Troubleshooting Mac OS X printing problems

Reinstall the Printer

First you need to ensure that the actual printer works. Try printing to the printer from a different computer (a Mac or a PC, or both). After you've verified that the printer works, but the computer still doesn't print, you need to focus on the computer. The easiest way to fix a Mac computer that won't print is to:

  1. Uninstall (remove) the problematic printer from your computer: (Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner, click System Preferences, click Print & Fax, click on the problematic printer, then click the minus button.
  2. Reconnect (aka reinstall) the printer using these instructions: Connect_To_Network_Printers_-_Mac_OS_X.

Reset the Print System

If reinstalling the printer doesn't help it may be necessary to reset the print system using these instrucitons: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1341

Check for Problematic Fonts

Sometimes a problematic font may prevent your print job from reaching the printer or make your print out look odd. To resolve this situation please follow the steps outlined in Mac_OSX#Troubleshooting_Fonts_on_Macs

Other things to try

  • Try printing from a different application. Is the problem occurring with only one application?
  • Try logging in as a different user, if that is an option. Is the problem specific to one user account?
  • If you having been using the generic print drivers, try using specific drivers for the printer in question. Some driver download sites for common manufacturers of printers on campus:
  • Occasionally, repairing Disk Permissions with the Disk Utility will resolve printing problems.
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