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Install Canon camera software without CD (Windows)

Whenever I’m traveling with my old Canon 350D and my likewise old Windows XP laptop, I face the same problem: I don’t have the Canon software installed on my laptop, and of course I don’t have the CD with me either. Who carries such things around with them all the time?

“Well, that shouldn’t be a big problem,” one might think. “I’ll just download the software somewhere!”
Nope! You can’t download the software from Canon’s website just like that. There are only updates available there, which can only be installed if you already have some version of the software on your computer. (Too bad for those who have acquired a used camera and got no software with it!)

“What’s the problem? Just use a card reader!”

… some may say. Yes, I could do that. But honestly, I’m so lazy I don’t want to plug in my USB card reader every time, open the camera, take the card out and put it into the reader. Not to mention the manual copying in Windows Explorer.
Oh no! I want to connect the camera via USB, and then I want to see that nice little window pop up, which will download all my not yet saved images (tidily sorted by date in subfolders) to exactly where I want them to be with just one single click!

CameraWindow

EOS Utility

EOS Utility

First a word to all those looking for their good old CameraWindow: CameraWindow is a part of the image viewing software ZoomBrowser EX. That means you have to install ZoomBrowser – even if you don’t actually need it – in order to get CameraWindow. After that you can uninstall ZoomBrowser and all its adjuncts (except for CameraWindow, naturally).
However, as of version 5.6, ZoomBrowser – and hence also its CameraWindow – doesn’t support EOS cameras anymore. [1] But that’s no problem, because it can be replaced by EOS Utility, which is designed in almost exactly the same way. You hardly have to readjust at all.

It works – even without the CD!

But let’s come to business now! If you still have a Windows XP computer, you need to install the camera driver first. In later versions of Windows, this step can be skipped (I think).

  1. Pick your device on the Canon support website.
  2. Click the tab “Downloads” at the top, then choose “Software (drivers and applications)”, and select your operating system and the desired language.
  3. In the list of available downloads, look for the “Canon Camera WIA Driver”. Download and install it.

Now you should no longer be prompted to install a driver when turning the camera on while it is connected via USB. There should also be no unrecognized device named “Canon Camera” or similar in the Device Manager. If there is, you may need to have it do an automatic search for the driver of the unrecognized camera; Windows should then find the newly installed driver by itself and install “EOS Kiss’n’Rebel” or something like that.

Edit the Windows registry

As I said, on Canon’s website you will only get updates that cannot be installed, if you don’t already have a previous version from the original CD installed. However, these “updates” really aren’t update packages, but full installers that just check for certain entries in the Windows registry. If these entries are not found, the installation will be aborted with an error message.

Luckily, you can simply create the necessary registry entries yourself! In plain English, you can simply fool the Canon updates! To do this, please continue reading the appropriate paragraph depending on your Windows version (32 or 64 bit).

32 bit systems

In order to create the necessary entries, copy the text below into a standard text editor, save it as CanonUpdate32.reg, and double-click the resulting file. It will ask you whether you really want to add the registry entries – confirm with “Yes”.

Alternatively you can download and double-click my premade .reg file: CanonUpdate32.reg
It also just contains the below content.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\EOS Utility]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\DPP]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\ZoomBrowser EX]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\ZoomBrowser EX\Install]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\PhotoStitch]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\EOS Capture]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\EOSViewerUtility]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Canon\ODSK]

64 bit systems

In order to create the necessary entries, copy the text below into a standard text editor, save it as CanonUpdate64.reg, and double-click the resulting file. It will ask you whether you really want to add the registry entries – confirm with “Yes”.

Alternatively you can download and double-click my premade .reg file: CanonUpdate64.reg
It also just contains the below content.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\EOS Utility]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\DPP]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\ZoomBrowser EX]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\ZoomBrowser EX\Settings]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\ZoomBrowser EX\Install]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\PhotoStitch]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\EOS Capture]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\EOSViewerUtility]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Canon\ODSK]

Install Canon software

Now you can once again select your camera and operating system on the Canon website and download the update for EOS Utility (or for the other programs like ZoomBrowser or Digital Photo Professional). It should now install without any problems.
If, despite all efforts, it still doesn’t work, there are yet two other versions of the .reg file that helped some users on this website. Also, there are detailed instructions there for installing Canon software on a Mac.


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