There are few things as frustrating as printer issues. All this wireless, instantaneous technology and I still can’t print!? We get it. It happens to all of us.

Often the printing issue is a relatively easy fix. We’re going to focus on those simple solutions here; try these and if they don’t work feel free to contact us for a specific solution to your individual problem.  

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

1: Make sure you’re connected to the right printer

We can get so comfortable pressing Command P and sending our documents off for printing that we forget that our computer can sometimes connect to the wrong printer. In the drop down box marked Printer, make sure you’re sending your documents to the correct printer.

2: Cable connections

If your printer connects directly to your Mac, check the cable connections and make sure there’s a firm connection. Make sure the printer is connected to power and is turning on. If you have a wireless printer, double check that your router is turned on and that your WiFi is working.

3: Restart

As simple as it may seem, restarting can fix a vast majority of printing issues. Just to be on the safe side restart everything: Your printer, your WiFi router (if the printer is wireless) and restart your computer. If that does not do the trick, a tried-and-true method is to simply unplug everything, and press and hold the power button for 10 seconds. Then proceed to connect everything back to its original place. If either of these options doesn’t work, it’s time to check the error message and move on to one of the next steps.

4: Error messages from the print dialogue box

If the simple steps didn’t work, it’s time to see exactly what kind of error you’re receiving. Open the print dialog box (if you don’t see it, press Command P again and it should reappear). You’ll probably see an exclamation mark (!) and a message explaining the issue and how to fix it. For instance, no paper, low ink or a paused printer. If you get a clear message like this, address the issue and see if this fixes your problem.

5: Check the printer’s queue

When you print, the queue automatically opens (If not, open System Preferences > Printers & Scanners, select your printer and click Open Print Queue.) Check the status of the printer and the print job. If there are previous print jobs blocking the current job, cancel them by clicking the X. If the printer is paused, click resume. Additionally, you may also receive an error message that indicates the issue. Read this message and follow steps to address it.

6: Check for software updates

Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update. If there is an update available, install it. If not, you may need to go to the printer manufacturer’s website, search the exact model and see if an update is available. Install it and see if this fixes the problem.

7: Remove the printer, then add it again

Sometimes you just have to delete the printer and hope it works again when you add it back. Go to System Preferences > Printers and Scanners. Select the printer causing you grief and click the minus button ( – ) to remove it. Next, press the ( + ) button and find the printer to reinstall it by clicking Add.

You know what they say, “More printing, more problems.” If you’ve tried all the steps above and you still can’t get your printer to work you may need some more advanced help. Try calling your company’s IT department or you can reach out to us and we’ll get you sorted.

May your ink be ever full and your paper tray never jam!

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.