Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 7, 2017
How to troubleshoot printer woes between Macs and PCs

With Microsoft’s release of Windows 10 Creators Update, the most common problem I see is trying to get a once-working printer to work after the install of this update. And even though Apple hasn’t released macOS High Sierra yet, there are some commonalties between Macs and PCs when it comes to troubleshooting printer errors.

In both cases, if you have tried to install a printer and it didn’t work, before you try to install it again, there are a few things you should do that will increase your chances of a successful install the next time.

First, unplug the printer from your computer and uninstall any remnants of your printer software that may have been installed. If you are using a PC, go into the control panel and then Programs and Features to perform the uninstall.

If you are using a Mac, open Finder and look in your Applications folder to see if anything was installed there. Next, I recommend you turn off your computer’s Wi-Fi. To do this, click on the Wi-Fi symbol, at the top of your screen for a Mac and at the bottom of the screen for a PC and turn it off/disconnect it. Remember to remove the checkmark so it won’t connect automatically (PC). Once you have done this, restart your computer.

Next, if you are connecting your printer wirelessly, go ahead and reconnect your printer to your WiFi network. Before doing so, I recommend you change your wireless’s network name and password. You will need to consult your router’s instructions for access. Be certain to use the “WPA2 Personal” security protocol, when given the choice. This is a stronger and more secure setting. We want to be certain that your printer doesn’t try to connect with any devices that may have the old network name/password.

After you have successfully connected your printer to your wireless network, go to your PC or Mac and connect it to the internet, either with a wireless or Ethernet connection.

After you are connected to the internet, go to your printer’s manufacturer’s website and download the appropriate drivers. Search around the site and see if there are any notes available indicating any issues with your printer’s model and the new Windows 10 Creators Update or Mac installation.

If you already tried this installation, you may want to use a version for Windows 7 or even Vista if you are using a PC. Macs typically do not have as many issues installing a printer. Download the software and begin the installation. Do not plug your printer into your computer until you are prompted to do so. Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Other helpful hints to ensure a successful installation, if you are using PCs and Macs on your network, install the software first on your PC and then on your Mac. You may need to connect a USB cable to do the installation on your Mac or PC and then connect the printer wirelessly.

If you still experience issues with your install, especially with the PC, you can search on YouTube or other forums to see if anyone has found a fix. Be certain you are watching a video for your specific printer, as they can vary in methods of installations.

If you are using an older printer of four or more years old, you may need to replace it with a new one that is compatible with the new Windows 10 update. You can roll back your computer to the previous Windows 10, but I do not recommend this, mainly due to the security updates that you will receive with the Creators Update.

By the way, it’s good to be back sharing with you important information about your computers and how to better use them. I hope you all had a wonderful summer.

For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com

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