Troubleshooting Mac “printing – printer is in use” error

I haven't seen this a lot, but it's common enough that you can find it in a Google search. Here are some of the top results:

I recently came across this situation with an HP printer, and I thought resetting the printer system was a bit extreme (especially since the user who brought it up had about six or seven printers installed that would have to be reinstalled).

I tried removing the printer and re-adding it. Same problem.

I tried adding the printer to my computer (to see if it was a problem with just the user's configuration or if the printer itself was having issues). I got the same problem on my computer, too.

I went through the HP menus to print out the printer configuration page. It spit out a backed-up print job before printing the printer configuration page, but not all of the backed-up jobs came out, and the "printer is in use" error persisted for both me and the user I was trying to help.

I waited a bit and then saw a message on the printer to hit the checkmark button. I hit it again, and all the backed-up jobs came out and the error went away for both me and the user.

So I don't know if that will always be the solution, but I'd at least give that a try before resetting the printing system.

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