If your printer suddenly stops behaving, it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s website to ensure you have the latest drivers. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to reset the printing system on your computer. It’s done in the Print and Fax pane of System Preferences.

Control-click anywhere in the list on the left that contains your printer or printers, and select Reset Printing System from the contextual menu. This will delete all printer queues and jobs, reset all printer settings to factory defaults by removing configuration files, and will perform permissions check and repair on an invisible folder on your hard drive called “.tmp”.

Resetting the printing system under Mac OS X Tiger is a little different. Under Tiger, open Printer Setup Utility from the Utilities folder. From there, select Reset Printing System from the Printer Setup Utility Menu. While the procedure is different, the end result is the same.

This is a powerful troubleshooting tool when you have trouble with any aspect of printing. It’s not an effective maintenance tool, though, so doing this routinely is a waste of time.

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