Brother MFC Network Scan Setting
This is my site Written by Grant on April 17, 2012 – 5:40 am

I always struggle when first setting up a Brother multifunction with “Scan to Network” features — the syntax of the options is not clear and the diagnostics from the machine when you go wrong is poor — either “Authentication Err” or “Selection Error”   –  these notes serve as my cheat-sheet in the future!

First, this is for the “higher end” MFC in the Brother range – specifically the MFC-8880DN in my experience. Other MFCs in the range may or may not have direct Network Scanning (eg via CIFS/SMB/Samba) – some just have FTP while other require you to load the Brother “Control Center” software.

I find the Control Center software very flaky and quite a large install footprint. And when you change printers you need to reinstall it to reflect the new printer name (yes, you can change some INI files however I find it easier to just reinstall CC)   SO I prefer to sell the MFC-8880DN as it has the most comprehensive scanning options – all three are supported – Scan to Email, Scan to FTP/Network and using Control Center if you *must*

  1. Create a user in the Active Directory to use for authentication – give it a hard-to-guess login-name, such as “scan-depositor” or “scan-user” and give it a decent password
  2. Share a folder on the server and give it a simple share name, eg “Scans” and set permissions on the share appropriately
  3. Set the NTFS permissions to allow your Scan User RW access
  4. Adjust your Exchange Server’s SMTP Relay to allow relay from the IP address of the MFC
  5. Set Date and Time and Time Zone/DST on the MFC exactly – failing to do this causes Kerberos to break and you get “Authentication Err” issues
  6. Define your profiles under Administrator Settings | FTP/Network Scan Settings
  7. Configure each profile under Administrator Settings | FTP/Network Scan Profile – I create 9, one for each of the 4 Colour, 2 BW and 3 Grey scanning resolutions. Below are the fields and and example of what I put in the fields, (dont use the quotation marks):


Assume the share is \\SERVER.COMP.local\Scans and the Scan User is called “scan-depositor” with password of “scan..scan!!”   \\SERVER has IP of    Domain is COMP (comp.local)

Profile Name: eg “COL 600 SVR” or “BW 100 SVR”
Host Address:  IP address of server, eg “”
Store Directory: the shared folder, no leading or trailing slashes, eg “scans”
File Name: Select from list – I usually make one similar to “COMP-SCAN” to use
Quality:  Select as required for this profile
File Type: I always go PDF
Use PIN for Auth: use if you wish, I never have to worry
Auth Method: AUTO
Username: I always put the Scan User’s  full qualified domain email address, eg “scan-depositor@comp.local”
Password: your password for the Scan User, eg “scan..scan!!”
Kerberos Address: I leave this blank

The above seem to work for me – you may be able to enter the username in the format DOMAIN\username and use the hostname instead of IP address, but these settings work so I will stick to them.


If you get “Authentication Err” then check Kerberos type issue s- eg username, password, date/time within 5 mins of server, etc

If you get “Selection Error” you should check pathname (eg extra leading slashes?)


Good luck!







27 Responses »

  1. Well, it was really painfull to figure out how to configure the scan to network, till reach your website. Thanks a lot.
    By the way, the only thing that gave me a problem was the folder path, wich had a slash. After change it to a single name folder, everything started to work fine.
    Ps: In my case, it was a Brother MFC 8085DN.

  2. Hey,

    Just wanted to say, THANK YOU for writing this up. I searched everywhere for decent documentation on this topic; couldn’t find anything anywhere. Brother’s User manuals were almost worthless, and tech support was clueless. I followed your directions precisly and everything worked, first try. Glad I won’t have to deal with Brother’s Control Center Software.

  3. THANKYOU so much!! As J.Ventura, a slash in the folder path was messing it up for me. As you say, Brother instructions are poor!

  4. Many thanks also from Italy!

  5. Wow, thank you! i’ve been going in circles with the scan to network setup after i moved to a new location. the slash messed me up too.

  6. Thanks! I think it was the name@domain.local instead of domain\name that did it on the 8480DN.

  7. Thank-You SO much for this. I HATE network scanning, but this explained it so simply! Managed to set up the scanner on a domain at work without any Administrator Privelages too!

  8. Awesome writeup! Seems like that setup is quite picky. I don’t have Scan to network on my 8460n, just the Scan to FTP.

    But I’ve got an interesting issue with that though–‘out of memory’ messages, even with 544mb of ram installed! It’s got me pretty puzzled since 544mb gets the message with the exact same number of pages that 160mb does. Have you run into any memory restrictions like this with these machines?

  9. I haven’t come across any memory issues with the Brother MFC’s although I don’t have any clients that do anything more advanced than basic web page or Word/Excel printing, rarely more than a few dozen pages. I could imagine complex multipage documents with plenty of images might pose problems.

