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I am trying to troubleshoot printer issues and I figured it would be best to see all the printer drivers (and versions thereof) as a starting point, before I try reinstalling said drivers.

I would like to see all the printer drivers I have installed on my Mac. Where are they installed? What directory? What is the best way to uninstall them, if I so wished?

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What are you talking about in the Terminal? The language you have given is for a Unix system. My Mac PB doesn't recognize it unless I'm entering it in the wrong box. Please explain. Thanks. – user61315 Nov 1 '13 at 20:49
I don't understand your comment whatsoever. Rephrase? – Cypress Frankenfeld Nov 5 '13 at 4:45
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The first place you'll most probably want to look at is the Print & Scan option within System Preferences. There you'll see a list of all printers that you have installed. You can optionally uninstall each of them by clicking on the minus '-' at the bottom of the list.

Also, if you are troubleshooting printer issues, you might want to try right-clicking within the list and select Reset printing system. Apple has a document about what resetting the printing system does here:

On your question about where the drivers are actually installed, the answer would be in the /Library/Printers folder. I've noticed some printer drivers were left intact in this folder even after I uninstalled them. I've removed some of the files here myself and would say that it is generally safe to do so. However, I'd still suggest that you uninstall your printer drivers from within Print & Scan first before traversing into this folder.

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Since the accepted answer here is incorrect, and daniel svenson's answer is mostly correct but lacking explanation, I will try to answer the question completely for future readers.

Since Mac OS 10.2 through at least 10.11, printing is handled by the CUPS system and this answer is the same. While drivers are typically found in /Library/Printers, the folder can contain support files and many other things which are not themselves print drivers, and in the real world there is no canonical location within the folder where the actual driver files are stored.

The only authoritative list of available print drivers on OS X is that returned by lpinfo -m (specifying the host is not necessary for the local machine). CUPS specifies that drivers can consist of an arbitrary number of files, but they must all be declared in a central PPD file. lpinfo -m will parse any valid PPDs found; if it doesn't have a PPD that CUPS can parse, then it isn't a valid print driver. A sample of the output:

MacBook-Pro:~ user$ lpinfo -m
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CNPZUD450ZU.ppd.gz Canon D400-450
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CNPZUD490ZU.ppd.gz Canon D460-490
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CN6300.ppd.gz Canon iPF6300(CUPS)
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CN6300S.ppd.gz Canon iPF6300S(CUPS)
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CN6350.ppd.gz Canon iPF6350(CUPS)
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CN8300.ppd.gz Canon iPF8300(CUPS)
Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/CN8300S.ppd.gz Canon iPF8300S(CUPS)
drv:///sample.drv/okidata9.ppd Oki 9-Pin Series
drv:///sample.drv/okidat24.ppd Oki 24-Pin Series
raw Raw Queue

Each line specifies the path to that driver's PPD file, followed by the display name of the printer as declared in the PPD. As you can see, some drivers are internal to CUPS and do not even have a PPD file in /Library/Printers, so lpinfo -m is the only way to be certain of everything available to the printing system.

Deleting a printer using the 'minus' button in System Preferences does not delete/uninstall the driver. It just deletes the queue that has been created for the printer in question. The 'Reset printing system...' option will also not remove any drivers; it just deletes all print queues and resets some CUPs configuration options to defaults.

Deleting one of the PPD files listed by this command will effectively delete the driver, as it will no longer be loaded/accessible by the CUPS system, though as explained above there may be additional support files left behind. There is no standard way to remove these because each driver can include support files in different places, but there is no cause to delete them unless you are intending to reinstall the driver. In that case, the original installer package from the manufacturer should handle re-installation of all relevant files.

I have sometimes seen people manually copying PPD files as a means of installing printers; there is no guarantee this will work! Some drivers require only a PPD but some may need support files as well. The only way to be sure all necessary files are installed is to use the original installer package.

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Run this in the Terminal:

lpinfo -m -h

It will list all drivers for the local host.

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Some example output would serve to greatly increase the quality of this answer :). – Jason Salaz Oct 12 '12 at 6:30
2767 entries here, it's probably easier if you run the command yourself. Unfortunately the list does not show more than the name. – patrix Oct 13 '12 at 14:10
I received lpinfo: Internal Server Error as the output. – Cypress Frankenfeld Jan 25 '13 at 20:21

OS X uses CUPS which uses print filters (.ppd files) to format documents to send to printers. The currently installed and used ppd files can be found at /private/etc/cups/ppd/.

To see a whole list of whats available on your computer, look in /Library/Printers/ here you will find folders of drivers that have been installed (usually in folders by brand, i.e you may have a Brother folder and a Canon folder if you ever used a Brother or Canon printer).

There will also likely be a PPDs folder which contains archived print filters that are available.

For some additional printer options you could type:

cupsctl WebInterface=yes

Then point your web browser to http://localhost:631 This will bring up a the CUPS web interface which has a few extra bits and options then you can get at from the System Preference.

It's important to note most of these options have to do with the printing system itself, not the native Printer options/utilities.

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You can also try

lpstat -p

This will give u the name of the Printer and its status, also the date it was enabled.

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Not very sure, but I am using the Gutenprint Printer drivers for my office's Sharp printer. Maybe you can look at here for more information.

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