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

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

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

We assume that you initially downloaded the latest driver for your printer from the manufacturer's website. If not, do so now. Once downloaded, run the install process.

Now, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.

Click the "+" button, shown above.

Single click on the printer in question. It will be highlighted in blue as above.

In this example, you see a Epson P800 selected and that Apple has selected the AirPrint driver as the default.

Click the “Use” drop down menu. Assuming you have installed the printer driver, you will see the name of your printer listed. Click it.

Click the Add button and Continue if the computer warns you that the printer is already exists.
There will be a new instance of the printer in your queue. You can delete the original one that used AirPrint.

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