How to fix Error 6A81 on Canon printers

MAJ 03/01/15

Error 6A81 appears on Canon printers like Pixma IP4800, MG5140, MG5150, MX882...

Solution 1: This is a purge unit error.
  • There maybe something jamming the purge unit or just a absorber out of place which is picking up on the carriage preventing it from moving correctly. 
  • Try to move the carriage away from the purge (its where the printhead/carriage parks its self on the right side of the machine) with no resistance then you can shine a torch into the machine and look at the purge unit. 
  • There maybe crumpled paper jammed in the purge. 
  • If all looks well, the purge unit may be defective and had to be replaced. 

Solution 2:
  • The wiper on the purge may have stuck. It slides back and forth and they have been known to stick. 
  • Push it with a long screwdriver to see if it moves.

Solution 3:
  • Something is blocking the printer inside. It could be a paper jam or a foreign object. 
  • Check using a flashlight, to ensure there is nothing obstructing the paper feed mechanism down inside the printer where it is not easily seen.
  • If there is nothing obvious, unplug the printer power supply. 
Solution 3a ( thanks to Peter van eijden for the tip):
  • Printer off. 
  • Bring by hand the ink-carrier to the right side.
  • Push down carefully on the carrier, hold on and shalter the printer: push the left site of the carrier down, because its will come up.

Solution 4:
  • Take a dry cloth and clean the rubber rollers in the automatic sheet feeder. Dust may be coating the rollers there and as they become less tacky, they cannot feed paper correctly.

Solution 5:
  • Hold the printer in both hands (you may need another person to help you), turn it upside down and shake it for a few seconds to see if anything falls out of the paper feed area. (Sometimes objects such as pens, paper clips and so on can fall into the paper feed area and cause blockages.)
  • Then plug the printer back up, take your paper out and replace it with a fresh, small stack (about 5 pages) of paper. Then try to form feed again. If that works, then try to print again.


Anonymous said...

Thanks! Upside-down shaking helped, found an SD Card inside :-D

Anonymous said...

On the money! You confirmed what the customer wouldn't admit - a paper jam. Removed sliver of paper, unjammed the mechanism.... now working beautifully. Thanks for your expertise.

Anonymous said...

Got it w/solution #2. The sponge under the wiper unit got stuck up for some reason. After gently pushing it down the wiper unit moved freely. I moved the wiper back and forth a few times and fired it back up and it works now. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Same as above, the sponge unit got stuck up and carriage could not slide left all the way. A gentle push down on the sponge and it clicked into place 1/2 inch down then all ok.

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Anonymous said...

The two previous Anonymous posts involving solution 2 worked for me. There also was a considerable ink buildup on the wiper that appears to have bound up with the sponge underneath. Cleaning the ink was also necessary to correct my issue as well as pushing the sponge down the 1/2" as suggested.


Anonymous said...

Solution 2 worked for me. Lots of ink build up on the wiper and the sponge. Thanks for the help.

Anonymous said...

Excellent - the tip worked!

MG6100 showing 6A81 error after my two year old somehow caused it to jam.

Cleared all scraps of paper after removing the paper tray and covers yet still the code would not clear.

Moved the print head from its resting place across to the left to reveal the "wiper" block (a couple of tiny wipers just like on your car). Another small scrap of ink soaked paper there and after a little prod to the wiper block it sprang back a little. I actually think I moved it pulling the paper out.

Power off / on, working fine again.

Thanks for the pointers!

TRISH said...


Anonymous said...

Excellent...shone torch in to find one of the ink cartridges has lost a small sticker from the side identifying the colour/make and was stopping the mechanism sliding

Anonymous said...

MANY THANKS purge unit stuck after paper jammed, used long pencil pushed it back in place, low and behold lots of clunking and noise, now stoped AND IT WORKS AGAIN TA

Isadore said...

Wow, Wish I could report success. After checking, checking and rechecking, there is definitely no foreign objects in my printer. I removed the ink cartridge carrier, cleaned off all the ink, cleaned the metal strip the the cartridge carrier rides on, checked the paper rollers all to no avail. Backing up a little, I leave my printer on - permanently. I scanned a document and about 4 hours later, the 6A81 Error code appeared. I must add that I am an avid Canon fan, and this MG8220 Printer was not exactly an inexpensive printer. At best, I might print 200 pages in a month. Canon is now saying, "SOL, as a loyal customer we will give you a discount on a compatible printer". Staples are selling the printers cheaper than Canon's offer. But that's not the point. I certainly expect a longer life out of this printer. So question 1 -Any other suggestions for clearing this error. 2 - What do you think of Canon's response?

Anonymous said...

Worked for us! Found a small piece of paper and the little sponge tray below where the heads are normally parked was stuck up. Got the paper out, no joy. Pushed the sponge down and back in business. Merry Christmas! Thanks to all who posted here!

Peter van eijden said...

problem 6A81 Canon gm 5250. Solution to me : Printer off. Then bring by hand the ink-carrier to the right side.Push down carefully on the carrier, hold on and shalter the printer : push the left site of the carrier down, because its will come up, ( so thats the problem after the paperjamming! Peter

Anonymous said...

Solution #2 worked like a champ. The sponge and wiper were stuck in the up position. Thanks for the tip

Anonymous said...

stuffed around with the wiper thingy on the right hand side of printer carrage, all working great now thanks. Just saved another printer form ending up in land fill.

Anonymous said...

took a tissue to what i assume is the wiper. it didnt seem jamed but after i moved it forward a few times, it worked the next time the printer was turned on

Ron Greenberg said...

Part of the purge mechanism appeared to be stuck in a position that blocked the movement of the wipers. I pushed that part down, which freed the wipers to move back and forth, which I did manually. That did the job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, the black sponge on the right side of the rail was stuck in the up position. Tapped it with a screw driver and it went back down. Working fine now.

Anonymous said...

i have tried to get at the wipers/pads etc to see if they are stopping the toner holding carriage from moving - mine is locked on the right and i can shift it - any ideas how to get it to move without breaking it ! Cant see any blockages