There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to print your document when you require it. You click File and Print but there's no response. Perhaps, even more, macOS looks like it's printing, so you decide to focus on something else but you find that 20 minutes later, nothing came from the printer. What now? Try these troubleshooting techniques to solve mac printer not responding.

Check the Printer's Print Queue App

When you print, the printer's Print Queue application appears in your Dock, named after the printing device. (If you don't see it, open the System Preferences > Printers and Scanners, choose the printer you want to print from, and then click"Open Print Queue.)

On the Print Queue application, you can check your printer's status as well as your print jobs. In the first instance, if printing to more than one printer is the app compatible with the right printer? If not, then cancel the print by clicking the X button on its right. Then, stop the Print Queue application, print once more, and select the appropriate printing printer in the Printer pop-up menu within the dialog for printing.

The Print Queue app can also display an error message to let you know the issue, for instance, the printer not being online and not connecting. There may be old print jobs lingering in the queue, hindering the current print job. Remove them by pressing the X next to their names.

If you've experienced something that caused your printer to stop working then click on the red Resume button. It won't work if the printer is unable to continue printing because of a paper jam or lack of supplies. In that scenario, fix the issue first.

Check the Printer and Its Connection

Error messages could have provided you clues about issues in the printer itself however, they're rarely informative. Check the following:

  • Do you have the printer turned up? Doh! If it is try turning the printer off. Try turning it off, then turn it back on. This will resolve a huge variety of printing issues.
  • Do you have the printer connected? It should be connected using either a USB or a Wi-Fi Ethernet network. Make sure that your cables are connected and on an identical network to your Mac. Try restarting your router in case there appears to be a communication issue.
  • Do you think the printer comes with paper? No paper, no printout.
  • Do you have an issue with paper? Printers usually squawk about jammed paper. Clear it before trying it again.
  • Do you have any ink or toner cartridges full? Some printers are famous for not printing when even one cartridge is not full, or even empty. It can happen when printing in black, and the colored cartridge remains empty.

For one final test of the printer you could perform print a test page straight from your printer (check the manual of your printer for the instructions). If this fails it could be that the printer needs repair.

Check Your Mac's Printing Setup

The last place to search for a solution for printing issues is to check the printing subsystem of your Mac. Issues there could have a connection to the particular document or related to the application or caused by the printer driver.

As a first step Try opening your document in Preview and printing it as a PDF (in the Print dialog of your document Choose the PDF option and then open it in Preview) Printing it out from Preview.

If it is the case, then your Mac can print, and the issue lies in either the application or the document. To determine if the issue is with either the document or the application print a sample document using the application. If the document prints then you'll know that the issue is in your document, however, since you've already received a PDF printout of the document, your immediate issue may already be solved. If the issue is with the app, you'll have to fix the issue, naturally. But the majority of the time the issue is in the driver for your printer.

It's not typical for driver updates to be released in addition to macOS updates nowadays however, you should go to your System preferences > Software updates to be sure. Also, look at the printer's manufacturer's website site for updates. Google for " printerNameAndModel Mac driver" to determine the latest updates available. Check it against what you'll see when you choose the printer from the System Preferences section under Printers & Scanners. Click on the Option & Supplies option. If you find a version that is newer that you can download and install, then download it and install it.

If installing a fresh version isn't working then try removing your printer in Printers & Scanners and re-adding it. Choose the printer from the list and click on the button that says - to remove it. Click the + button and then add it to the list.

No luck? Do you try to delete the driver, then install it again however, select an alternative option from the Use pop-up menu on the lower? Begin by entering an initial name for the printer rather than Secure AirPrint, to ensure that you're using the driver of the manufacturer rather than Apple's. If this doesn't make a difference, try using a Generic PostScript Printer or Generic PCL Printer. However, be aware that they may not be fully functional beyond the basic printing. To test something new, if it is compatible with your printer, consider installing an independent driver using Gutenprint, an open-source Gutenprint initiative.

One tip: If possible you can, do not use the printer Sharing feature, which has been part of macOS for many years. It's effective however it requires the Mac sharing the printer is active and ready when the user of the shared printer wishes to print.

If you're stuck, you can go for a nuclear. Re-visit your Printers & Scanners preferences, Control-click on any printer, then select Reset Printing System. In the dialog that warns you, this will erase all of your existing printers, scanners, and faxes as well as any pending printing jobs. This resets your printer to factory defaults, following which you'll have to install printers once more.