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How to Fix Missing Paper / Media Type Selection on Apple OS

What to do if you only see generic paper types listed in your print dialog

PROBLEM - Apple Airprint driver in use and not the printer specific driver from Epson, Canon, or HP

SYMPTOM - Media Type will show generic names such as Glossy Paper or Photo Paper. Other features may be inactive.

SYMPTOM - Color accuracy is poor.

SYMPTOM - Paper sizes missing or custom paper sizes not working.

FIX - Remove the Airprint driver and replace with the correct one.

Related Article - How to Find Your Printer Driver Version in the Mac OS / OSX

If you're an Apple user and only see generic media types such as "Glossy Paper" or "Photo Paper", you are probably not using the printer's intended driver for printing. This brief tutorial will help fix that problem in a flash.

We call this the "Airprint Hijack". Why? Because people using high quality Epson or Canon printers would not choose AirPrint as their preferred driver. And why would they? It removes critical printer capabilities and controls such as the media type and paper feed adjustments. This results in poor print quality and unnecessary frustration. The below tutorial helps you diagnose and solve the problem.

Step One - Diagnosis

You know you have a problem when the media type selection is only generic names like "Photo" or "Glossy Paper". Epson, Canon, and HP always populate this list with their brand name papers. Examples are "Premium Photo Paper Glossy" and "Photo Paper Plus Semigloss II".

Step II - Correcting the Problem

To fix this issue, you have to install the printer and tell the OS to use the correct driver from Epson, Canon, or HP.  

We assume that you initially downloaded AND installed the latest driver for your printer from the manufacturer's website.

If you have not downloaded the driver from the printer makers website,  do so now. Once downloaded, run the install process.

Now, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.

Click the "+" button, shown above.

This dialog starts the process of adding a printer to your system.  It's important to understand that the driver should already be installed. This part is the act of telling your computer you want to use the printer AND tell it what driver to use.

1 - Single-click the printer you want to install from the list. Note the above has many printers because we have lots of printers at RRP.

2 - Click the USE dropdown menu.

3 - Choose Select Software...

In this dialog, you're telling the computer what DRIVER you want to use for this printer.  

If you installed the driver as instructed above, you will see it in this list.  

Single-click it and click OK.

Click the Add button and Continue if the computer warns you that the printer is already exists.

You will probably see a dialog like the above as the computer adds the printer and driver.

When you go to print, you will see the correct media selections are now available. These are manufacturer branded media names, not generic one word descriptions.