Printers are notorious for failing frequently. A quick restart of the printer or computer usually fixes most intermittent issues, but occasionally it’s best to reset your printing settings and reinstall the printer completely. Consider this a final troubleshooting step; it’s best to try other options first. You can read our guide for troubleshooting printing problems on macOS for some other potential solutions.

Reset the Printing System

Search for “Printers” in Spotlight, or open up the “Printers & Scanners” settings from System Preferences.

The Printers & Scanners window shows a list of all connected printers. If you right-click any of them, you can select “Reset Printing System” from the context menu.

Choosing this command wipes all the current settings, and remove all the printers from the list (not just the one you right-clicked). To prevent you from doing this by accident, you’ll need to enter your password.

Since it removes all the printers from the settings, you’ll have to add them back manually. Make sure your printer is plugged in, and click the “+” button at the bottom of the list. You can view the connected printers, or add a wireless printer over the network.

There are some printers you can’t add from this dialog. If you’re having issues getting a printer reinstalled, consult your printer’s manual or look online for an installer for your printer model.

Image Credits: A_stockphoto/ShutterStock

Profile Photo for Anthony Heddings Anthony Heddings
Anthony Heddings is the resident cloud engineer for LifeSavvy Media, a technical writer, programmer, and an expert at Amazon's AWS platform. He's written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and CloudSavvy IT that have been read millions of times.
Read Full Bio »