1) Description:

Shooting is not possible.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This error code is also quite common on Canon cameras and is caused by a lens miscommunication, a bad battery, a defective memory card, and other factors. It is usually characterized by a fault with the aperture assembly.

Canon Error 99Canon Error 99
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Turn the power switch to [OFF] and [ON] again or re-install the battery.
  • Clean out the contact on your camera/lens with a dry cloth.
  • Carefully check to see that your lens is not tilted.
  • Reboot/Turn off your camera.
  • Take out the secondary battery (located in the same compartment as the main battery)
  • Leave the camera for a few minutes.
  • Take out the memory card and try another after turning it back on.
  • Test the shutter button when the camera is both on and off.

4. Canon Error 30

1) Description:

Shooting is not possible due to an error.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This usually occurs as a result of shutter malfunction. It could be that your shutter is somewhat stuck.

Canon Error 30Canon Error 30
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Turn the power off, remove the battery, reinstall the battery, and turn it back on.
  • Go to Menu and select the "Clean Sensor Manually" If available.
  • Carefully take the lens off and manually move the shutter up. Check to see if anything is blocking the path of the shutter.

CAUTION: Please do not for any reason hit your camera either out of frustration or to attempt to resolve errors. This act could prove more damaging than problem-solving.

5. Canon Error 70

1) Description:

An error prevented the shooting.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This error is common with the Canon EOS 5D Mark iii and is caused by a malfunction with an image. It could be a card write error indicating that the image format is not supported by the camera. Another cause of this error is the continuous use of the camera when the temperature is a bit high.

Canon Error 70Canon Error 70
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Turn off the power, take out the battery, leave for a while, reinstall the battery and turn back on
  • Put the camera in one of the C1-3 modes, restore settings to default, turn off the camera, take out the lens, switch to CA mode, and turn the camera back on.
  • Go to "menu" then "clear camera settings"

However, if you do not have the C1-3 modes, then this is for you:

Turn off the camera and connect it to a computer. Turn it on and go to "camera setting/remote shooting mode", then change to a supported setting and restart the camera.

6. Canon Error 80

1) Description:

Shooting is not possible due to an error.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

Again this error usually occurs as a result of "malfunctions related to the electric control or images". If it occurs in a Canon 70D, it could also be a result of overheating especially when recording videos.

Canon Error 80Canon Error 80
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Turn off the camera, uninstall the battery, leave for a while, reinstall the battery, and turn on the power.
  • Check to see that the shutter is intact
  • Switch or format memory card (in a computer)
  • Clean the contact of the lens

7. Canon Error 05

1) Description:

The built-in flash could not be raised.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This code pops up because the in-built flash refuses to come up for one reason or the other, especially after three tries. This happens mostly because the flash is stuck.

Canon Error 80Canon Error 80
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Turn the power button on and off
  • Clean the flash pop-up stick
  • Manually try to push the flash out, more like a nudge to help the flash pop up on its own.

8. Canon Error 02

1) Description:

Canon camera memory card cannot be accessed.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This is usually caused by a problem with the memory card. The camera for some reason cannot access the card.

Canon Error 02Canon Error 02
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Remove the memory card, turn off the camera, turn it back on, and reinsert the card.
  • Format the memory card
  • Change the memory card
Data loss and erasure usually come after formatting the SD card. Here is the solution to help you recover formatted SD card data.
- 2 minutes to read it.

9. Canon Error 60

1) Description:

If an error occurred preventing shooting, the lens movement may be obstructed.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

As in the description, this could occur because the lens movement is obstructed.

Canon Error 60Canon Error 60
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Turn off the power on the camera, leave for a while, and turn back on.
  • Check to see if there isn't anything obstructing the lens.
  • Check to see if the lens is not out of place.
  • Try another lens on your Canon camera.
  • Carefully clean the contact of your lens with a soft and dry cloth.

10. Canon Error 04

1) Description:

Images cannot be saved because the memory card is full.

2) Causes of the Canon Error:

This simply occurs when your camera is unable to save images or videos because your memory card is full.

Canon Error 04Canon Error 04
3) DIY Solutions to the Canon Error:
  • Free up some space in the memory card
  • Replace memory card

Having outlined some common Canon error codes with their solutions, readers should note that of all the DIY solutions suggested, turning off your camera to take out your battery for a while before turning it back on should be your first go-to DIY. It tends to solve most of the problems once done.

Part 3 How to Recover Canon Camera Photo

Sometimes when these error codes pop up and very unexpectedly at that, if you were capturing images in that instant, there is every chance that the images were not captured. This is why you go to after resolving the issue with the help of the DIYs mentioned above, should check your images using the playback button(<<).

