OS X: Printing using a USB-to-parallel cable

Learn what to do if you see one of the following symptoms when using a USB-to-parallel cable to connect your printer.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
  • Some or all print jobs stop
  • Pages don't print completely
  • A "communications" alert appears
  • No printer driver is found when adding a printer, even if the printer's software is installed

The printer drivers provided with current versions of OS X through Software Update are designed to work with printers connected using a direct USB or network connection. Apple does not test or support these drivers when used with USB-to-parallel cables, converters, or adapters. Contact the manufacturer of your printer, cable, or adapter for compatibility information and assistance.

Although you may be able to print successfully when using a USB-to-parallel cable or adapter, you should use a direct USB connection or network connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) with your printer whenever possible. 

A USB-to-parallel cable can be identified by a 25-pin or 36-pin connection that attaches to the printer, instead of a USB type B connection (4 pins).

Updating the printer's software or installing a newer version of OS X may also cause these symptoms to change.

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