Overcome ‘Authentication Required’ error for shared printers in OS X

PrinterIconXIf you have a USB printer available, then one of the easiest ways to make it a communal printer is to share it on the network. However, there may be times when in attempting to print to such printers, you see your print job spool to the device, but it then sits in your print queue with a small message that states something about the job being on hold with authentication required.

This issue may happen for several reasons, and generally can be fixed with a few quick adjustments:

1. Check your shared printer permissions

On the system that is sharing the printer to the rest of the network, go to the Sharing system preferences and choose the Printer Sharing service. In here, select your shared printer and then check to see what users are allowed to print. By default this should be set to Everyone. If not, then you will be required to supply credentials in order to print to this system from another one. Try adjusting these values, initially by removing any specified users so “Everyone” is the default again, and then adding back any restrictions you wish after you get the printer working.

Shared printer permissions in OS X

Check this area for your selected shared printer, to determine if there are any restrictions on printing. Everyone means anyone on your local network can print, and should be able to do so without restriction.

2. Manually refresh the print job

To the right of your print job in the print queue window you should see round gray buttons for stopping the job and refreshing it. Click the one to refresh the job, and hopefully this will spur the networked system to accept any previously stored credentials for connecting to your printer.

3. Remove keychain entries for your printer

Being a network resource, if your printer requires credentials to connect, then when you initially set up your printers, your Mac will have stored the credentials in your keychain. If these entries are faulty in any way, then they may hinder your Mac’s ability to authenticate automatically. Therefore, on the Mac that cannot connect, open the Keychain Access utility and perform a search for your shared printer’s name. Select and remove any entry that shows up in your search. Then try printing again, and you should be prompted to authenticate. Now again give your credentials and optionally choose to store them in your keychain.

4. Delete and re-add your printer with a different name

This problem may be with how your Mac is resolving the name and address of the shared printer on the network, so one approach for fixing this may be to remove the printer, and then re-add it. You can do this on the client Mac that is trying to send the print job, and also with the server Mac that is receiving it.

One approach that might be beneficial here is to simply reset the print system, and then add your printers back. This will give you a fresh factory-default printer configuration to use, which will clear out any nuance changes you might have made to the printer setup which may be affecting your ability to authenticate. To do this, in the Print & Scan system preferences, right-click the printer list and then choose the option to reset the print system.

3 thoughts on “Overcome ‘Authentication Required’ error for shared printers in OS X

  1. Anna downs

    I deleted the key chain password and instead used the password I use to log onto the hosting computer. No luck.
    I then added a new printer, it said it existed, do I want to add it as a new printer, yes. Still wouldnt print but this time said job was ready on the server.
    So, I used screen share from Finder to access the computer that the printer is connected to, it said there was a job ready to resume, do I want to resume? I did, it started printing.
    While waiting for the job to finish printing I had a look at the settings, Permission for “Everyone” was not set to Can print, so I changed it to that. I had my user name and admin set as the users that can print, but obviously Everyone must be able to print instead.
    Back on normal finder for the computer trying to print, I printed a test page. It worked, without requiring a password.

  2. jtinsley

    Don’t know if this will help anyone – My user is running El Capitan (10.11) and trying to print to a Toshiba eStudio 856. What ended up working for me was to simply make sure i had the correct driver AND protocol. The user was originally using the “Bonjour” version of the copier – but in troubleshooting – i attempted to install the copier via IP, and various combos of the driver.

    My initial testing with this – i used the Internet Printing Protocol – and the generic driver. (Same result as with the Bonjour installation – “Hold For Authentication”. Then i tried to load the correct driver from Toshiba’s website – (still using the IPP setting) – Same result “HFA”.

    Lastly – I tried changing the protocol to “HP Jetdirect – Socket”, in combo with the Correct X7 driver. This resolved my issues – All prints working. Good Luck.

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