Other times, you may just have been transferring images from your camera to your computer or just working on your camera, and somehow, your photos "disappear" or it could be that you simply deleted important photos by accident.

Well, if you do not find your images in the playback, do not panic. There is a way to recover lost photos in their original state. There are different ways but there is one particular recovery system that works perfectly on many digital cameras including Canon cameras.

1. Recoverit Photo Recovery - Best Canon Recovery Software

Recoverit Photo Recovery is a widely used and very efficient photo recovery software that helps to recover lost photos from digital cameras or computers in their original state. It also recovers photos from hard drives, recycles bins, flash disks, memory cards, etc.

Free Download | Win Free Download | Mac
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2. Video Tutorial on Canon Photo Recovery

Below are a video guideline to walk you through recovering lost photos using the Recoverit photo recovery software

Recent Videos from Recoverit

View More >

3. How to Recover Photos from a Canon DSLR Camera?

This recovery software works by conducting a scan to recover deleted photos which, fortunately, still exist in the memory of the device but are just inaccessible or unreadable once a photo has been deleted. Now, let's have a look at how to recover camera photos.

Recoverit Photo Recovery comes with Mac and Windows versions. Here, we show you how to perform Canon photo recovery on a Windows computer. Mac users please go to the page for help: How to Recover Digital Camera Photos on Mac.
Free Download | Win Free Download | Mac
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1 Before the recovery process, you should connect your memory card from the camera to the computer and check to see that your camera or memory card has been detected.

2 A list of hard disk drives will be shown. Select the storage device where the photos were deleted from. Here is your Canon camera memory card. Click the "Start" button to move forward.

select sd card for Canon photo recovery

The software will begin an all-around recovery mode. It conducts a full and intense scan on the Canon camera for your lost image files.

all-around Samsung photo recovery

When the scan is completed, you can preview the recovered photos and select "Recover" to restore them to memory.

Canon camera photo recovery

  • When trying to recover a lost photo on your Canon camera, you should quit taking any more pictures to prevent the lost photos from being overwritten.
  • You should be careful however not to add new photos to the same folder where you have deleted images as this could lead to overwriting and make recovery less feasible.
  • It is important to note that you should not restore the recovered photos to the same drive where you lost them, rather store than in another safe storage device.

Part 4 How to Maintain Canon Camera

If you wish to truly enjoy using and maximize the potential of your Canon Camera, you have to know how to take care of it. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not realize how delicate a digital camera can be in parts and as a whole, and as a result, they blame any slight malfunction on anything but their mishandling.

One of the major yet least popular reasons you get error messages on your camera is due to mishandling of some sort. Your camera can last for a very long time and be fully functional if you know how to maintain it.

Having addressed error codes and how to resolve them, here is how to prevent some of those error codes from popping up in the first place.

1. Water is a no-no: As much as we love the beach and love to take pictures of the beach, if your camera isn't highly water-resistant, please keep it away from water. Needless to say but still necessary, avoid raindrops on your camera, especially the lens and memory card slot. Your camera should be dry at all times.

2. Regular Cleaning: Endeavor to clean the exterior parts of your camera and carefully clean intricate parts of your camera with a dry and soft cloth to prevent the accumulation of dust/dirt. There are also basic Canon camera cleaning kits you can get to properly clean your camera and avoid certain error codes.

3. Regular Camera Check-ups: Endeavor to have a professional service your camera every once in a while. You can visit Canon support offices for that.

4. Check/Test your Camera before Use: You must check to see that your camera key functionalities are intact before use each time you want to use it to prevent error codes or jamming in the middle of a shoot.

5. No Punishment Treatment: Do not for any reason whatsoever hit your camera in an attempt to resolve issues or simply out of frustration. You could damage it.

6. Bag it: Whenever your Canon Camera is not in use, make sure it is in a protective bag.

7. Have backups: backup batteries, backup lenses, and even a backup camera altogether if you can afford it. Overall, a lot of these error codes can be avoided if you just maintain and treat your Canon camera right!


Canon error codes can be annoying especially when you're in the middle of a one million dollar shoot. The error codes are there to warn you and help you detect faults in the camera's mechanical or system settings that you wouldn't normally see. You should see it as a positive sign that the situation can be helped.

It can be more annoying when your camera shuts down for no reason and without warning. Anybody would have a fit. So error codes are there to help really. You could see them as a way of your camera trying to tell you "Hey, I want to work and help you capture those beautiful images but this won't let me! Here's what you can do to fix that."

So relax and go through these DIY solutions to figure out the best solution for whatever error pops up and solve them quickly.

Much to our annoyance, the photos that we capture with much effort get lost. What makes us lucky is Recoverit Photo Recovery. It makes recovering lost digital images possible and easy. So instead of freaking out, download the Canon photo recovery software and get them back right now.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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