How To: Resetting the OS X Printer System (As a Last Resort)

How To: Resetting the OS X Printer System (As a Last Resort)

While the OS X printer system usually works pretty well, you’re bound to run into an issue with stuck print jobs, or even a printer that just won’t respond. When all else fails you can simply reset the entire printing system and start from scratch.

How To: Resetting the Printing System in OS X (Last Resort)

Note: Before following the steps below, try deleting the print jobs form the print queue, restarting your printers, making sure they’re connected to your network if they’re Wi-Fi capable, and even restarting your Mac. If these remedies don’t work, then it’s time for the nuclear option.

The following steps wipe out your entire printing system, and you will need to setup all of your printers and scanners from scratch, and restart your print jobs. Not a big deal if you just have one printer in your home network, but it’s a little more involved if you have 10 printers in your office.

The following steps will work in all recent versions of OS X.

  1. From the  Apple menu choose “System Preferences” and select the Printers preference panel.
    How To: Resetting the Printing System in OS X (Last Resort)
  2. Control+Click in the left side printer list (or optionally, right-click on a specific printer if one is shown) and select “Reset Print System…” (Even though you’re clicking this on just one printer, it WILL delete all of the other printers, scanners, and fax devices listed in the Printer list.)
    How To: Resetting the Printing System in OS X (Last Resort)
  3. Enter the admin password when requested and confirm that you want to wipe out all printers, scanners, and faxes, and all of their queued jobs.
    How To: Resetting the Printing System in OS X (Last Resort)
  4. When the printer system reset has finished, go ahead and re-add the printer(s) by clicking the [+] button, as seen below.
    How To: Resetting the Printing System in OS X (Last Resort)

Remember, try these steps as a last resort, as this not only removes all printers, but it also resets and removes all scanners and faxes that are already setup in your printing system.

Before trying this in an office setting, be sure to consult with your System Administrator, or another member of the IT department.

Thanks to OSXDaily.com for the original tip.

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