Solution to Mac Error “The Software for this printer is currently unavailable”

When you are using a Mac, people expect things to just work. Like installing a printer, I should just click when it lists the printers (Under system preferences – printer), click Add, and the Mac should do the rest. That’s why people buy Mac’s, because they just work…..or do they? One of the errors I’ve been coming across more and more involves the following error message when trying to install a printer

The software for this printer is currently unavailable. Please contact the printer’s manufacturer for the latest software.

What will happen when you see that error message, is that the install will not complete and you will not be able to use the printer with your Mac. For those running into this issue (like I was with a number of clients), here are the 3 solutions I found that fixed the issue

Solution #1

If you get that error when attempting to install the printer, select cancel to your install. Followed by clicking on the Apple logo on the top left of your screen (it’s the Apple Menu Bar) and selecting Software Update after connecting the printer, this will trigger the successful downloaded of the correct drivers. Once the download is completed, the Add Printer option should automatically install the printer once selected.

Solution #2 (If #1 Didn’t work)

If after you run the Apple Software Update, you still have the issue, do the following

  • Open Launchpad -> click on System Preferences
  • Now click on Print & Scan icon inside of the System Preference window.
  • And inside of the printer window, either hold control key (on keyboard) and click on printer or right mouse click over the list of printers.

reset-printer-mac

  • When you see the box that says “Reset Printing System”, click there

What this will do is uninstall all of your printers, and reset the Mac Printer software.  Once reset you will have to reinstall all of your printers (if you have more than 1), but you should now be able to install with no problems.

Solution #3 (If both 1 and 2 have failed) 

My issue happened when trying to install a Brother 2270 DW printer. I will list the drivers for that printer in section #3, however, these same steps works with any other model printer (just insert the name of your printer into these instructions)

Download the driver from Brother (or from the website of whatever printer manufacture you have) and double-click the downloaded. Run the install from that download, like normal. When the install completes you will find that the printer is still not listed in your printer list.  At this point, do the following

  • Click the plus on the Printer and Scanner window and select the printer “Add other printer and scanner”

printer-install-Brother

  • Once that next window opens, select the printer.
  • Now on the bottom choice change “Print Using” to Other and browse to the folder where you downloaded the original file that you installed at the beginning of step 3.
  • In the next window search for your model printer, and select your printer.
  • Following remaining install process (which you can leave as default)

Your printer should now complete the install process.

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