Tip: Mac OS X: How to reset the printing system

Mac OS X includes a Reset Printing System troubleshooting function that you might want to use after you try all other printing troubleshooting steps for Mac OS X 10.6 or later, or Mac OS X 10.5.8 or earlier.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS Printing/Fax (any version), OS X Lion

What does Reset Printing System do?

  • Deletes all queues and jobs.
  • Resets all printer settings to their default by deleting configuration files.
  • Performs a permissions check on the /tmp directory.

Any printers, scanners, or fax modems that previously appeared in System Preferences will need to be added again after resetting the printing system.

Resetting the printing system in OS X Lion

To use the Reset Printing System function in Lion, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Print & Scan from the View menu.
  3. Hold down the Option key while clicking the “-” (Remove printer) button. If no printers are currently added, hold down the Control key while clicking in the box that appears above the “+” (Add printer) button, then choose Reset printing system… from the contextual menu.

Resetting the printing system in Mac OS X v10.5.x or 10.6.x

To use the Reset Printing System function in Mac OS X v10.5.x or 10.6.x, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Print & Fax from the View menu.
  3. Hold down the Option key while clicking the “-” (Remove printer) button. If no printers are currently added, hold down the Control key while clicking in the box that appears above the “+” (Add printer) button, then choose Reset printing system… from the contextual menu.

Resetting the printing system in Mac OS X v10.4.x

To use the Reset Printing System function in Mac OS X v10.4.x, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Print & Fax from the View menu.
  3. Hold down the Option key while clicking the “+” (Add printer) button.As an alternative, you can choose Reset Printing System… from the Printer Setup Utility menu while in Printer Setup Utility (which open when the  “+” button is clicked).

[This post shamelessly stolen from Apple Support. Just something good to know.]

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Tip: How to remove an item from the Finder sidebar in Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later

Summary

Learn how to remove an item from the sidebar in Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.6

  1. Press and hold the Command () key.
  2. Drag the item from the Finder sidebar and release it.

Note: If you don’t hold down the Command key while dragging the item, it will snap back to the sidebar when you release it.Sidebar with Applications selected

In the image above, Applications is selected in the Finder sidebar, and is a really crummy example.

Additional Information

To add an item, simply drag it to the correct area. You don’t have to hold down a modifier key—such as the Command key—to drag an item into the sidebar of a Finder window.

[ This article boldly stolen from the Apple Support Database. Why? Because I had to look it up again.]

Tip: Printer Problems? Update Wiping Out Your Working Device?

Apple Updates has a nasty little habit of updating printer drivers.

Apple has a policy of disseminating the driver packages given them by various manufactures. Whether they work or not.

In the case of HP, often they don’t, especially if you have a COMBINATION printer: Printer/Scanner/Fax in whatever combination.

This issue has been driving me nutz forever. I am going to use my case as an example, but it could be a formulaic problem for anyone and any application due to Apple’s policy of blindly putting out updates provided them by manufactures, whether they work for you or not. I have called Apple out on this issue and their position is, “Oh well.” Apple doesn’t take kindly to constructive feed-back from users.

I have a HP C3180 Printer/Scanner. Apple updates wipe out my working software and totally removes all scanning software.

My only solution has been to start by going to the HP website: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHome?lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&os=219&sw_lang=&product=top

I plug in C3180 and start hunting for a driver that works. In my case it is the package for OS X 10.3 from 2009. I download, install, and everything works fine, until eventually it gets ‘updated’ and wipes me out again.

On the issue of Apple Updates, you CAN temporarily remove a specific item from the list by selecting it and hitting the DELETE key. Eventually it WILL reassert itself and reappear. Watch out!

If you are having ‘update’ problems like this, once you find a DMG that works for you, KEEP IT HANDY. Someday you will slip up and wipe yourself out with an update.

Every manufacture has driver package downloads, but like HP, they are TOUGH to find sometimes. Usually manufactures will dead end you by just referring you back to Apple Updates.

It is a much more reliable solution to finding obscure driver packages by going to the Apple Support Forum and doing a search getting as specific as possible with Make, Model, and Problem, than getting derailed to someone trying to sell you something by searching for drivers using any Search Engine.

Happy MacIng!