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macOS - Use a Canon...
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[Solved] macOS - Use a Canon P-215 scanner on a Mac (including Apple Silicon!)

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Famed Member Admin
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2714
Topic starter  

After some tinkering with my Fujitsu Fi-6130 to get it running under macOS, I found that I got my old Canon P-215 to work under macOS Sonoma (even Apple Silicon!) as well.
Since some may land here after a search, I figured it would be a good idea to write down the steps for the Canon P-215 as well.

As with the Fujitsu, Canon (notoriously know for crappy software support) didn't work on my Apple Silicon Mac.
Here I found that SANE, an open source project for scanners, which supports tons of older scanners, supports this scanner as well.


1. Install the SANE Backend (aka "driver") on your Mac.

I've found some old binaries for manual install, but ended up using this HomeBrew formula:

brew install sane-backends

Note: If you do not have HomeBrew installed on your Mac, then execute this in Terminal (official documentation)

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL )"


2. Install a SANE compatible front-end (aka "scanner application").

For this I used NAPS2, which a free and reasonable good and simple to use Scanner application that supports SANE. 
Download it, install it, and run it.

Once the window opens, press the "Scan" arrow/button:

Since no scanner has been defined yet, NAPS2 will ask for some details.
Enter a name (I just typed "Canon P-215"), check "SANE Driver", click the "Choose Device" button, and select your Cannon scanner.

These settings will be saved and you can multiple profiles, for the same scanner or even for different scanners.

Anyhoo -- click OK and you're good to go.



- SANE is available for other platforms as well (primarily Linux of course).
- VueScan is a good commercial alternative - truly great for photo scanning (highly recommended), but personally I do not like it too much for document scanning.
- The buttons on the scanner are not functional with this approach - beats not working at all though.

Famed Member Admin
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2714
Topic starter  

For those interested:

ExactScan (no OCR) and ExactScan Pro (with OCR, recommended for searchable PDFs) both are commercial products that work with the Canon P-215 out of the box as well. Both come with a free Twain driver as well (there is one for SANE as well).

Free trial can be found here:

Did test ExactScan (and the Pro version) and they do work well, and offer comparable results as NAPS2 (which comes with OCR as well)  ... just not for free.