Any scanner that works in Linux should work in OS X using the twain-sane drivers. No more running PhotoShop in Rosetta mode (I've never done it, but that's what I've read others have had to do).

[Edit: February 16, 2011] put steps 2 and 3 in the correct order
[Edit: April 21, 2011] added note to remove canon software
[Edit: August 14, 2011] began looking at fixes for Lion
[Edit: February 11, 2012] highlighted comments addressing fixes

OS X 10.7 Lion
  1. Manually remove any Canon software / drivers you may have installed previously
  2. Install libusb.pkg (Lion)
  3. unzip OSX_Lion_SANE (sane-backends for Lion) and follow the readme
  4. Install SNAC [direct download] (optional)
    Note: you may have to uninstall and reinstall if you already have it installed.
Skewing problems in Lion - actiyo
I had the same skewed scans problem. The button was on the unlock position at the bottom of the scanner. I found that you must select "Detect Enclosing Box" and set the rotation angle to 0. Then the scan is fine even at 300 dpi. -achille

OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

On OS X 10.6 twain-sane doesn't install properly via macports so you have to download and go through several next-next-finish clicks (painful, I know)
  1. Manually remove any Canon software / drivers you may have installed previously
  2. Install libusb.pkg (Snow Leopard) 
  3. Install sane-backends.pkg (Snow Leopard
  4. Install twain-sane interface.pkg
  5. Reboot (yes, you must do this)
  6. Open Image Capture
    open /Applications/Image\
  7. Click SANE
  8. Rock and Roll (and scan)

OS X 10.5 Leopard
  1. sudo port install twain-sane sane-backends # as easy as Linux :-P

OS X 10.4 Tiger
  1. Use the drivers supplied by Canon?
  2. Or follow the 10.6 instructions using these twain-sane drivers?
  3. Or use fink?
Thank you very much, it's great.

Thank you very much for this post.

Thanks for the tips! Worked great. Only correction: twain-sane-interface required me to install sane-backends FIRST before it would install, so I did step 3 before step 2. Whatever, it works ;) Cheers!


((seriously, thank you very much!))

Hello! Thanks a lot, works perfectly (with step 3 before step 2)!
Just a little hint for all the other Germans like me who happen to end up on your site: Image Capture is called "Digitale Bilder" in german. So this means: Plug in your scanner, go to Programme/Digitale Bilder and then click Sane.

un-f'in real! how can i be the man, when you're the man. I never thought this would work. You sir, are a genius.

And yes, "Only correction: twain-sane-interface required me to install sane-backends FIRST before it would install, so I did step 3 before step 2."

Hi.... I followed the directions re:CanoScan LiDE 30 and Snow Leopard but it doesn't work. When I open Image Capture it doesn't find any scanner. Earlier today, I spent many hours on the web trying to get the drivers, plug-in, etc to make my good old scanner work and I thought this might be a work around. My 'upgrade' this weekend to Snow Leopard has been a pain so far. Too many old devices, etc. I guess. Anyway, does anyone have a suggestion. Thanks. Tom

Try reversing steps 2 and 3. You're the first person to have a problem, but also perhaps the first person to do step 2 and then 3 in the "corrected" order. Maybe the correct order is actually 3, 2, 3.

Thanks CoolAJ86.... I appreciate your helpfulness. I reinstalled as you suggested but no good. The Image Capture just doesn't recognize any scanners of cameras to be connected.
[I did reboot].
A couple of questions: I wonder if the scanner needs to disconnected from the MAC until after installing the 3 programs above.

Another question: in the beginning of my efforts to get my scanner to work, I downloaded Canoscan 4.1, of course,..... I am wondering if perhaps I should delete that program?

Finally, one last thought: should I have deleted the 3 programs before trying to reinstall them. I mean, all I have done is reinstall them on top of each other. Am wondering about the 1,3,2,3 order, etc. What difference can it make if all are already installed? Hope this question makes sense!! Thanks again. Tom

Also, perhaps a dumb question...... when I install libush, sane-backends and TWAIN-SANE, the only option is to install on the HDD, which of course I have. They all install successfully. I wonder if the installations be in any particular place besides just HDD?

Thanks, I just picked up a Canoscan Lide30 for fi...

I just picked up a Canoscan Lide30 for five bucks at goodwill and it works great on my MacBook Pro using snow leopard.

HI I will try once more. I loaded the three files mentioned and restarted the machine. Opened Image Capture and this time it shows the Sand USB link in the pane to the left. When clicked it TRIES TO OPEN SCANNER SESSION and then says "FAILED TO OPEN A SESSION".

I suspect I am close but don't know which files to move nor where or ????

Thanks again. Tommy

Tried 1 2 3 and it didn't work.

Tried 1 3 2 ditto.

Ideas? I have an iMac snow leopard 10.6.7

Doesn't work for me on Snow Leo 10.6.7. Tried different orders, 2-3 and 3-2. Image Capture doesn't even show SANE to click. Just plainly says no camera or scanner connected. Pity...

