Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 on OS X 10.5.8

In order to get the Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 working in OS X 10.5.8 (and from the comment responses 10.6 Snow Leopard as well)

  1. Go to the Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 product page
  2. Click the “Drivers & Downloads” tab
  3. Select “Mac OS X” from the dropdown menu
  4. Download CanoScan Toolbox Ver. (Direct Download Link)
  5. Download LiDE 20/LiDE 30 Scanner Driver Ver. (Direct Download Link)
  6. Install the CanoScan Toolbox first
  7. When installing the driver specify the “Plug-Ins” folder in the CanoScan Toolbox installation directory
  8. Open up the “CanoScan Toolbox, click settings and it should detect ScanGear CS 7.0X as the driver and scanning should work without a hitch
  9. The scanner is fully operational including the scanner buttons to scan, copy and email (the button actions can also be customized)

Some tips that may help if you’re having installation problems


50 thoughts on “Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 on OS X 10.5.8

  1. Hi,

    Your info on setting up Canon Lide 20/30 on Mac 10.5.8 is perfectly clear but my computer doesn’t want to know!

    Installed etc to the letter as you have written,

    When I press scan the scanner communicates and starts up but then stops and says

    “The necessary file culd be missing or damaged, or the settings are incorrect.
    Scanner driver will be closed”

    I’ve tried unistalling then reinstalling several times, no joy.

    I’ve also mailed canon but no help whatsoever.

    Any ideas?



  2. Hi Sandra,

    Which model scanner do you have? Is it the 20 or 30? Does the driver show up in the Toolbox settings? If it does, what version is it?

    By default the scan button was mapped to the “Scan-1” button of the CanoScan Toolbox, I changed it to “Save” instead. If you have specified “Save” or manually clicking the “Save” button in the CanoScan Toolbox make sure that the directory you are saving to exists: click the “Browse” button and specify a location.

    This problems seems to be quite common. You can try follow some of the links and see if any of them lead to a solution. Based on one of the forums, try uninstalling the previous driver using the uninstall tool from the “Drivers & Downloads” tab of the printer page (Direct Download Link)

    Another suggested using Vue Scan. It may cost but there is a free trial to see if it works.

    From this forum post you can try the following:

    For troubleshooting purposes, please perform the following steps to
    specify the display profile:

    1. Select Displays in System Preferences.

    2. Open the Color tab, and then select the display profile. When the
    display profile is not displayed, deselect Show profiles for this
    display only.

    3. Select one of the display profiles normally attached to the OS,
    ”Adobe RGB (1998)”, ”Generic RGB Profile’,’ or ”sRGB IEC61966-2.1.”

    4. Close System Preferences.

    You should now be able to scan normally.

    5. Attempt scanning to confirm that ScanGear functions properly.

    If using a display profile that is exclusively for your monitor, just
    obtain the profile again, then install it in the designated folder.

    Hope something works for you. And if it did let us know what work. All the best!

  3. Hi, i tried to install Canoscan Lide20 on 10.6.1 with Toolbox 5.0, but it doesn’t regognize the driver.. The old Toolbox (4.1) still regognizes it, but is not for a Intel -processors.. I would like to use that newer Toolbox, but how can I make it work?? The driver install utility doesn’t run right either. It gives me a errors and then tells me everything went ok!

    CanoScan Lide 20 is very good scanner and i really doesn’t like to get a new one just because of it. I don’t need it regularly, so it seems like waste of money, if I should buy a new one today.


  4. @Odysseys is there a Toolbox 5.0? From the CanoScan LiDE page that I linked to, I only see Toolbox Perhaps Toolbox 5.0 is meant for other scanners and not the CanoScan LiDE.

    When you install the plug-in do you see the file “ScanGear CS 7.0X”? That should be the plug-in that should be located in the the “Plug-ins” folder in the “CanoSan Toolbox” folder as shown in my images above.

    If all this fails, it could be just bad drivers on Canon side or more things that fail when upgrading to OS X 10.6 (i.e. Snow Leopard).

  5. I, too, struggled (and failed!) to get the Canon driver to work with my LIDE20 scanner on upgrading to an intel Mac and Snow Leopard. I now use VueScan – yes, it costs, but it WORKS! – and you can try before you buy.

