New MBP (with touchbar) Can't Print Black—on all printers

SamAshleyBlogs

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Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
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Columbus, Ohio
Yep, since I've had this in December I've lost all ability to print anything with black ink. It's bizarre. And it's not just my printer, it's literally every printer I hook up to.

I've talked to Apple multiple times and they've not helped at all. Just continually say it's the printer, but it can't be SIX printers. Something with my software/machine is just not right. Anyone else have this problem? Have a fix? Thoughts? Seriously, help. I'm a full-time freelancer, so I use my personal computer for business and to be unable to print is a real issue.

Thanks!
 

New_Mac_Smell

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Yep, since I've had this in December I've lost all ability to print anything with black ink. It's bizarre. And it's not just my printer, it's literally every printer I hook up to.

I've talked to Apple multiple times and they've not helped at all. Just continually say it's the printer, but it can't be SIX printers. Something with my software/machine is just not right. Anyone else have this problem? Have a fix? Thoughts? Seriously, help. I'm a full-time freelancer, so I use my personal computer for business and to be unable to print is a real issue.

Thanks!
What software are you using to print from? I don't know what you're doing for a living, but if it's ID/PS/AI then make sure you haven't been playing with print profiles or anything like that.

If it's a PDF then make sure there's no embedded profile messing with colours.

If it's directly from Word then it could be something else.
 

SamAshleyBlogs

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
102
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Columbus, Ohio
What software are you using to print from? I don't know what you're doing for a living, but if it's ID/PS/AI then make sure you haven't been playing with print profiles or anything like that.

If it's a PDF then make sure there's no embedded profile messing with colours.

If it's directly from Word then it could be something else.
I've tried Word, Pages, Excel, mail, PDF, a webpage. Nothing works. If I print in light blue, sure. But no black.
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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SF Bay Area
Have you calibrated a printer recently or set it up for a photo printer? I am also thinking it is in the print profile.
 

SamAshleyBlogs

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Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
102
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Columbus, Ohio
Have you calibrated a printer recently or set it up for a photo printer? I am also thinking it is in the print profile.
I've calibrated my personal printer about 10 times. There are five different types of printers at a clients office. None of those work either.

Apple had me completely reset my print system. Including going on a guest user account on my computer. Didn't work.

Initially, printing with best quality chosen would work (very slowly), but since working with Apple, that no longer works either.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Finally - a non KB related issue lol.

Have you tried a complete macOS reinstallation? Drastic, but perhaps your only choice to really determine if it's hardware or not.
 

SamAshleyBlogs

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Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
102
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Columbus, Ohio
Finally - a non KB related issue lol.

Have you tried a complete macOS reinstallation? Drastic, but perhaps your only choice to really determine if it's hardware or not.
Ughhhh. I mean, that's nearly impossible. I work A LOT and I rely on so many saved files, templates, etc.

I feel like that seems extreme for a brand new $2600 machine.
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2017
156
72
Ughhhh. I mean, that's nearly impossible. I work A LOT and I rely on so many saved files, templates, etc.

I feel like that seems extreme for a brand new $2600 machine.
Fair - I'm currently going through a battle, too, having to balance work commitments and addressing my issues with the 2016 and now 2017 MBPs. I'm surprised Genius hasn't already suggested that you do a fresh format and see what happens... but even if they did I understand the struggle.

Unfortunately it seems like its a root cause issue embedded deep in the OS if it isn't a hardware issue. I presume you've Googled and have come up with few if any other instances of the issue.. Realistically the only way to tell would be to reformat and see what happens..

Do you have a timemachine backup? I'd back up the entire drive, reformat, and test out the printer. At least that way you'd know if it was software or not. Just re-install from the backup or force yourself to restart anew afterwards.

Best of luck
 

ab298

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2017
62
8
Fair - I'm currently going through a battle, too, having to balance work commitments and addressing my issues with the 2016 and now 2017 MBPs. I'm surprised Genius hasn't already suggested that you do a fresh format and see what happens... but even if they did I understand the struggle.
Best of luck


I've not tried, but wonder if printing from Safari in Recovery is possible. If so, it'd eliminate settings etc
 

New_Mac_Smell

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Ughhhh. I mean, that's nearly impossible. I work A LOT and I rely on so many saved files, templates, etc.

I feel like that seems extreme for a brand new $2600 machine.
It's going to be software related, so the cost of the computer is entirely irrelevant. If you've installed MacOS from a backup or system transfer then occasionally small things can go errant which is why a software reinstall is one of the few ways to diagnose the cause.

Given that you say this is affecting all printers it is an issue with your computer and the way it is telling the printers to print. It is also affecting seemingly all software so it's going to be some high level setting. Is this also affecting anything you try print or a specific document?

Are you absolutely sure you have not been messing with any print profiles recently? Are you saying that 1 hour you printed fine, then you hit print again and it stopped working all by itself?

Open a PDF, click print, and click advanced. The settings are going to depend on what printer you are using but look carefully through the settings.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 07.31.27.jpg


Choose colour handling: same as source, and colour profile: Adobe RGB (1998).

Also double check output.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 07.38.15.jpg


You could also try forcing B&W from the main print screen.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 07.40.39.jpg


A lot depends on what printer you are using. If it is a cheap office printer then it'll be so basic it'll only churn out basic things. More advanced printers have many settings regarding colour profiles to ensure colour accuracy with screen. If you've played with any of these it can mess things up as the printer is trying to match what you're seeing on screen. Again, basic one's won't do this.

So have a think if there's anything you've done with regards to any colour profiling on your computer.
 
