How to repair the E18 error on Canon digital cameras

There seems to be a relatively large population of Canon owners who are affected by the E18 error. In this article I will teach you a few simple methods you can try to repair the error yourself.

This article is intended for people whose cameras are out of warranty. If your camera is still under warranty, go to your nearest Canon repair shop and let them fix it. If it’s not, you can either choose to pay around 150$ for the repair or try one of these simple techniques.

First I should explain what exactly an E18 is. According to Canon’s web site, it is an error that involves the lens unit or lens cover. The lens gets stuck in the extended position, and refuses to move either to focus the lens or to retract when powered off. It can happen if you apply pressure to the area surrounding the lens while it is in the recording mode (this includes dropping the camera), or if sand or dirt get into the lens area. The lens gets stuck, you get a black screen with a small “E18” sign in the lower-left corner, the camera beeps a few times and turns off.

Lately, I noticed a number of people online who are having troubles with this error. It happened to my Power Shot A520 as well a couple of weeks ago, but fortunately, the camera was still under warranty so Canon fixed it free of charge. In order to help the unlucky ones whose cameras are out of warranty, I decided to write this article.

Basically, there are a couple of simple things you can try. I can’t guarantee they will work for you, but I know these methods have helped some people get rid of their E18 problems:

1) One method is to tap the padded USB cover part on a hard surface, for example, a desk. I know it sounds to simple to work, but this can get some of the dirt out of the lens.

2) Try compressed air. With a fine tip blow off gun and dry compressed air set the tip between the lens turret and the camera body and turn on the air while moving the tip around the lens. It should remove all of the dust and sand. Turn the camera on and it should function fine.

3) Another solution is to try and push the lens back into place. This is the least preferable method. Try it only if the camera is out of warranty and DON’T apply too much pressure! If the lens can be set back into place with a light push, great! If not, don’t force it!

4) If nothing else works, there are a couple of online guides in different languages for dismantling the camera and cleaning the lens thoroughly. Try this only if your camera is out of warranty! Some of them are:

– – a guide in English
– – a guide in Bulgarian
– – Estonian guide

The last two are not in English, but they have a lot of pictures which should help with the whole process.

So you’ve learned how you can try and rescue your camera. Try out the methods for yourself, and contact me with good news.

If you want more information about the E18 error, or would like to read other people’s experiences with it, stop by my site at Feel free to drop me an email.