Skip to main content

MacOS: Solve Printing Problems - Knowledgebase / Mac - SOU IT and Service Center Help Desk

MacOS: Solve Printing Problems

Authors list

MacOS: Solve printing problems


Try these suggestions:

  • If your printer is attached to your Mac, make sure it’s firmly connected, plugged into a power source, and turned on.
  • If you use a printer on the network, make sure your Mac and the printer are still on the same network, the printer is turned on, and the network is not experiencing problems. If the network has multiple printers, check which printer you actually used—it may be different from the one you think you chose.
  • If you use a shared printer attached to another Mac, make sure the Mac has Mac OS X v10.5 or later, is not in sleep, and has sharing turned on.
  • If you still can’t print, see the additional troubleshooting information below.

Try to restart from the printer’s queue window

Click the printer’s icon in the Dock to open the printer’s queue window.

  • If you see the Resume button in the toolbar, the printer is paused. Click the Resume button.
  • If another job is holding up the queue because of an error, select that job, then click the small Delete Job button on the right (marked with an X).
  • If an individual print job is paused, select it, then click the Resume Job button on the right (marked with a curved arrow).

If you don’t see your print job in the printer’s queue, you may have printed to a different printer. Check the queue windows for other printers, or try printing again, making sure you choose the correct printer.

Try to print from another app

Try printing from another app, such as TextEdit. If the problem occurs only in one app, review that app’s documentation for further troubleshooting information.

Check the printer

Go to the printer and check the following:

  • It’s turned on and is displaying normal status lights.
  • It has paper, and the paper isn’t jammed.
  • It has enough ink or toner.
  • Its cables are properly connected.

If your printer is attached to your computer’s USB port, open System Information, then click USB. If the printer’s name appears in the hardware list but the printer doesn’t work, review the printer’s documentation for further troubleshooting information.

Check your device’s USB connection

If the printer is on the network, open Printers & Scanners preferences, then add the printer again to create a new printer queue. For instructions, see:

Set up a printer

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 Mac may be on different network now. If the printer was shared by another user, the user may have stopped sharing it, or the user’s Mac may be offline. If you don’t manage the printer, ask the person who does for help.

If you can print to the newly added printer queue, delete the old printer queue.

Check the network

Open Network diagnostics and follow the instructions to make sure you’re connected to the network.

  • If you’re using a Wi-Fi network and there are multiple Wi-Fi networks available, your Mac and the printer might be on different networks. Open the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar, then try choosing a different network.
  • To see if the printer you want to use is on the same network as your Mac, open Printers & Scanners preferences, then click Add (+). If the printer doesn’t appear in the list of available printers, your Mac might be on a different network.

    If you know the printer’s IP address (for example,, you can try adding it as an IP printer.

  • If your printer is connected to a Time Capsule or AirPort base station, disconnect your printer from the Time Capsule or base station, then reconnect it.

    If your USB printer isn't responding

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 Printers & Scanners preferences, click Options & Supplies, then click General. Note the driver version.
  • If you’re using a network printer or a printer attached to your Mac, make sure you have the latest version of the software for the printer. If you still have problems, try different printer software for your printer.

    Change or update printer software

Replace a corrupted printer queue window

If none of the previous solutions work, the printer’s queue may be corrupted. In Printers & Scanners preferences, delete and set up your printer again.



Add a comment

Please log in to submit a comment.

Need a password reminder?