Shared printers cannot be seen on the local network

This FAQ applies to Macs running Mac® OS X 10.5 Leopard® and later that are sharing printers with other Macs on a local network.


  • Printers shared by a Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later are not seen by other Macs on the local network.
  • The Mac sharing the printers may have been upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5 or later from an earlier version of Mac OS X.
  • The Macs attempting to access the shared printers are running Mac OS X 10.2 or later.


  • Suspected bug in Mac OS X 10.5.4 update.
  • Incorrect or corrupted Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS) daemon configuration file, /private/etc/cups/cupsd.conf.


Perform the following steps on the Mac sharing the printers:

1. Disable printer sharing if it is enabled:
1.1. Open Sharing preferences.
1.2. If Printer Sharing is selected, deselect it.
2. Point your Web browser to: http://localhost:631/
If prompted, type your Admin account name and password.
The Common Unix Printing System page opens.
3. Click the Administration tab.
4. Click Edit Configuration File. The Server Configuration File page opens.
5. Click Use Default Configuration File.
6. Click Save Changes.
The message Please standby while server restarts… appears.
You are returned to the Administration page.
7. Close the browser window opened in step 2.
8. Enable printer sharing:
8.1. Open Sharing preferences.
8.2. Select Printer Sharing.
8.3. Verify that the printers to be shared appear in the list with their corresponding sharing checkboxes ticked.
For example, in the following screen shot, Printer Sharing is enabled and the printer Lexmark® Optra® M412 is designated as a shared printer.
9. Verify that other Macs on the local network can now see the shared printers.
If not, reset the printing system on the Mac sharing the printers.
Did you find this FAQ helpful? You will find a wealth of additional advice for preventing or resolving Mac OS X problems in Dr. Smoke's book, Troubleshooting Mac® OS X.
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