How to Reset a Canon Camera Due to a Lens Error


After an accidental tumble down a flight of stairs or a day at the beach, your Canon compact digital camera may have trouble extending or retracting its zoom lens. This is referred to as the E18 error, and it is named for the white text which appears on the LCD display screen when it occurs. E18 error is common in many of Canon's point-and-shoot cameras, including the popular PowerShot line. No repair experience is required to reset your camera.

Things You'll Need

  • Air blower
  • Small paintbrush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Brush away dirt or sand particles which may be lodged in the seam between the lens and lens housing using a small paintbrush.

  • Blow away any remaining particles with an air blower tool. Point the nozzle at the seam from about two inches away and move it around the circumference of the seam while blowing.

  • Check that the seam is evenly spaced all the way around. If not, grip the lens and push it firmly toward the uneven section of the seam. When the lens is properly seated, you'll hear a slight clicking noise.

  • Position your thumbs on either side of the lens if it will not retract back into the camera body. Press down firmly on the lens until you hear a slight clicking noise.

  • Press the On/Off button until the lens retracts, and then power the camera back on. Clean away any fingerprints from the lens or camera body using a microfiber cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Refer to your camera's instruction manual for more troubleshooting information.
  • Ensure that a fully charged battery is inside the camera before proceeding with the above steps.
  • Bring the camera to your Canon dealer or a professional repair shop if the error is recurring.
  • Do not attempt to disassemble your camera if you are inexperienced with repair procedures.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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