OS X Mountain Lion: Troubleshoot a network printer

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Troubleshoot a network printer

If you can’t print to a printer (such as a shared, Bonjour, or IP printer) on your computer’s local network, first try the suggestions in this help topic:

If a document doesn’t print

If those suggestions don’t solve the problem, try the suggestions here.

Make sure you’re connected to the network

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Network.
  2. Click “Assist me” and then click Diagnostics.

Check a shared printer’s status

If you’re using a printer shared from another user’s computer, but the shared printer doesn’t appear in your list of printers, check the following with the other user:

  • The printer and the computer sharing it are both turned on.
  • The computer sharing the printer has Mac OS X v10.5 or later.
  • The computer sharing the printer has printer sharing turned on.
    • You entered the account name and password given to you by the person sharing the printer.

    • You used an account with a password. You can’t print to a restricted printer using an account that has a blank password.

Make sure you’re on the same network

Your computer might not be able to find a printer that’s on another local network.

  • To see if the printer you want to use is on the same network as your computer, try adding it again. If the printer doesn’t appear in the list of available printers, your computer might be on a different network now.
  • If you know the printer’s IP address (for example,, you can try adding it as an IP printer. For instructions, see this help topic:

    Set up an IP printer

Use the best software for your printer

Make sure you have the correct version of your printer’s software (also called its printer driver).

  • If you’re using a printer that another user is sharing, make sure you’re both using the same version of the printer software. To find out which version you’re using, select the printer in Print & Scan preferences, click Options & Supplies, and then click General. Note the driver version.
  • If you’re using a network printer (not a printer shared by another user), try updating the printer software or using different printer software.

    Change or update printer software

Add your printer again

Try to add your printer again in Print & Scan preferences. If you can print to the newly added printer queue, delete the old printer queue.

If you can’t add the printer because it doesn’t appear in the list of available printers, it may be turned off, or your computer may be on another network now. if the printer was shared by another user, the user may have stopped sharing it, or the user’s computer may be offline. If you don’t manage the printer, ask the person who does for help.

Edit your list of printers

Set up a printer

Reset the printing system

If none of the previous solutions work, the printing system may be corrupted and need to be reset. This removes all printers from your list of printers, deletes information about completed print jobs, and deletes any printer presets.

Reset the printing system

Published Date: Oct 20, 2015
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