    I have come across this issue with a Real Estate client in the past with Word documents containing stupidly-large images– they have large photocopiers and even these sometimes struggle. I have shown them how to print to PDF first, and then print the PDF to the printer – the PDF creation process seems to flatten out the document and scale down images to a more manageable size which the printer can handle without choking.

  10. This solved my problem! They need to explain and give examples of the syntax in the documentation somewhere.

  11. Thank you for the reply Grant! This is definitely dumbfounding now for sure as there are only 20 or so pages and they’re basically just normal text. Lots of whitespace at times too.

    I’ve discovered that if you choose JPG vs PDF for the file type, it will send the pages one at a time. I’m going to try that and see if it improves the situation.

  12. Well, I thought I’d update my progress on the memory issue. Turns out I could never get them to scan beyond 20 or so pages, even with 544mb, so I dropped them to 160mb and called it a day.

    The multiple file format (vs single file) that jpg would do didn’t help as the machine scans all of them first, and then sends the files one-at-a-time to the ftp server. :(

    Even with these limitations, I’ve got 4 of these machines scanning documents every day, so I can live with it for now.

    I was just configuring a new mfc-7860dw and ran across a the ‘file size’ option when setting up a scan-to-ftp profile. I check the manual, online, and brother’s support and the best that they could tell me was that it ‘changes the compression ratio’. They couldn’t elaborate any more than that. :\ Any advise on the best setting for this? I don’t want large files unless it impairs the quality.

  13. Super helpful, thank you.

    DOMAIN\username works for MFC-9460CDN

  14. I noticed that when I do a scan to FTP on the Brother MFC-8460N, the first attempt when the equipment is not warmed up always fails. All subsequent attempts to scan are successful. This is just a nuisance, more than anything else. I had a look at the FTP set-up, and did not see anything like a timer that could be adjusted. Could you suggest a solution for this?

    We also have a Brother MFC-7840W in another one of our offices, where we do not have any problems scanning the first document to a FTP site.

  15. Hi Sunil

    Thanks for the info – something to keep in mind if FTP tests are not working — I would try a firmware update on that particular MFC and see if that bug has been fixed


  16. Thanks again.

    The domain\username would not work for me

    I used the username@domain and it worked.

    What a mess!

  17. Thank you so much – finally I understand that it is so easy to configure, but the manuals from Brother didn’t help at all. It seems that nobody there uses the great possibilities of their machines (8880dn).

  18. Thank you so much!
    I’ve wasted sooooo much of my time trying to wrestle with the stupid Control Centre software. Now it scans straight to my NAS.
    Thanks Again!

  19. I had to post and say thank you for this post. They really need some syntax examples in the manual.

    With your help, scan to network is working great! Thanks for taking the time to post this up.

  20. Hey thanks for this little write up. Got it working after reading through these examples. Saved me a few hours at least.

  21. MFC-8880DN Issue. During update tool my system switch off accidently. Now my machine data has been erased. Please help me what to do???

  22. It sounds like you reset the machine to factory defaults — so all settings have gone back to defaults , and most importantly the IP address. You probably just need to put the IP address back to it’s correct setting

  23. Hello…

    Sounds like this is the place when you are frustrated with scan to network settings on these MFC devices. I suddenly lost my ability to scan from the MFC to any PC on the network…( going through the scan option… it gets to the message “connecting to PC” then times out ) but I can go to any PC and using the control center scan a document over the network. Has anyone run into this? If so… is there a common fix for this?


  24. If I hit issues with the “Scan To PC” option from the devices LCD panel it’s usually always been firewall on the particular PC thats caused this – I use Group Policy on Domain Networks to open the ports or simply set the PC firewall to ‘allow’ the Brother CC3/CC4 program to listen — the actual program depends on the version of COntrol Centre (CC3/CC4 )

  25. Time issue! It was 30 minutes off. It was throwing me off with the auth err. Kept going over the password and share configuration. Brilliant thanks for your help.

  26. So I’m going to throw this out there for anyone that can chime in.

    On on our 8460N, it started having a sending error when sending the document, but not when initially connecting to the ftp server. Weird. Anyone have any clues? Some additional information is that our powerline ethernet adapter that this was connected to died and was replaced, but all the other mfc machines connected to the same powerline (via a switch) all communicate fine.

    Second issue that I’ve seen on all mfc machines and even the ads2500w is that saving to the ftp server tops out at 400k/sec even when connected at 100Mb–that’s at least 10x slower than it should be. Anyone have a clue on this? I’ve tried two different ftp server softwares and even two different physical servers with no change.

  27. I’m trying to get the scan to network feature to work with a share with no password. Anyone figured out how to make this work?

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