Installing Canon EOS Utility from the web

(Forgive the clunky title, but I’m quite keen that people stuck in the situation I’m about to describe can find this post.)

If you take your photography seriously or commercially, it can be a very good idea to embed some information about you-the-photographer-and-copyright-holder within the file itself.

This lives within the Exif information about the photo – a type of metadata (data about data). Here’s an example of mine:

Yes, there are ways to wipe it if someone really wants to nick your pics, but it can be surprisingly useful in lots of ways, as I wrote about in this post.

To get this text into your camera so it’s automatically written to all of your photos is a slightly laboured process on a Canon. I believe other well-known manufacturers provide an interface on the camera itself to set it, but with the Canons you’re reliant on a little bit of software called the Canon EOS Utility. You get it on a disk with every camera you buy. [Update: I’m told there is now an on-camera interface to add copyright info on newer EOS bodies, e.g. 7D, 60D and 600D, but that still leaves many – including the 5DMkii – requiring EOS Utility).

But disks get lost, and cameras get sold on without their box of gubbins and disks – and in my case, software gets outpaced by operating system upgrades (I have the disk, but it won’t run on Windows 7) – so you need another way to install it.

And this is where Canon have done something rather weird. If you go to their site, you can download an update to get you to the latest version of the EOS Utility, but you have to already have an earlier version installed on your machine for the update to run. As a matter of policy, they don’t make the original Utility available.

It’s a bit weird, really – it’s bundled as a freebie with all their kit, but if you lose it, you’re stuffed. I asked their support team to help.

The first response was: well, just use your disk and run the update from our site… -Try reading the problem description again, I suggested.

Ah well, in that case you’re stuck, really; but you can buy an updated solution disk from our friends at Robert Scott Associates. They handle this for us. Thank you and goodbye.

Buy? Because my legit copy won’t work any more? This seems a bit odd. So I Google a bit and find a way round it. Most of the descriptions I read are slightly technically frightening (and more complex and extensive than you actually need to do this job). So I thought I’d write a plain language post on how to do this. Because if you use a Canon I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to.

The fix relies on the fact that the updater on Canon’s site is actually a full working version of the EOS Utility. Here’s a link to the updater to save you digging around (there’s a Mac OS version nearby). All it does is check that you’ve already got a version installed on your machine. So if you can find a way for your machine to respond “Yes, I have that installed” when the updater asks the question, it will go ahead and install the full thing.

To get that response to happen (without you actually installing a thing) hit the Windows button and type “regedit” (without the quotes) [sorry, these are Windows 7 instructions, but the Mac equivalents are easy to find]. Hit return, go past the warning screen, and a moderately scary window pops up. I say this because fiddling with the settings in here can seriously disrupt your system. I take no responsibility for any action you take as a result of reading this post, etc. etc. Tread carefully.

Navigate your way from the left hand side by double-clicking (or expanding) the following sequence of folders: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE then Wow6432Node then Canon. At this point, right click on the word Canon and select New -> Key. Enter (without quotes but with the space) “EOS Utility” here. And that’s it. At least in its intimate conversations with other bits of software, your machine now thinks you have the Utility installed. Sorry, Mr Scott & Associates.

Go ahead and run the updater you downloaded from that link above, and follow your nose from there (you will need to use a miniUSB cable to connect your camera body to the PC before anything meaningful will happen). Happy metadating.

46 thoughts on “Installing Canon EOS Utility from the web

  1. Thanks a billion for this… we’ve lost our CD and it was driving me nuts that I couldn’t simply go and install this piece of software which, as you rightly state, was provided as a freebie!!

    Now back to actually doing some real work!!

  2. OMG! So simple!!! THANK YOU, this was sooooooo helpfull for me! It worked like a charm, this is a GREAT tip, thank you again, from Portugal ;)

  3. Hi,
    I’ve tried to follow your instructions for a laptop – Windows 8. All is good till I get to Wow6431Node -> Canon is not on the list.

    How can I proceed?

    I agree with everyone, it’s ridiculous that we have to do this – laptop does not have a slot of a CD – so although I have the CD, I can’t use it!!!

  4. I’m sorry, I suspect the names of some resources will be different under Windows 8, and these instructions won’t work.

    Really good point that with no-CD machines only going to be more common, Canon’s lack of response to this need is even more inexcusable.

    I’ll take it up with them again.

  5. Hi Hanneke,

    The hack worked very well for me on a Win 8 laptop. Once you navigate to Wow6431Node, right click on it and create a new key called Canon. After that, right click on Canon and create another key called EOS Utility.

  6. I don’t know. I don’t have one. I expect another reader of this post may have an answer they can post, or link to elsewhere.

  7. Hi Paul,

    Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE, I do not have the Wow6432Node appearing. My system is Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit. Or do I have to create that label and then the Canon label as somebody above advised when he could not see the Canon tag?


  8. Afraid I don’t know Vijay. I don’t have the resources to test other variants of Windows. 32 bit very likely to be different.

  9. When you have a 32 bit system all you have to do is Run “regedit” ->HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE. Right click SOFTWARE go to New -> Key. Rename Key “Canon” Right click Canon go to New -> Key. Rename EOS Utility.

    I’m running Windows XP on a 32 bit system and that is how I worked around the problem.

  10. Hello Paul and thank you very much! You are my hero of the day!!!!!!!!!!!
    Best regards

  11. Worked like a charm after adding the canon key, much appreciated.
    Installed in windows 8×64

  12. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions, I am very happy to find that I will be able to have this program on my pc but I ran into an issue in the Regedit, where you explain the following:
    Navigate your way from the left hand side by double-clicking (or expanding) the following sequence of folders: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE then Wow6432Node then Canon. At this point, right click on the word Canon ****at this point is where I have run into an issue, under the “Wow6432Node” there isn’t a “Cannon” expandable menu, is there a way to add one, or another way to fix this?

  13. Hi I recently downloaded and installed on dell venue pro 8 tablet.this tablet features windows 8.1 OS , but when I am trying to connect my canon 600 d cam , it says “camera not recognized” …

    I needs clarification as I have 2 options….
    1. This version is 2.8 is released after 2010(with cam disk I got 2.10 version)

  14. Hello Venkat – I’m sorry I can’t help you with this – not having 8.1 OS. You should probably contact Canon support directly.

  15. Hi Paul…no worries, thing is I am talking about this EOS utility software….did I mentioned about not having windows 8.1……

    whatever, My problem is rectified…
    1.install daemon tools lite in tablet, to make a virtual drive.
    2.take EOS canon CD ,which came with camera and make ” .iso” file using daemon tools lite in PC and copy it into tablet from external device(PC,HDD,Phone)
    3.Use daemon tools lite in tablet to make iso file run , like you are running a CD.
    4….bang…it works.

    thing is canon bundle with my SLR cam is having the latest version than mentioned one at top


  16. Hi Paul,thank you very much for help….You are helping guys like me…..

    welcome…hope i will be in touch with this website….cheers mate…thank again

  17. Paul, your awesome. Finally wanted to try remote shooting with my laptop but couldn’t find the utility CD and could only find options for OSX. Your the only one I came across quickly with instructions that worked right away. Thanks !

  18. Amazing! bought a 5D mk ii secondhand, still not cheap, so should still be able to get software! Thanks a million.

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