Okay, correction. It started working after I manually removed all Canon-related drivers and software, and rebooted! So perhaps you should mention that in the instructions above.

I use this plug-in too :

SCAN appear to Photoshop CS3 (not Capture for me)

Wow! I dusted off my Lide 30 and I haven't had this think work since Leopard (had to use it with vuescan). This is a nice free alternative and the software is nicer! Worked perfect on Snow Leopard!!!

Thanks for posting. I just went through all the steps as is, listed above.

The Canon website said it wasn't supporting the LideScan 30 scanner on Snow Leopard, but I did a last ditch search for "lidescan 30 snow leopard" and got this page. You're a genius. Thanks for making someone's life a little better.

Does anyone know if this works on Lion? (Haven't upgraded to Lion yet.)


Instructions worked perfectly in Lion for my LideScan 30. You're a life saver. Wow!

Hi CoolAJ86

thanks for the post. Works great for me on Lion 10.7.1 with Canon Lide 30. The readme in OSX_Lion_SANE says you don't have to restart to use the scanner. However, to make the SANE appear in Image capture, I had to restart. For command line use, restart was not necessary. Christian

Awesome! Thank you!

For some reason my scans are all skewed. The preview looks fine but the actual scan looks like someone moved the photo during the scan. Anybody else seeing this?

@jwlussow is the lock button on the bottom of your scanner halfway rather than all of the way towards 'unlock'? That was my problem when I saw that.

It works great with my iMac i7 and Lide 30, but all the saved files like jpeg, png etc. are demaged. Only the preview is ok!

I have the same problem with skewed scans on lion on an i5 mac book pro and Lide 35. Previews are fine.

Same here. Preview looks great. Scan is skewed.

Hi Thanks a lot!! Works great. I have listed my...

Thanks a lot!! Works great. I have listed my experience for others.

I have a MBP OS X 10.6.8 and a LiDE 30. I followed the steps for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard above, installing the files in order listed. I also had the scanner connected to the MBP while installing.

After step 4 (before the 'Reboot' step), the scanner came to life. Launched Image Capture, scanner started perfectly, no problems with the image.

Have just done this and have not rebooted yet - but it is working perfectly.

Fantastic, thanks a Million!


Hi folks! I also get my images skewed while the p...
Hi folks!

I also get my images skewed while the previews are well. But - what is even stranger - sometimes, without any logical explanation, the are well (but just 2 o 3 images in 25 or 30 scans...). Most of them are skewed...

Do you know why? Any solutions?

Does anybody have an explanation or (better) a solution??

I have a MacBook Pro i5, OS 10.7 Lion

thanks for this thread! Unfortunately I have 10.6.8 and followed the Snow Leopard instructions and the scanner is not recognized. I'd like to try it again, but how do I uninstall the stuff I did in Steps 2, 3, and 4? Where are they on the computer? I'm a clueless user!

Hint for older scanners:

I use a LIDE 20 - it wouldn't work with Lion, until I

1 - installed the driver for LIDE 70

2 - used VueScan

It works.

I am running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and I have a Canon LIDE 30.
Software installed with no issues. I did not have to reboot.
Works great.

I also have the problem of scans (with a resolution of greater than 75 dpi) being skewed.

Running 10.7.2 on an i5 MBP.

This worked very nicely when first performed, but now a week later I go to scan another document and get only "failed to open a session on the device"

Not sure why this is. Anyone found a solution to this? I checked the lock switch and made sure it is unlocked. Made me wonder, what is the value of that switch?

iMac C2DUO 27" 3.06 with 10.7.2
The answer to my prayers! Well, some of them anyway...
It all worked fine with a Lide 30 but will not see an HP 4670, my preferred scanner. The only problems were that I did have to restart the Mac before ImageCapture saw the scanner and some of the scansare randomly skewed except as follows:
TIFF at 300 colour OK
JPEG at 300 colour OK
TIFF at 150 colour skewed
these settings seem consistent, other settings may or may not be skewed but not consistently.

A follow up to my 'skewed' post:
If I select two areas and auto detect then the first smaller scan is skewed but the larger second scan is fine. This seems to be fairly consistent over most of the settings I tried. It doesn't seem possible to predict what other single scan settings work OK.
Thanks for what looks like it might be brilliant useful software!

Same problem with skewing - preview is OK but the final scan is very skewed.
OS 10.7.1, LIDE20 scanner

Anyone have a solution to the skewing issue or not what piece of the puzzle is to blame?

Image capture doesn't see my LIDE30, but it works with scan image.


10.7.2 on MacBook Air: CanoScan LiDE 30 works, CanoScan LiDE 50 makes crunching sounds, and only scans tiny fractions of image, if at all. Anyone else sees this?

December 11, 2011

The instructions for Snow Leopard work. Pictures scan properly as JPGs and open in other programs. My guess is it will work in Lion, but I'm not upgrading just yet.

However, it wouldn't scan a second item without quitting Image Capture.
I had to quit and restart it to scan the second item.

