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Fix “Cannot Install the Software for Printer” on OS X

I recently connected an old HP Officejet Pro 8500 to my network and tried to add a printer to my Macbook Pro running OS X Mountain Lion. I was able to install the printer fine on my computer, but when I tried to add the printer in OS X I got the following error:

Cannot install software for the HP Officejet Pro 8550 printer because it is not currently available on the software update server.

After doing a little research on the internet, it felt like I needed to update the software as the driver for my HP printer was supported by Apple. I performed a software update, but there was nothing to update! So now I was very confused about what to do. Luckily I was able to figure it out, but it takes a few steps to get your printer set up correctly on OS X.

First, you need to manually download the driver package for your printer from Apple. You can see a list of all printers supported by Apple on this page:

http: //support.apple.com/kb/XT3669

Make sure your printer is actually listed there first, because otherwise you won’t be able to install the printer in OS X no matter how hard you try. Your only other option at the moment is to check the manufacturer’s website and see if they have a Mac driver you can download that may not be included in Apple’s driver package yet.

If your printer is listed there, you need to download the driver package and install it. It would be nice if they had links directly from this page to driver packages, but they don’t. If you need a driver package for HP, go to Google and search for “HP printer drivers mac” and the first link takes you here:

http: //support.apple.com/kb/DLya07

Here are a couple more links, but to find any other brand, just enter the brand name and then “Mac printer drivers” and you’ll find them. Be sure to look for the URL that says “support.apple.com”.

Canon – http://support.apple.com/kb/dl899

Brother – http://support.apple.com/kb/dl894

Lexmark – http://support.apple.com/kb/dl1397

Epson – http://support.apple.com/kb/dl1398

Samsung – nttp: //support.apple.com/kb/DLya05

Fuji-Xerox – http://support.apple.com/kb/dl904

Download DMG and install it on your Mac. After you’ve installed it, restart your computer. Now we need to reset the printing system and then reinstall the printers. To reset the printing system, click the Apple logo, and then click System Preferences.

Now click on Print & Scan under Hardware:

Now in the white area in the list of printers, right-click. A menu will appear and the only option is to reset the printing system.

Please note that resetting the printing system will remove all printers from your computer. However, don’t worry about the ones that were already there, because you can add them back without having to reinstall drivers, use a CD or whatever. After resetting the printing system, the list will be empty. Now go ahead and click on the “+” sign at the bottom of the list.

It should automatically detect all printers connected via USB, wired or wireless. First add the ones that didn’t cause problems. Then add the one that was giving you the error message.

Hopefully, now that you choose your printer, it should install automatically without any errors because you downloaded and installed the driver package manually. If you are still having problems, please leave a comment here and I will try to help. Enjoy!

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