OS X: Resetting the Printing System

If you're having printing issues, there are lots of troubleshooting steps to try. You should check the printer's network connection and perhaps search for any new drivers your model has available. Another good idea is turning the device off and on again to see if the problem's just an intermittent one. You could even delete the printer from System Preferences > Print & Scan and reconfigure it if things still aren't hunky-dory.

There is, however, a nuke-it-from-orbit troubleshooting step that you can attempt if nothing else seems to work—resetting your entire printing system. This can be especially helpful if you're pretty certain that your Mac's the problem, not the printer (if your other computers can print just fine, say). You'll want to use this only as a last resort, though, because you'll have to set up all of your Print & Scan devices again.

Here's how you do it. Open System Preferences > Print & Scan, then right- or Control- click on the white box on the left of the Print tab (where your devices are listed). When you do, you'll get a hidden contextual menu.

Choose Reset printing system, and your Mac will warn the heck out of you.

Click OK, and then wait for your Mac to complete the task (which can take a little while). After it's finished, select the plus button on the Print & Scan window to walk through adding your devices back in.

I've found this troubleshooting step to be helpful when nothing else has worked, and even though it's a bit of a chore to have to reconfigure your printers, it's better than not being able to print! Unless not being able to print gets you out of work. In that case, forget I said anything.