  6. Ahem! It clearly says in the support section that the driver is only supported up to 10.4, and if you type the question “os x 10.5” , it will tell you that the scanner driver is not compatible with leopard (10.5).

    That’s the answer to your question! I’ve been trying to see if it’s just a lie, but obviously it’s true, if everyone is having problems with it. They just want us to buy a new scanner. :(

    1. Damn! But my needs for a scanner is totally casual. I don’t want to buy a new scanner, because old one is in perfect condition.
      But I can see Canon’s demand to sell new products all the time. That’s how this world goes round.
      Oh well, I think old drivers are good enough although it needs Rosetta. But then, it still works… ;-)

  7. I can honestly say that it does work for me and I’m running OS X 10.5.8. I can’t vouch for 10.6 though. If you’re running 10.5 I wouldn’t mind trying to remote desktop your computer (via something like GoToAssist) and see if I can install the driver to get it working.

  8. A great big thank you to TheWheat, for the great directions on installing my CanoScan Lide 20. SUCESS :) I’ve recently purchased a new macbook pro, running snow leopard and I’m happy to report that the scanning works great by simply using the toolbox and using the save function. It’s very straight forward scanning and then later I import the folder of scanned photos to my iPhoto Library for editing.

    Using the direct links in your instructions right from your instruction page gave me instant success. Prior to your page I attempted the same thing from the Cannon drivers site and it would not take. Working from the actual product site, as you suggested was the way to go. I also had the advantage of no previous clutter to run interference as this is a new computer.

    A FINAL NOTE TO ALL THE LIDE 20 FANS OUT THERE, Y E S CanoScan LiDE 20 works on mac running OS X 10.6.2 (SNOW LEOPARD)

    1. Tried this procedure and could not get it to work. I kept getting the following:
      Error creating file
      1008:5, -5000 Access denied error
      This happens when the I select the install and click on the button.

      According to the directions posted I tried the toolbox first and no go.

      Any insight would be appreciated.
      I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.2 also.
      Thank you

      1. @Caleb @Ben Try repairing permission on your hard disk through Disk Utility. Thats the only thing I can think of and hope it helps

      2. Same thing here even after repairing permissions. 10.5.8. Any other ideas?

      3. OK – found it. It has to do with security, but the solution is to log in as a root user. Instructions here:

        Download the software while logged in as the root user, install as instructed above, then log back in as your normal user.

        All is good in scanlandia!

        Thanks to all for the tips.


    The drivers from the Canon Canoscan LIDE 20 product site have been updated on July 29, 2009. That is the most recent that I’ve seen on my quest to make Lide 20 work.


    ps the appropriate un-install software is there as well if you want it.

  10. Got my Canon Lide 20 running perfectly under Mac OS X 10.5.8 today, thanks to your tutorial. I can scan directly from Photoshop Elements 3.0 as well.

    I was able to do that by opening CanoScan Toolbox X and clicking the Scan1 button. Then, where it says “Link Scanned Image to”, I clicked ‘Set’ and then from the pop-up file browser, I selected Macintosh HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop Elements 3/Photoshop Elements/Contents/Required/Global Resources and clicked “Open”. I then clicked “Apply”, “Cancel” and closed CanoScan Toolbox X.

    Now, I can open PSE3, select File/Import/ScanGear CS 7.0.1X and the Canon Lide 20 will kick happily into life and scan whatever image I’ve placed on the tray.

    Hope others find this tip useful.



  11. Followed these instructions and my CanoScan LiDE 20 works perfectly. Using an Imac (Intel) and snow leopard OS X 10.6.2.

    Thanks for the help.

  12. Holy crap. What a pain in the ass.

    OK. For some reason the first time I followed the instructions above to a T, it did not work.

    However, I read taikobi’s comment above and decided to give it another whirl.

    I am on Mac OS X Version 10.6.3 (Snow Leopard)
    3.06 Ghz Intel Core 2 Due

    I downloaded VueScan and it DID WORK. This only made me more resolute to make it work without paying. After all, this only PROVES the scanner works, Canon is just being a dick about it.

    So, I deleted everything that I had installed, everywhere. Drivers and the Toolbox. I followed the instruction above USING THE DIRECT LINKS, going to the Canon page didn’t seem to do it.

    I installed everything and immediately restarted the computer.