It's better than paying $40 for Vuescan and buying a new scanner as I scan so seldom, anyway.

I think the skewing issue is related to custom page sizes. When I selected the standard A4 page size, no more skewing!

I have tried this solution on and on but no positive results... I'm thinking of giving up! Am I doing something wrong or it's not possible to make my scanner work? I have a Canoscan Lide 30 and a Macbook Air with Mac OS X 10.7.2. Maybe it's I'm not deleting things properly... how do I do this in Mac? Thanks for your help!

Hey AJ thanks very much for this man. I followed the instructions for snow leopard exactly as above and my mac ( 10.6.8 ) is talking to my Lide30. The only slight issue is that when I hit the 'cancel' button, it doesn't stop the process, but I can live with that ! Again thanks for putting this helpful stuff out there.

Worked like a charm for my LiDE 30 on OS X Lion, even without restart, I'm scanning in Acrobat right now! Thanks a lot!

The skewing problem goes away for me at resolutions of 75 dpi and fewer. Not a fix, but may be worth something if you're in one.

For the skewing problems in Lion see my posts here:

Thanks very much CoolAJ86!

I had the same skewed scans problem. The button was on the unlock position at the bottom of the scanner. I found that you must select "Detect Enclosing Box" and set the rotation angle to 0. Then the scan is fine even at 300 dpi.

@actiyo, @achille,

Thanks guys. I'm glad you've found a solution for the skewing problem!

I started the installation process and installed libusb.pkg, but I've changed my mind.

How can I uninstall libusb?
Is there any way?
Is it necessary?


Hi everyone. I'm using a CanoScan LiDe 30. On snow leopard. I followed the instructions above and I also downloaded the CanoScan ICA driver for Mac OSX driver from as Stève mentioned earlier in this thread.

Now I did get image capture to recognise the scanner but only once and since I've done a restart it doesn't!! Very annoying! I tried reinstalling everything but with no luck.

So I downloaded another scanning app called VueScan and this seems to be recognising the scanner. Hope this helps someone.


Thanks Andy @ andyisavinit! This was VERY helpful


Not much of a terminal guy but actually got this working perfectly in terminal...even scans fine....

My problem now is I can't see the LIDE30 scanner in in Image Capture. It says "No camera of scanner connected."

Any ideas?

thanks a lot!! you've saved my day!! :)

Now it WORKS with Snow Leopard!!!
(Step 3 before Step 2)

Canon Toolbox SUX. Scan Gear SUCKS. CanoScan Support SUCKS.
ImageCapture is at least OK.

Hi there! I'm working on a new laptop with OS 10.7.4. I'm on step 3 and there were lots of folders and files already there, so I'm copying the files one by one into their proper folder. There are, however, a number of files that already exist in the designated folders. They are listed here:


usb.h usbpp.h

libusb-0.1.4.dylib libusbpp.dylib
libusb.a libusbpp-0.1.4.dylib
libusb.dylib libusbpp.a

So it asks me whether I want to overwrite the files existing there. Should I? I've only installed some Brother printer/scanner related drivers but otherwise have installed nothing related to printers/scanners, certainly nothing from Canon. Thanks!

Short answer: It doesn't matter. I would overwrite them, but they're the same versions of the same files so they should be compatible.

Is it new from Apple? Or new from a relative (or store) who takes pride in their computers?

Either someone (or something) installed those things before (possibly for using another scanner or printer) or they're now be included in the download whereas they weren't before.

It's brand-new from Apple, via my company. Thanks! I will copy the old versions as backups just in case and let you know how it turns out. Tomorrow.

Ok, had a chance to replace those files, so at that point I had followed all instructions (except for the optional last step to install SNAC). I didn't see any devices in Image Capture...

If I followed the readme instructions to test using the command line (To verify that SANE can find your scanner: scanimage --list-devices), I got:

device `plustek:libusb:001:003-04a9-220e-ff-00' is a Canon CanoScan N1240U/LiDE30 flatbed scanner

And, running (scanimage --mode Color --format tiff --resolution 300 > ~/Desktop/scan.tiff) works! It scans an image to the desktop. Then I restarted the computer and voila! Image Capture works! As well, I'm able to use the File > Import from scanner option in the Preview application.

Thanks so much to the original poster and additional commenters! I'm so relieved this was relatively painless.

Will the files for Lion work with Mountain Lion?

Thanks for this! It was so easy to follow. Now I can continue to use my Canon LiDE 30 with an ancient Macbook Pro (circa 2007). I was about to get rid of this scanner because it no longer works with my new laptop which is running on Windows 7.

Wonderful! I got a bit discouraged on the way but it worked out perfectly!

Unfortunately Image Capture didn't work, but Snac worked like a charm. Thanks!

@ andyisavinitMarch 3, 2012 3:28 AM
"So I downloaded another scanning app called VueScan and this seems to be recognising the scanner. Hope this helps someone."

Thanks Andy!
Image Capture didn't work, but VueScan did!

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