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SamAshleyBlogs

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
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Columbus, Ohio
It's going to be software related, so the cost of the computer is entirely irrelevant. If you've installed MacOS from a backup or system transfer then occasionally small things can go errant which is why a software reinstall is one of the few ways to diagnose the cause.

Given that you say this is affecting all printers it is an issue with your computer and the way it is telling the printers to print. It is also affecting seemingly all software so it's going to be some high level setting. Is this also affecting anything you try print or a specific document?

Are you absolutely sure you have not been messing with any print profiles recently? Are you saying that 1 hour you printed fine, then you hit print again and it stopped working all by itself?

Open a PDF, click print, and click advanced. The settings are going to depend on what printer you are using but look carefully through the settings.

View attachment 706519

Choose colour handling: same as source, and colour profile: Adobe RGB (1998).

Also double check output.

View attachment 706520

You could also try forcing B&W from the main print screen.

View attachment 706522

A lot depends on what printer you are using. If it is a cheap office printer then it'll be so basic it'll only churn out basic things. More advanced printers have many settings regarding colour profiles to ensure colour accuracy with screen. If you've played with any of these it can mess things up as the printer is trying to match what you're seeing on screen. Again, basic one's won't do this.

So have a think if there's anything you've done with regards to any colour profiling on your computer.
I appreciate this! When I got this computer, I set up as new because I had read that others were having weird issues with doing it the other way. SO, it should be ok in that instance. And yes, it's ANY document, not the same one over and over.

Out of the box, it didn't print black. I initially thought it was my printer being a POS, but then once I went into other offices and NONE of their printers (cheap or super expensive) would work, I realized there was a problem. At that point, I contacted Apple and was on the phone with them for a couple hours. THAT is when they messed with print profiles (and trying to print recovery mode, etc). Up until that point, I had tried:
- Printing black and white (blank page was the result)
- Printing in color (anything black didn't show up. Anything darkened by black, was lighter)
- Changing the print settings to photo or high-quality (that worked for a bit, until Apple made me adjust settings. Now, that doesn't even work)

Well, ****. I really don't feel like risking losing everything. (and getting a new blank hard-drive to back stuff up).

Do you think a trip to the Apple store and letting them deal with it would be beneficial?
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
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SF Bay Area
I appreciate this! When I got this computer, I set up as new because I had read that others were having weird issues with doing it the other way. SO, it should be ok in that instance. And yes, it's ANY document, not the same one over and over.

Out of the box, it didn't print black. I initially thought it was my printer being a POS, but then once I went into other offices and NONE of their printers (cheap or super expensive) would work, I realized there was a problem. At that point, I contacted Apple and was on the phone with them for a couple hours. THAT is when they messed with print profiles (and trying to print recovery mode, etc). Up until that point, I had tried:
- Printing black and white (blank page was the result)
- Printing in color (anything black didn't show up. Anything darkened by black, was lighter)
- Changing the print settings to photo or high-quality (that worked for a bit, until Apple made me adjust settings. Now, that doesn't even work)

Well, ****. I really don't feel like risking losing everything. (and getting a new blank hard-drive to back stuff up).

Do you think a trip to the Apple store and letting them deal with it would be beneficial?
I would go to the store, but back everything up in case something gets deleted. And really you should be backing up unless you can afford to lose everything due to a fall or power surge.
 

SamAshleyBlogs

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 11, 2010
102
3
Columbus, Ohio
I would go to the store, but back everything up in case something gets deleted. And really you should be backing up unless you can afford to lose everything due to a fall or power surge.
Thanks! I do. I backup on icloud at all times. But doing a full Time Machine backup is necessary—I know. I just happen to have my old one from my old laptop on my external hard drive, and I'm not ready to part with it yet. Which means, new drive :(
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
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I appreciate this! When I got this computer, I set up as new because I had read that others were having weird issues with doing it the other way. SO, it should be ok in that instance. And yes, it's ANY document, not the same one over and over.

Out of the box, it didn't print black. I initially thought it was my printer being a POS, but then once I went into other offices and NONE of their printers (cheap or super expensive) would work, I realized there was a problem. At that point, I contacted Apple and was on the phone with them for a couple hours. THAT is when they messed with print profiles (and trying to print recovery mode, etc). Up until that point, I had tried:
- Printing black and white (blank page was the result)
- Printing in color (anything black didn't show up. Anything darkened by black, was lighter)
- Changing the print settings to photo or high-quality (that worked for a bit, until Apple made me adjust settings. Now, that doesn't even work)

Well, ****. I really don't feel like risking losing everything. (and getting a new blank hard-drive to back stuff up).

Do you think a trip to the Apple store and letting them deal with it would be beneficial?
Hmm it's a particularly strange one I'll give you that, especially out of the box. You say you've had this since December though? I thought you meant it was a recent thing.

By all means Apple will be able to fix this. However I am almost certain their fix will involve asking you to wipe and reinstall MacOS. As problem solving and finding a solution may be far too time consuming when a simple reset would likely work. So it could be worth a little more investigation on your part before going down that road.

Googling this issue throws up a fair few threads regarding it, and everything is pointing at print profiles. You may want to explore reseting profiles and a few other options before going for the nuclear option.
 
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jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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SF Bay Area
Thanks! I do. I backup on icloud at all times. But doing a full Time Machine backup is necessary—I know. I just happen to have my old one from my old laptop on my external hard drive, and I'm not ready to part with it yet. Which means, new drive :(
Understand. But, at least backup your data. The OS and Apps can be reinstalled. Your data cannot.