Common Printer Issues (Troubleshooting)

This page details common issues encountered while printing and steps to take to resolve them.

Cannot Connect to Printer (Network Issues)

  • Ensure you are connected to IllinoisNet (printing will not work from eduroam or IllinoisNet_Guest)
    • You can connect wirelessly on IllinoisNet or wired + Illinois VPN, unless it's an iSchool machine plugged into an iSchool port, in which case you don't need the VPN.
  • Once you've established a connection to IllinoisNet, test printing again.
  • If you still can't print, reinstall the printer via the tutorial below:


  1. Navigate to System Preferences on your Apple Menu, then click Print and Scan or Printers and Scanners.
  2. Select the printer you wish to delete, then click on the Minus button, then click on Delete Printer.
  3. Follow the instructions on the page Printer Set-up for Mac to reinstall the printer drivers.
  4. When asked to input a printer name, make sure to input the URL smb:// instead of just the printer name.
  5. Furthermore, when asked about encryption for some Macs, input ?encryption=no.


  1. Navigate to your Settings menu and search for Apps, then click on Printers and Scanners.
  2. Select the printer in question and click on Remove Device.
  3. Follow the steps listed on the Wiki page Printer Set-up for Windows to finish reinstalling the drivers. 

Troubleshooting Procedures for Macs

PDF will not Print in Preview App (Mac)

One method of resolving this issue is to try opening the PDF on Adobe Acrobat Reader, then try printing from there.

Keychain issues

Oftentimes the root of Mac printing issues relates to the keychain. An incorrect password is typed and saved or someone changes their UIUC password and it's repeatedly trying to print with the wrong credentials. If you try to print and see "Hold for Authentication" without a prompt for credentials, a keychain issue is one possibility. Go to Keychain Access (you can search for it), then look for any items that include printer names or ischoolprint, and delete them. Then restart your device and try again. Hopefully at this point you will see a pop up asking for your credentials. Enter in your NetID and UIUC password.

If Keychain Access won't let you delete the printer names or ischoolprint, double-click on the Keychain entry in question to open it, then navigate to the Access Control tab. Then, select the option Ask for Keychain password. This will prompt the user to input their laptop username and password. This should then pop up with the NetID credentials prompt when you try to print.  Do NOT save your NetID and password.

Troubleshooting Procedures for PCs

Are the Printers Online?

Under Devices and Printers, look if the printers are grayed out or not. If they are grayed out, they are offline. Check the credential manager and redo your username and password.

Can you connect to the PRINT server? 

If you get an error message that says "Cannot connect" or if you can't find any printers when you click Browse, the computer likely isn't connecting to the Print Server.

  1. See if you can connect to the PRINT server (press windows + r, type in \\ You can also navigate there by searching for "Run" in the Windows search bar. If it doesn't even get to a point where it asks for credentials it's possible that a) the wrong credentials are stored or b) either network settings or an antivirus/firewall program are messing it up.
    • For a) if it doesn't prompt you to enter your credentials, it probably means a bad password is stored. You can take a look at credential manager and see if they're stored there.
    • For b) look at what programs are currently running.
      • Norton Live Security is one example, but there are others.
      • If you are using any firewall options, you may need to turn them off.
      • If the antivirus program you are using is expired, you may need to uninstall it. 
  2. Also check to see if you have anything filled in for default IP address or DNS settings. Follow the instructions here for that. If you do, reset these settings to automatic.
  3. If it does ask for credentials and it still doesn't work:
    1. Make sure the username is UOFI\netID
    2. Make sure you are using your UIUC password by going to Canvas or your UIUC Outlook account and logging in (type out the password, not use any auto-fill passwords).        
    3. Make sure to store the credentials.
  4. If the print server is connected and you can install other printers but not the one you'd like, look in Print Management and delete the problematic driver. Then, install the printer again. Follow the instructions here for that.

Other Common Printer Issues

Cannot Connect to Servers

One issue some people have encountered is the inability to connect to the servers that manage our printer drivers, unfortunately there is no easy solution to this issue, so we would recommend contacting us over at the Help Desk directly!

Password issues

Check to make sure you are using the correct credentials. You should be signing in with your university-issued NetID and password. Make sure you are using the correct NetID and password by logging into a different university website with your NetID and password.


If all else fails, PaperCut is always an option! View this link for more details: Printing Cost, Quota, and PaperCut


One common error we've encountered with Luna in 614 E. Daniel is the machine printing out the error message (ERROR: syntaxerror). This happens when the user is attempting to print PDFs through Preview; opening the document via Adobe Reader and printing it from there will resolve this issue.

Note on USB Printing 

Students cannot print via putting their USB drives into the printer, as there is no way to identify who is using the printer via PaperCut. 


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KeywordsCommon Printer Issues Troubleshooting   Doc ID124813
OwnerMatthew M.GroupSchool of Information Sciences
Created2023-03-14 10:53 CSTUpdated2023-08-25 13:51 CST
SitesUniversity of Illinois School of Information Sciences
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