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Should I Power Off My Printer When its Not in Use?

There is a lot of conflicting information out there on whether or not you should power off your printer when you are not using it. Recently, I contacted Canon’s Customer Support with just this question as I had just purchased an expensive printer.

The official answer from Canon is, yes, you should power off your printer when it is not in use.

Reasons:

  • Prevent the Printhead from Drying out: Powering off your printer will “park” the printhead so it is capped and will not dry out. Some people claim just the opposite – that if you leave the printer on it will continue to cycle ink and this will keep it from drying out. While that may be partially true, it is better to leave the printhead parked when not in use for any length of time (even a few hours). If you aren’t going to be using it for days it is even more important to do this.
  • Save Ink: If left on, modern inkjet printers will periodically perform cleaning cycles. This uses up ink. Although powering on the printer will also often cause a cleaning cycle, for the vast majority of users, less cleaning cycles will need to be run if the printhead is capped by powering off the printer.
  • Save Power: With all the talk about “going green”, another benefit to turning off the printer will obviously be power savings. Even though most printers have an automatic power saving mode, it is quite obvious that less electricity will be used if the printer is completely powered off.

Summary: Do not leave your printer powered on all the time for longevity, quality, ink savings, and power savings.

And here is a copy of the email I received from Canon with their official response:

Thank you for writing to us.  We value you as a Canon customer and
appreciate the opportunity to assist you with if you should keep the
PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II turned on or off when not in use.

We recommend powering off the printer so that the printer parks the
print head in the corner to prevent it from drying.  This is especially
true since you may not be using it for weeks at a time.

The printer will use a cleaning cycle when powered up, but cleaning
cycles would also be performed regularly if it was left on.  Therefore,
we recommend powering it off using the power button on the printer.

We hope this information is helpful to you.  Please let us know if we
can be of any further assistance with your PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II.

Thank you for choosing Canon.

My question specifically mentioned the Canon PIXMA Pro 9000 Mk II, which is a mid-level wide format photo inkjet printer, however this should apply to most all desktop inkjet printers.

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2 Comments

  1. But surely the print heads are parked and capped when the power is on. When i turn my canon off from the machine i hear nothing at all.
    The only problems ive had is when its been turned off for a length of time, the print head dries out

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