One working fix for “filter failed” printer message on a Mac

There seem to be several “working” (your mileage may vary) fixes for the “filter failed” message when you try to print on a Mac (may happen in Linux, too, since Mac uses CUPS for printing), and they all seem driver-related:
‘Filter’ failed error when printing from EPSON
Yosemite and a printer driver that broke

The one that fixed it for me was checking on another computer that’s working fine with that printer and going to System Information > Printers to find out what the exact driver is that’s used, and then deleting the printer from the computer having issues, and then re-adding it manually (not with a script) and manually selecting the correct driver.

5 responses to “One working fix for “filter failed” printer message on a Mac”

  1. I found it was happening with all PDFs. Printing a boarding pass, I decided to ‘export to PDF’ from downloaded boarding pass file in Preview. I then opened the new saved version that I’d exported, and it printed first time.

    Not sure if that fixed it permanently, but at least I got the boarding pass printed.

  2. One easy fix, after consistently getting “filter failed” messages trying to print on an Epson WF-4630 from El Capitan. It happened late enough in the evening that I decided to wait until morning to reset the printer system. After doing some other work I brought up the printer queue and the failed jobs suddenly started printing. Evidently all the printer driver needed was a good night’s sleep.

  3. Honestly, My Mac is pathetic when I want to print a PDF. Usually I end up firing up a Windows VM which NEVER fails to print the SAME PDF first time. Sick of it. Time to buy a PC…

  4. my mac air was ok with magicolor 1600w till i upgraded to the latest catalina fix. now im getting filter failed and cant print anymore. am afraid if i try to delete and re install driver that itmy mac air wont work anymore because my mac mini doesn’t even “see” the magicolor it is connected to!!

  5. I went into my library on Mac and deleted everything to do with the printer.
    I also deleted from printer list in system settings
    I then went to email I wanted to print and used icon print in email. The print option came up but no printer selected. I used the drop down box and for some reason the printer I had deleted was an option. I selected it and now I can print… strange

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