Friday, February 6, 2015

How to troubleshoot scan to email problems from a scanner or multifunction printer

Many scanners and all-in-one printers (or multifunction printers) offer the ability to scan documents or images to an email address.  Depending on the device and your email server, this process can range from seamless to stressful.  If you're having problems setting up scanning to email, or if it worked before and it's not working now, here are some places to start the troubleshooting process:

- Check Your Settings

Sometimes settings can get entered incorrectly.  Other times, a power outage, power spike, or other event can cause the scanner to "lose" certain information, and you may need to enter it again.  Make sure the email server settings are entered correctly, including user name and password (if applicable), email server name, port number, and any protocols being used (SMTP, SSL, etc.)  If the password for that email account has recently been changed, it will need to be updated in the scanner's settings.  If your email server doesn't require a user name and password, make sure the authentication setting on your scanner is turned off.

If you're not sure what your email server settings are, this article lists the common settings for some popular email servers.

- DNS

If your scanner is connecting to your email server by its host name (such as smtp.gmail.com) rather than its IP address, you will need a valid DNS server in order to translate the name to an IP address.  Check to be sure your DNS server IP address is stored in your scanner, and also make sure that server is up and running.  If you don't have a DNS server, you can use Google's DNS server (8.8.8.8) or Comcast's DNS server (75.75.75.75).

- Gateway

In order to be able to communicate with devices outside your local network, the scanner will need to know your gateway IP address.  Typically, this will be the IP address of your router.  If you don't know your gateway address, this article can help you find it.

- Network Connection

Check the network connection from your scanner.  If the scanner is a multifunction device, you can check the connection by printing something to it.  Otherwise, you can try pinging it from a computer or other device on your network.  If the ping isn't successful, there may be a problem with the network cable, the scanner's network interface card (NIC), or an intermediary device on the network such as a hub or switch.

- Email Server

The problem may lie with your email server, rather than your scanner.  Try to send an email from your computer, using the same email account the scanner is set up to use.  If you don't have access to send emails from that account, ping the email server from your computer.

- Internet Access

Make sure you can get online from your local network.  If you can't, reboot your router or contact your Internet service provider.

- Gmail Authentication Issues

Gmail sometimes requires users to verify who they are when they log into their Gmail account.  It's a good security feature, but it can prevent automated devices (such as a scanner) from logging in.  Log into your Gmail account from a computer and see if you are required to verify your identity.  If so, you may need to turn the verification feature off in order to be able to send emails from your scanner.  Sometimes, if Gmail won't let you authenticate from the scanner, try logging into your Gmail account from a local computer and then log right back out, and that will correct the issue.

(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

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