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Printing Problems? Here’s How to Fix

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07 / 07 / 2017

Printing Problems? Here’s How to Fix

Recently, Apple forums have been flooded by questions related to printing problems. People complain that they cannot print as they used to, and errors may appear during the printing as well. Another problem may happen after OS X update or inappropriate update of printing drivers and software. If you have ever come across these questions and haven’t got any reasonable solution, then this article is for you. Here we’ve gathered useful tips and instructions that you can use to resolve your possible printing problems without going to the Apple Store or looking for some uncertain third-party technician. Keep on reading.

When trying to resolve the printing issue, we won’t recommend that you check if the printer is properly connected to the electricity, though that’s the first suggestion in many articles. We assume that you have already checked the connection and have your printer turned on.

The next step is also pretty obvious but sometimes can be underestimated by users, so it’s better to emphasize this aspect. As printers are often on the network, you need to make sure that your Mac and printer are connected to the same network, which is working smoothly. If the network has several printers, check if you chose the right printer. Sometimes it may be confused, so be careful. Depending on conditions under which you use your printer, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. If you connect the printer in a traditional way by using the computer’s USB port, you should open System Information and click USB. If you see the printer’s name in the hardware list but the printer doesn’t work, check the port and cable connection.

  2. In some cases, the problem may be caused by multiple working USB ports. If your computer has more than one USB port, switch the device’s cable to another port. If you can use the device after switching the ports, connect another device to the first port. If you still experience problems with connection of this device, shut down the computer and unplug it from the power outlet. After waiting a minute, plug it back into the power outlet and start up your computer.

  3. If you use a shared printer that is connected to another Mac, check if the Mac is not in the sleep mode, it has OS X v10.5 or later, and has the sharing option turned on.

  4. One more reason why the printer stopped working is its out-of-date software. Both AppStore and other software providers regularly renew printer drivers. When the new version appears, the older one stops working properly. That’s why it’s obligatory to track and install the newest printer software.

  5. Remember to delete and reinstall the printer in the Printers & Scanners preference pane, especially if you have updated the software.

These basic steps aimed at solving possible problems with printing should help in most cases, but sometimes there may be situations when you need to take more serious actions. Besides the options described above, the OS X has the last one to recover the printing system - by doing the reset. Resetting the printer system will relaunch it and remove some problem items.

You should know that first of all the reset process deletes all printer queues and any print jobs that may be within the queues. It also removes all printer preference files and resets all printer settings to the factory defaults. Finally, the process also resets permissions on your Mac's /tmp directory and removes any printers or scanners that were previously added to the Printers & Scanners preference pane.

To Reset Printing System correctly, carefully follow this instruction, which can be applied on OS X Mavericks (10.9.x) or later.

  1. Open the Apple menu in the upper-left corner and choose System Preferences. You can click its icon in the Dock as well.

  2. Choose the Printers & Scanners preference pane.

  3. When the pane is opened, place your cursor in an empty area of the printer list sidebar and right-click. You will see the pop-up menu where you need to choose the Reset Printing System option.

  4. The new window will ask you if you are sure that you want to reset the printing system. Confirm by clicking Reset.

  5. Sometimes you can be asked for an administrator password. In this case enter it and click OK.

After you perform these manipulations, you’ll get a brand new printing system, so you need to add printers, scanners, and other devices to be able to use them. Click the Add (+) button in the printer preference pane, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

These steps are the comprehensive instruction for resolving possible printing issues, and it helps in most cases. So we hope that now you have no printing problems remaining on your Mac. Enjoy your printing process.