Why Does a Multi-Function Printer Stop Scanning?

There are many reasons that would cause an MFP to stop scanning. First, to understand how the scanning takes place, we must understand how the scanned document gets from the printer to its scanned destination.  We will look at two options when it comes to scanning a document or an image, “Scan to Folder or SMB” and “Scan to Email.”

Scan to Folder or SMB

The protocol SMB stands for Server Message Block which provides file sharing, network browsing and inter-process communication over a network. When this option is selected, the image being scanned goes directly to a PC, a Server, or a specific folder on each. You can scan to other destinations including Dropbox, Google Drive or just about any destination that can store data files. For this example, we will just use a common PC. If a scan is to go from the MFP to a Windows PC there needs to be some things in place first. If you are scanning to a PC named PC124 for example, you need to have an account programmed within the MFP that has “Write” rights to PC124 or at least rights to a specific folder on PC124 that you are scanning to. This information needs to be entered into the MFP itself since the scan will use these credentials when sending the scanned image to PC124.

On PC124, I would create a user called JOSEPH for example and assign a password for JOSEPH.  This information would need to be entered and saved into the MFP also. Each time a scan is sent to PC124, it would save to the computer as the user JOSEPH. Also, you need to make sure user JOSEPH has “Write” rights to the folder as well.  If I want to send a scan to the C drive of PC124 called SCANS, then I need to make sure that JOSEPH has write rights to C:\SCANS.  All of this information needs to be entered into the MFP, the username (JOSEPH), the password for JOSEPH, and the folder I want the scan to go to which also needs to be setup as a SHARE on the Windows PC. When the scan takes place, it will go to C:\SCANS if all of these settings are in place.

The scan will not work if, the password programmed into the MFP for JOSEPH is not the same as what was created on the Windows PC or if JOSEPH does not have proper rights to C:\SCANS.  Another thing to look for if a scan does not work is sometimes Windows Updates turns off the “Scan to SMB Server” option found under Control Panel, Programs and Features.   This needs to have a checkmark next to it. If not, Scan to Folder will not work. When changing this option, the PC needs to be reboot.

Some offices have it set to Scan to the IP address of the machine and while this works, it can stop if the computer does not have a static IP address and comes up with a different IP address the next time it reboots. This is a common problem which is why it is better to scan to the Computer Name or host instead. This would never change automatically.

Scan to Email

Another option for Scanning is “Scan to Email.” This works in a similar fashion but instead uses email to get the image from the scanner. In order for the scanner to “Send” the email, a valid email address is used to scan or “email” the image to a valid email address.  Just like the “Scan to SMB” authentication, the email address and password needs to be setup correctly within the scanner configuration. For example, the sender email can be a Gmail account that you create like SENDSCAN@Gmail.com. The password for this account also must be entered and saved at the MFP. In this case you are actually emailing the image after it is scanned. A caveat to this is, the email address SENDSCAN@Gmail.com will have the scanned images in its “Sent Items” so be very careful who has access to this account as this can be a security risk. You can also setup a rule to auto-delete the Sent Item. Scanning will not work if someone changes the password of this “sending” account without updating the MFP with the new password.

Which Option is better?

There are pros and cons to “Scanning to Folder” and “Scanning to Email” and while both are viable solutions you should decide on which works better for you or a combination of both. These options are free. There are other options like PinPoint Scan which is a Kyocera product but a program like this has to be purchased and licensed.


Written by: Vincent Rodriguez

Posted on: 10/14/21