Monday, November 09, 2009

Snow Leopard Doesn't Support Some Epson Printers

UPDATED: See update below...

Well I wish I had known this before I upgraded to Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Apparently Epson hasn't released drivers for some of its more expensive "pro" printers such as my Epson Stylus Photo 2200. It appears the same is true for the 1280 and 2100 and probably others as well.

Epson has stated they will release a new printer driver by the end of January 2010 that will be distributed by Apple as a software update.

The current version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.2) includes the open source Gutenprint driver for these printers, however, most people report that either they don't work, or the colors are so off that they are useless.

For a list of Epson (and other) printers supported with native drivers in Snow Leopard you can go here. If the driver lists Gutenprint next to the printer name (i.e. Epson Stylus Photo 2200 - Gutenprint v5.2.3) you know that the manufacturer hasn't developed a native Snow Leopard printer driver yet and your printing results may vary.

BTW you may find the printer driver on Epson's website here that claims it is compatible with Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6. That file is identical to the older printer driver that worked under 10.5 and is not a new one that fixes color issues in 10.6. Epson has stated multiple times that the new version will be available through Apple's software update and not a download from their website.

UPDATED: January 3rd 2010

Well it appears they've released the update. Oddly it doesn't appear during the Apple Software Updates but through the new printer driver update facility that Apple added to Snow Leopard. Now you might be wondering how to get the update to appear? Well, mine showed up automatically when I plugged in the USB cable of the printer to the computer. Immediately I got a dialog saying updated drivers existed and asked if I wanted to download them. Note that I had already uninstalled the non-working Gutenprint drivers, so if you were using those, I have no idea if you would get the update notification. I hope you would.

After downloading it automatically added the printer, and I was able to print. I haven't done any detailed photo printing but printed a few color pages on plain paper the colors looked good. So good luck to you and thank you Epson for living up to your word. It would've been better if you had these drivers available when Snow Leopard shipped but better late then never. You can see several printers have been added here to the list here with a + which indicates the Vendor software was recently added via software update.


Tony Winton said...

Ever since SL came out my R1800 has been useless with the Epson drivers. I am now fiddling with Gutenprint, but Are you saying the October Apple Espon update -- which is a Gutenprint - is not any different from the original SL driver release

Aric said...

If you are referring to the November update described here:

You'll note there are no Epson updates included in that.

My post was made November 9th so while I'm not familiar with the October update you refer to, I would've already been working with anything that was updated in October.

No one seems to be having good luck with the Gutenprint drivers for the Epsons so personally I wouldn't spend the time on it. The only thing to do is to wait for native Epson printer drivers due at the end of January 2010. :( Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Just installed the print drivers that was released from epson through the Apple update software for Snow Leopard. I have a 7800 and 9600 and i can't even get a file to the queue without it crashing. I just can't believe that epson would put out a product like this. There printers last forever but there software is crap.You can print from the printer utility if you want to run a test.
Amazing how useless this product has become.
I am looking into a canon printer.

Aric said...

Well apparently Epson has added the update. When I unplugged and re-plugged in the printer it asked me if I wanted to download the updated software. Also checking the link at shows several printers with a note: + = Vendor software recently added via Software Update.

So I'm letting the update run and we'll see how it works. If this is the update 45th Street Editions was referring to it doesn't sound like I'll be very happy. Let me know if I should keep updating in the comments, or post a new blog entry as this story develops.

patrick said...

well, even though HP said my Deskjet 5150 won't work with 10.6.2, I installed the driver for 10.4.11, and it successfully prints via USB. No support for Bluetooth printing anymore, but I don't truly care. my advice to you is to install the latest driver available, and update it with software update.

Aric said...

@ 45th Street Editions just for the record I got the updated drivers and am printing to my 2200 without issue. Not sure if we are discussing the same update. :(

Sean said...

Epson released a Snow Leopard driver for the 9600 on July 16, 2010.

beer geek said...

After readfing everything I could find about getting the 2200 and Mac OS 6.6 to play together, I still get a blue-green color cast on prints other than plain paper.

I uninstalled Gutenburg drivers using the tool at the gimp print website, I deleted all things Epson from my machine, I repaired disk permissions. I deleted the Epson 2200 in System Preferences.

I downloaded the latest drivers by plugging in my printer and allowing Software update to do its thing. I then added the printer back and tried to print from Photoshop CS5, allowing the printer to control color management.

I was excited when the printer started the job (something it wouldn't do when first tried with 10.6) but the blue-green color cast really let me down.

I then deleted the new drivers, deleted the printer and downloaded drivers from Apple's website.

I'm still getting the blue-gren cast.

What the heck am I missing?

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marysummer said...

great post! this is vrey informative post about Mac OS X Snow Leopard. thanks for sharing...

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