    I fired up Toolbox (and YES, you have to use the older version of Toolbox) and sure enough I heard the little servos whirring. It did a calibration and is now ready to scan.

    On another note, I’ve had no success getting it to run in Photoshop, as I can’t get Photoshop to open in Rosetta (maybe this is a Snow Leopard thing?).

    If anyone has tips on that, let me know.

  13. I just wanted to stop by and say thank you. Your instructions worked perfectly and my decade-old scanner is now working perfectly with my state-of-the-art 2010 MBP.

  14. Just upgraded to 10.6 and Adobe CS4 from CS3. All I needed to do was to copy the Scangear CS 7.0X driver from the CS3>plugins>import-export folder to the import-export folder of CS4.

    BUT I also had to tell my mac to open Photoshop CS4 to open in Rosetta (you can activate this in the file info of Photoshop – by pressing option+i), otherwise the drive will not work!

    good luck!

  15. thank you!!

    yes, snow leopard works, just make sure you install the toolbox version NOT 5.0.

    also, i had some trouble unzipping the .gz file that contained the canoscan toolbox program (strange file extensions kept popping up) but after i unzipped it once i changed the file extension to end in .dmg manually and it worked.



  16. Thanks!!! I was fudging around for over an hour trying to get my scanner to work, and finally found your instructions and it’s working great!

    fyi I’m on OSX 10.5.8

  17. Thanks a lot for this tutorial buddy.Saved me the trouble to buy a new scanner just to use it on my macbook pro! Its finally working!!

    Btw im using Mac OS X 10.6.4,CanoScan Lide 20.


  18. GGGRRR. Ok so I have the CanoScan LiDe 55 (which canon doesn’t have on their support site). SO I used the LiDe 50. I can get it to start but then the program freezes and I have to force quit. I have Mac OS X 10.6.4. HELP. I just want it to scan to the computer I don’t even care if it sends it to Photoshop.

  19. This worked for me with my LiDE 20 and OS 10.6.7 once I logged on as Root User.

    Thanks for the tip.

  20. I tried all of the above, I’m on Snowflake.7, and couldn’t get it to work. I’m such a failure! However through further scouting i found this tutorial on how to scan with the Sane backend to the OSX Image capture. That works for me. The installation is not difficult if you’re comfortable with either enabling root or sudo’ing from the commandline. HTH, sombody…

  21. Thank you so much! Wonderful tutorial :) Worked like charm with 10.6.7 and my LiDE 20 / CanoScan N670U. No reason for Root User in my case – jut install and have fun …


  22. I hadn’t been able to use my Lide 20 on my MacBook (10.6.7) for months until I came across your advice. Although during the installation process of the driver some error messages appeared, the scanner now works fine with Canoscan Toolbox. Many thanks! Gerhard

  23. This is fantastic. Just installed my trusty Lide20 scanner on My macbook Pro 2006 model which i have never properly been able to do. Created root user password, logged in as root installed toolbox, installed driver into plugin folder and then linked the scanned files to photoshop cs3. i am one happy user. Thanks.

  24. Looks like this will not work for 10.7.2 OSX Lion.

    I downloaded the direct-link (Step 4) and tried to install this. There’s a pop-up window which says:

    You can’t open the application CanoScan Toolbox Inst Carbon E because PowerPC applications are no longer supported. [OK]

    and that seems to be the end of it. I have tried VueScan, and it appears to work, for $40.
    How annoying APPLE! CANON!

  25. After downloading a large number of pieces of software packaged as the canoscan driver software. I came across your post. What a fantastic set of instructions indeed. Thank you very much. T

    1. That’s weird – I was unable to get the CanoScan software to work in 10.6.8. when previously I had it working perfectly under older versions of OS X. My Cannon Lide 20 scanner was sitting unused until I downloaded Vue Scan, which I can report works perfectly with my model of perfectly good USB scanner, so I’m happy.

  26. i can confirm that these instructions worked perfectly for my installation on 10.6.8 snow leopard. thanks so much! (and if it makes anyone feel better, i am also a complete luddite and managed to get this working so you can too!) :)

  27. This might be an old post, but it’s still effective! It worked to a tee – with the added step of being logged in as the ROOT USER before installing the Toolbox. Thanks so much for this!

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