For most Mac users, the upgrade from macOS Catalina to Big Sur has been a smooth one. However, some have run into problems. One of those problems is losing the ability to print. If that’s happened to you, read on and we’ll explain how to fix it.
Why printer problems happen in macOS Big Sur
It's important to remove drivers for printers you will no longer be using. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove old drivers from your Mac. Computer Operating Systems: Windows ® 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, 17 Windows 7 SP1, Window Vista SP1, Vista SP2, Windows XP SP3 32-bit 17 Mac OS X v10.7.5 - v10.10 17 Mobile Operating Systems: iOS, Android, Windows RT 17.
Printing from your Mac is a fairly simple process. However, it requires two things:
- A printer connected to your Mac either wirelessly or by a cable.
- Software, known as drivers, that allow your Mac to ‘see’ and ‘speak’ to the printer.
Sometimes, that software comes pre-installed with macOS. But usually, you’ll have to install it when you first set the printer. You can then use the add printer feature in System Preferences to make the printer available to applications on your Mac.
Sometimes, printer problems in Big Sur have nothing to do with the printer at all, but are caused by conflicts or stray or corrupt files on your Mac. Broken preferences files or permissions can also cause problems.
- Mac features an advanced printing system and you can easily install scanners and printers with a few clicks. Despite the advanced printing system, from time to time you may encounter some issues while printing, such as the printer does not show up in the Print dialog box, nor does it appear in the Printers & Scanners preference pane, or it appears offline and no matter what you do the printing.
- How do I completely remove and reinstall a Primera printer driver on Mac OSX 10.5 - 10.12. Unplug the USB cable from the back of your unit. Go to Apple - System Preferences - Print & Fax. Select your printer listed on the left pane of the window and click the minus (-) button.
One way to fix these problems is to use a Mac maintenance app, CleanMyMac X. Its maintenance module can repair disk permissions, run maintenance scripts, and free up RAM, among many other things. Also, you run it regularly, it will keep your Mac running smoothly.
Download the free edition of CleanMyMac X here. This app is notarized by Apple on macOS Big Sur.
Printer problems in Big Sur can occur for two main reasons:
- There’s a problem with the connection between your Mac and the printer. For example, the printer loses its connection to your Wi-Fi network.
- The driver software needs to be updated to work with Big Sur.
How to fix printer problems in Big Sur
1. Try printing from a different application
It’s best to rule out the simplest causes first. It may be that it’s the application you’re trying to print from that’s at fault, so try printing from a different application. If that works and you still need to print from the original application, try this:
- From the Print dialog box in the application, choose Save as PDF.
- Press Save.
- Open the PDF in Preview.
- Print the PDF from Preview.
To fix the problem, check you are running the most up to date version. If not, update it. If you are running the latest version, reinstall it.
2. Try printing as a different user
If printing from a different application doesn’t work, try logging in to your Mac using a different user account, if you have one set up. If that works, the problem lies in corrupt files in your main user account. You can use CleanMyMac X to clean up your Mac and get rid of those files.
3. Check your printer is connected properly
Often the most obvious solutions are the correct ones, so start with the most obvious of them all. If your printer is connected by a USB cable, check that it’s still connected to your Mac. Unplug and re-plug the cables.
If it’s a wireless printer, use the control panel to make sure it’s still connected to the same wireless network as your Mac — refer to the printer’s instructions if you’re not sure how to do this. Also, make sure your Mac is connected to wifi.
4. Check that the printer is selected in System Preferences
- Click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
- Select Printers & Scanners and make sure the printer is displayed in the sidebar and selected.
- If not, press ‘+’ to add it.
5. Reinstall the driver software
If you can’t add your printer from System Preferences, it may be that its driver software needs to be updated. Before you follow step 3 in the instructions below, check the system requirements for the driver and make sure they support Big Sur. The reason for your printing problems could be that the manufacturer hasn’t yet updated its drivers to support the new OS.
- Launch Safari and navigate to the printer manufacturer’s website.
- Locate the support section and then the driver download area.
- Download the latest drivers for your model of printer, making sure it’s compatible with Big Sur.
- Once it’s downloaded, double-click the installer to launch it and follow the instructions.
- When the updated drivers have been installed, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and add your printer.
6. Reset the driver application
This fix becomes available if you use the earlier described CleanMyMac X app. It has a special tool that clears certain files from an app’s directory which effectively “resets” any app to its default state. This may come helpful when your printing app is broken.
- In CleanMyMac X, click on the Uninstaller tab.
- Find your printer app in the list.
- Click on the dropdown menu under the Uninstall button.
This will reveal the Reset command that you can perform.
Printing problems are as old as printers themselves. The reasons for them are many and varied. However, there are a few common issues that cause most of the problems. By following the steps above, you will eliminate those issues one at a time and uncover the reason you’re having trouble printing. You can then fix it.
How To Uninstall Printer
Follow these steps to install the beta Mac driver for your printer:
Reinstall Printer Driver For Mac
- From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
- Click Print & Fax.
- Highlight any Epson printers and click the button to remove them from the Printers list, then click OK.
- Open the Hard Drive.
- Select Library > Printers.
- Select the folder labeled EPSON and drag it to the trash.
Note: This will remove all installed Epson printer drivers. You’ll need to reinstall any printer drivers that you still need.
- Empty the trash.
- Restart the computer.
- Go to the appropriate Support Printer model page and download the necessary driver for your printer.
- Open the file you downloaded, and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver software.
- Click Quit when done.
- From the Apple menu, select System Preferences, then click Print & Fax.
Note: If you’re using a USB connection, the printer should automatically appear in the Printers list, indicating that it has been installed. You can skip the remaining steps.
- If you’re using a network connection, click the button to add your printer.
- Click More Printers, select Epson TCP/IP, then select your printer. (The Epson Stylus Pro 11880 appears in the example below, but you’ll see your printer name instead).
Note: If your printer is not displayed, input your printer’s IP address in the Internet address or DNS name field, then click Verify. Your printer should appear on the list. Select your printer, then click Add.