Apple claims macOS Big Sur to be its most revolutionary update for any operating system and thus released it as a whole new version macOS 11. However, many Mac users complain that after upgrading to macOS 11 Big Sur they are encountering difficulties with printing from their printer. Error messages like ‘communication problem’ and ‘printer offline’ are displayed. This problem is witnessed for both USB and wireless printers. If your printer has stopped working after you updated to Apple macOS 11 Big Sur, then we are sharing the solutions below.

Why Printing Problem Occurs in macOS 11 Big Sur?

This problem occurs in macOS 11 due to compatibility issues between the OS and the printer driver/firmware. Actually, none of the printer drivers are designed by Apple and the default ones provided in the OS are provided by the printer manufacturer. Therefore, the printer driver that got installed with macOS Big Sur is the one that was provided by the printer manufacturer as the most suitable driver for your printer. It means, Apple can’t do much to solve this problem. However, this doesn’t mean there is no solution.

Solutions for Printer Has Stopped Working After Updated To Apple Macos 11 Big Sur

There are two methods you can try to resolve this issue.

A) Download & Install Latest Printer Drivers for MacOS 11 Big Sur

  1. Download HP Unzip it into a folder and double click HP Uninstaller icon.
  2. Click ‘Open’ to run the uninstaller and follow the instructions to remove HP software and driver.
    run software
  3. For HP printers, you can visit HP Printer Drivers and Software Download page. Type your printer name and click submit to search.
    drivers page
  4. In the support page of your printer, find driver for Mac OS 11 and download it. If the Big Sur 11 driver is not available then you can download and install the 10.15 (Catalina), it does work most of the time.
  5. Reinstall your HP printer using this new driver.

Hopefully, this should solve your problem. If it doesn’t, then try the next solution.

B) Use Apple AirPrint

If the above solution doesn’t work for you, then it means that neither HP nor Apple has drivers for your printer which are fully compatible with macOS 11. However, you can bypass this problem by using Apple AirPrint to operate your printer. The benefit of using Apple AirPrint is that it doesn’t require driver updates.

However, not every printer model is supported by Apple AirPrint. You can view the list of printer models supported by Apple AirPrint on the About AirPrint page.

Apple has still not announced any solution for the Apple macOS 11 Bug Sur printer problem. Therefore, unless that happens you can try the solutions suggested above. For many modern printers, one of the above solutions will work.

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  1. I have this issue but it did not appear until I updated to Big Sur 11.0.01 on my iMac on December 16. I have been on the phone with both HP and Apple and have not found a solution. Patiently waiting for an update to drop. 11.1 is listed but not released for iMac. Who knows?

  2. My printer is a HP Envy 7858. This morning I was able to use an app from HP called HP Smart to print from the desktop (MacOS 11.0.1) but I still can’t select a printer from within an app as the Mac does not communicate from the preference screen. So patiently awaiting an update from Apple.

  3. HP DESKJET 1514, waiting for printer message is visibe.
    However print the cartridge state or the safety check for the printer works.

    • Many users are currently facing this issue as the MAC operating system continues to upgrade its version to Big Sur 11.x. To fix this issue, you will need to uninstall (remove) the printer and re-install it again using the built-in driver or previous version driver (Version 10.15 Catalina). It should be fixed. If not, then let us know again.

  4. I have the same problem with a MacBook Pro with Big Sur 11.1 and a HP 1515 Printer connected by USB.

    I’ve tried everything: uninstalling using the HP tool, resetting the printing system of my Mac, even re-installing the OS. I’ve tried both options: let installing the driver automatically (like you usually do on a Mac) and the driver from HP (by installing the Easy Start tool).
    When installing automatically, the macOS doesn’t even see the scanning feature of the HP 1515.
    When installing the HP Easy Start, the printer seems to be installed correctly. I can scan but I cannot print. When printing, the task remains in “Waiting for the printer to become available” status.

  5. I had this same issue with my Brother HL-2240. I downloaded the previous printer driver (Catalina 10.15) provided from the Brother website and it worked! Tears of joy are being shed…

  6. Big Sur is a mess, if your printer supports AirPrint I would suggest you use that instead of trying to install it through driver support. HP on Apple’s web site has new drivers for Big Sur but apparently not for all HP printers. I went back to Catalina for many reasons and intend to stay with it for awhile. Apple in my opinion rushed out Big Sur to match its planned Apple M1 silicon Mac’s which Big Sur supports and its causing a lot of compatibility issues. M1 Mac owners dealing with even more issues because hey are stuck with Big Sur.

  7. I tried everything too, nothing works (HP Officejet 8600 N911a). Macbook Pro 2017, Big Sur 11.1.
    Scanning works fine.
    Printing: “waiting for printer to become available”
    Restart my Mac: one print gets printed off the queue, before login. After that: same issue, nothing prints.
    HP Utility does read all printer settings (!), and allows for print of test page (!).
    But no prints from any other app like Word or so: “waiting for printer to become available”.


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