I'm new to the printing game and recently acquired a Canon Pro-10. During my comparison research, there was a lot of discussion around not letting the printer sit for any length of time, as pigments tend to clog up the print head.

Now, the printer has been great, but I'm about to go on a two week vacation. I'd love to not have to deal with clogged print heads when I return.

So, the question is, is two weeks enough time to warrant clogging concerns and if so, how can I prevent clogging?

This question details how to get a printer ready for long-term disuse, but this isn't really my case. I'm more interested in intermittent, shorter periods of disuse over long term storage.

Some tech specifics as asked by comment:

  • Printer: Canon Pro-10
  • Computer: Dell XPS 13 running Win 10
  • My own tech capability: I do front-end dev, so setting something up requiring a bit of coding isn't completely foreign, though the exact process will be.
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    @ChrisH - I added some details to the post. All devices can be left on.
    – OnBreak.
    Dec 15, 2017 at 16:30
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    Guys, I'm pretty sure that "downvote" is not the proper reaction to a question that needs to be migrated. It's at least tangentially related to photography, and the question is a well formed, valid question. Flag the question to bring it to a mods attention.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 15, 2017 at 17:04
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    @CrazyDino - personally, this seems on topic to me. It's photographic equipment and maintenance of it seems on topic. A question about how to clean a lens would be on topic. Why would maintenance of a photo printer not similarly be on topic?
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 15, 2017 at 18:32
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    I'm with @AJHenderson on this. Specifically, when using a printer (either inkjet or laser) just for general documents and stuff, this was never a worry — the precision just doesn't matter. When I was doing my own inkjet photo prints, though, I did that about once every month, and every time there was a hassle. So, I think there is a photography angle.
    – mattdm
    Dec 15, 2017 at 18:58
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2 Answers 2


I don't know specifically for the Pro-10, but I know that if I leave my Pro-1 on, it automatically moves the ink a bit periodically anyway to avoid clogged heads. I don't print anything on it sometimes for months at a time without any issue.

  • Is the printer powered up and moving the ink during these months or completely powered down?
    – OnBreak.
    Dec 15, 2017 at 19:19
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    @Corey powered on. If I leave it powered off it has to go through a very ink heavy cleaning. I've had periods of a few weeks with it off by accident before without issue as well (other than burning a bunch of ink when I turned it back on.)
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 15, 2017 at 19:21
  • I wanted to report back on this. The Canon Pro-10 seems to like to power itself off after so much non-use. I didn't want to risk anything so I had our pet sitter turn the printer on once per day. Result: No clogging. Cheers,
    – OnBreak.
    Feb 8, 2018 at 19:15

Back when I used Epson printers I was constantly fighting the clogged head monster if a printer when unused for several days. That was one of several reasons why I moved to outsourcing photographic prints for anything other than casual personal usage.

My last couple of 'home' printers, used for printing documents, receipts, etc. when needed have been Canon Pixma 'MG' series printers. As long as they are left powered up and turned on they will periodically perform a short cleaning cycle that keeps the heads clean. I rarely use it more than 3-5 times a month to print out grocery shopping lists, restaurant coupons, etc. I do occasionally print a full color glossy 4x6 or 5x7 with it. In the 20 months I've had the Pixma MG7520 I've only gone through two full sets of ink cartridges and am currently barely started on the third set. I've never had a clogged head. (The heads in the MG7520 and its predecessor, an MG5320, are permanent heads installed in the printer. The ink cartridges are tanks only, unlike other brands that place the print heads on the business end the ink cartridges.)

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