Get help resolving printer issues on your Mac

Follow these steps if you need help getting your printer to work with your Mac.

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

These steps may help if you tried to print from your Mac, but your printer doesn't appear in the Printer pop-up menu, or your Mac displays a message that software for your printer isn't available.

  1. Make sure that your printer is ready to print. Check it for paper and other supplies, and resolve any error lights or error messages. Check the printer’s documentation or contact the manufacturer if you need help with an error.
  2. If your printer is connected to the USB port of your Mac, disconnect the printer.
  3. Your Mac downloads software for most printers automatically, so it's usually unnecessary to install software from the printer manufacturer. Always check for updates to make sure that your Mac has the latest information about the printer.
  4. If your printer isn't connected to your wired network, Wi-Fi network, or the USB port of your Mac, reconnect it now.
  5. Open an item that you want to print, then choose Print from the File menu. 
  6. Choose your printer from the Printer pop-up menu, which lists printers that are nearby or connected directly to your Mac. You may need to wait a moment for the printer to appear in the menu. If your printer doesn't appear, choose Add Printer from the same menu. A new window opens:

Add Printer window

The icons in this window offer several ways to add a printer:

  • 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. If you don't see your printer in this list, your printer may use an older protocol that requires you to specify its IP address.
  • IP: Choose IP if your printer is connected to your network and you know the printer's IP address or host name. If you don't have this information, ask your network administrator or check your printer's documentation.
  • Windows: Choose Windows if your printer is connected to a PC using printer sharing, or is connected to your network using the Windows SMB/CIFS protocol. You may 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 you have some other printing issue

These steps may resolve printing issues that have no other clear cause:

  1. Open the Printers & Scanners pane of System Preferences, then select your printer and click the minus sign (-) to remove the printer from the list.
  2. Follow the steps in the previous section to add your printer.
  3. If the issue persists, reset the printing system, then follow the steps in the previous section once more.

If the issue remains unresolved, take these final steps to move aside any currently installed printer drivers:

  1. Reset the printing system again.
  2. Rename the folder at /Library/Printers:
    • From the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder. Then type /Library and click Go.
    • Click once on the Printer folder to select it, then press Return to begin renaming the folder. Type Printers-old, then press Return to save the new name.
  3. Follow the steps in the previous section once more.

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