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The printer I am about to purchase is HP Ink Tank 115 and its macOS driver only supports up to 10.15. It doesn't have AirPrint or wireless functionality.

I have a 2020 Macbook Pro and an 2014 Air both running macOS Big Sur 11.3.1.

The salespeople at the shop told me they had customers having issues printing on Big Sur.

Might any of these possible solutions work?

  1. Install the printer's Windows 10 driver on Windows Parallels and just print from the VM everytime.

  2. Same as #1 but with Bootcamp.

  3. Downgrade to macOS 10.15 (this would be my last resort as it's not a very sustainable solution)

Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you!

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    It might be possible to run it with either open source or 'generic' drivers; though not all functionality might be possible. Can I ask why you're considering a printer that isn't supported? There are Ink Tank printers with AirPrint, like the 415. According to HP's spec sheet, this one doesn't even have any ports! ;-)
    – benwiggy
    May 24 at 6:58
  • Alfonz: What make you think the HP Ink Tank 115 macOS driver only supports up to macOS 10.15? When I goto the downloads for this printer, I see this image. I believe Big Sur is shown in the list of operating systems. May 24 at 8:05
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    @DavidAnderson isn‘t this just the installer, not the actual driver?
    – nohillside
    May 24 at 8:08
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    @DavidAnderson „ HP Easy Start is the new way to set up your HP printer and prepare your Mac for printing. HP Easy Start will locate and install the latest software for your printer and then guide you through printer setup.“ At least based on the description this seems to be the generic installer, not the driver itself. But maybe I’m taking this too literally :-)
    – nohillside
    May 24 at 8:22
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    @DavidAnderson The "Easy Start" is just a form of 'download assistant' and installer app - it is not the driver itself.
    – benwiggy
    May 24 at 10:57

3 Answers 3

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"Any other suggestions are welcome."

The very best answer I can give you is: don't buy a printer that doesn't support Airprint.

macOS uses CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System. The current man page for CUPS commands like lpadmin have the following warning:

CUPS printer drivers and backends are deprecated and will no longer be supported in a future feature release of CUPS. Printers that do not support IPP can be supported using applications such as ippeveprinter(1).

A more detailed explanation can be found here: https://www.cups.org/blog/2018-06-06-demystifying-cups-development.html

In short, IPP Printing (of which Airprint is a type) is the future of printer connectivity. Printer drivers in their existing form are an old technology that is being phased out.

However, the reason for drivers not working in Monterey is that HP uses kernel extensions in its drivers, which are no longer allowed.

It's likely that Windows too will introduce some red lines on older device drivers, due to security problems.

While there might be some merit in extending the life of an existing purchase, buying a printer that does not communicate with your computer natively is no bargain.

In fact, it looks like the printer itself is discontinued. (Currently not listed in UK HP on-line store.)

When even the sales-staff are warning you off the product, that should tell you something.

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This answer demonstrates how to install the driver for your printer using the Mac operating Big Sur. The version of macOS used in the answer is 11.6.1. This answer was also tested using macOS Monterey 12.1 with success. However, the procedures and results were slightly different.

When a HP printer is added to the list shown in Printers & Scanners pain of the System Preferences application, the driver chosen by default may not be the newest of the available versions. A newer driver version may be obtained by selecting the driver while manually adding the printer.

I do not have a HP Ink Tank 115. To provide this answer, I will instead substitute an HP Office Pro 8600. Normally the printer would be directly connected to my Mac. However, this would require moving the printer, which I am not will to do in order to answer this question. You can connect your HP Ink Tank 115 to your Mac through a USB cable. I will access the HP Office Pro 8600 through printer sharing with a 2011 iMac named Marlin. The 2011 iMac is using macOS High Sierra 10.13.6

I started by opening the Printer & Scanners pane of System Preferences. Next I selected the + button to add a printer, then highlighted the Officejet Pro 8600 @ Marlin, as shown below.

I chose Select Software... for "Use:" to cause the Printer Software popup to appear, as shown below. Note, the Office Pro 8600 was not listed. Therefore, if I added this printer, the driver from 2011 iMac would have been used. I desired instead to get the driver from HP. At this point, I closed all windows.

By going to HP's websites, I can determined that I needed download and execute the HP Easy Start application version 2.13.0.220124. Conveniently, the same download is specified for the HP Ink Tank 115. You can confirm the download is the same by going to the link in your question and changing the selection from macOS 10.13 to macOS 11". The link to download is titled "Install HP Easy Start".

The following list of items pertain to the execution of the HP Easy Start application.

  • When asked to "Select the device you want to use and then click Coninue", the Office Pro 8600 Marlin was already selected, as shown below.

  • The window below shows the software which was found for the HP Office Pro 8600. Note, installing Essential Software also installs the HP drivers. I chose the default to install the Essential Software and HP Easy Scan. I assume the HP Ink Tank 115 does not scan, so I would assume the HP Easy Scan application would not appear when a HP Ink Tank 115 is selected as the device.

  • The following popup appeared twice, which I allowed.

  • As shown below, there were popups related to system extension(s) from HP, which a I allowed.

  • When the popup below appeared, I selected the Not Now button, because the HP Easy Start application had not completed. After this application completed, I restarted the Mac.

  • When the window below appeared, I selected the Add Device... button.

  • When the window below appeared, I did not print a test page. In other words, I did not select the Print Test Page button.


Using the Print Driver Downloaded from HP

The printer driver version can be determined by first opening the Printer & Scanners pane of System Preferences. Next, highlight Officejet Pro 8600 @ Marlin in the Printers list, then select the Open Print Queue... button. Finally, select the setting (gear) button to view the driver version under the General tab, as shown below. The print driver version is 4.1.1.

enter image description here

To switch to the print driver version which was downloaded and installed when the HP Easy Start application was executed, the Officejet Pro 8600 @ Marlin printer would have to be removed from the list, then manually added back in. To insure the print driver downloaded from HP is used, you have select the driver when manually adding the printer, as shown below.

The image below shows the version of the print driver is now 4.7.0.

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In answer to the the questions:

  1. Install the printer's Windows 10 driver on Windows Parallels and just print from the VM everytime. Yes.
  2. Same as #1 but with Bootcamp. Yes, but don't.
  3. Downgrade to macOS 10.15 (this would be my last resort as it's not a very sustainable solution). Yes, but don't.

And I will add:

  1. Install macOS 10.15 (or older) in a virtual machine.

I use VMware Fusion (free) rather than Parallels with a High Sierra virtual machine for a Canon scanner. Similar to your problem with a vendor who doesn't update their software.

If you already have Parallels and Windows, that would be your best solution.

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    Whilst @benwiggy does not answer your specific questions, I agree - choose another printer.
    – Gilby
    May 24 at 12:06

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