Resolve printer issues on your Mac

Follow these steps if you can't get your printer to work with your Mac.

These steps might help you to resolve printing issues such as these:

  • Your printer doesn't appear in the Printer pop-up menu of Print dialogs.
  • Your printer doesn't appear in Printers & Scanners preferences.
  • Your Mac displays a message that software for your device isn't available.

If your Mac doesn't see your printer or have the software for it

  1. Make sure that your printer is turned on and ready. For help with an error light or other error condition that appears on the printer itself, check the device's documentation or contact the manufacturer.
  2. If your printer is connected to the USB port of your Mac, disconnect it.
  3. Check for software updates to make sure that your Mac has the latest information about your printer.
    Your Mac downloads software for most printers automatically, so it's usually unnecessary to install software from the printer manufacturer. 
  4. If you disconnected your printer from the USB port in step 2, reconnect it now. 
  5. From the Finder, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  6. Select your printer in the list of devices. You might need to wait a moment for it to appear.

If your printer doesn't appear in Printers & Scanners preferences, click Add (+) at the bottom of the list, then choose the command to add a printer or scanner. The window that opens offers more ways to find your device:

Add Printer window

  • Default: Choose Default to display the list of printers connected to your Mac or discoverable on your local network. You can use the search field at the top of the window to narrow your search. 
  • IP: Choose IP if your device is connected to your network and you know the device's IP address (or host name) and protocol. If you don't have this information, ask your network administrator or check your device's documentation.
  • Windows: Choose Windows if your device is connected to a PC using printer sharing, or to your network using the Windows SMB/CIFS protocol. You might first need to set up File Sharing to connect to the networked Windows resources.

If you still can't see your printer or successfully add it, contact the printer manufacturer for support.

If your Mac has some other issue with your printer or scanner

These steps might resolve printing issues that have no other clear cause.

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Select your printer or scanner in the list of devices, then click Delete (–) to remove it from the list.
  3. Follow the steps in the previous section to add your printer again.
  4. If the issue persists, Control-click anywhere in the list of devices in Printers & Scanners preferences. Then choose “Reset printing system” from the shortcut menu that appears.
    Resetting the printing system causes all printers and scanners—including their queues, jobs, and custom settings—to be removed from Printers & Scanners preferences.
  5. Follow the steps in the previous section to add your device again.

If the issue remains unresolved, take these final steps to remove any currently installed printer drivers that could be causing the issue:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Control-click anywhere in the list of devices, then choose “Reset printing system” from the shortcut menu that appears.
  3. From the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder. Type /Library/Printers/ and click Go.
  4. The Printers folder opens. Choose Edit > Select All to select all items in the folder. 
  5. Choose File > New Folder with Selection to put all of the selected items into a new folder named New Folder With Items.
    To save storage space, you can delete the New Folder With Items folder after completing the remaining steps.
  6. Follow the steps in the previous section once more.

If your printing issue persists, contact the printer manufacturer for support.

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