Out of nowhere, suddenly Google Chrome on my Mac can’t print Web pages! I get the error that the printer isn’t available or is installed incorrectly. But nothing’s changed! Help!
Part of the fun of computers is that there are random things that happen, leaving us puzzled and wondering what we broke. In this instance, there are a number of things that could have caused your copy of Google Chrome to be unable to see your printer, but while diagnosing the problem might be a pain, fixing it is easy. How? Just delete the printer and re-add it as a new device. If you see this happen multiple times then you’ve got a more serious problem but it’s likely that something got an upgrade (and remember, modern printers are on the network and could get driver updates without you even being involved) and that’s why it broke.
I recently had a similar hiccup on my own MacBook Pro, but I was trying to diagnose a connectivity problem on the network and disconnected and reconnected the printer too, so it was probably user error. Still, I was viewing a page and pressed File > Print on the Mac just to see this error message in lieu of a preview:
What to do? One solution would be to use the option “Print using system dialog” assuming that the printer is properly configured in MacOS X itself (which will need to be the case before you can fix the Chrome problem), but that doesn’t really fix the problem, it just sidesteps it.
Instead, click on the printer’s name on “Destination” to see all your options:
As highlighted, you want to choose “See more…” to proceed. Click and here’s where you’ll end up:
You undoubtedly have different printers available than I do, but notice the (typical) printer confusion here: There’s a local ‘raw’ printer, but there’s the same printer accessible through secure AirPrint too! And the Fax shows up as a different device too. Lots of choices, right?
For this fix, I’m going to choose “HP PageWide Pro 577 MFP”, knowing that next time I go to print in Chrome it’ll use the most recently chosen printer (e.g., fix the problem with HP_Pro_577_MFP). Sure enough, next time I go to print, it has the new printer selected in the Destination box and works just fine!
That’s it. Simple enough, really.
If you really want to explore further – including enabling Google Cloud Print – then you can go to Settings and choose Printing from the menu. That gives you these two options:
Hope that helps you figure out what’s going on with your printer and get back to making hard copy as needed. I will add that if you have a hardwired printer on a desktop Mac and are seeing this sort of issue, you should probably try unplugging and plugging it in again and check the cable for damage before you start fiddling with which printer you’ve selected too.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the Mac since forever. Please check out my extensive Mac help library while you’re here!