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Apple releases Epson and Lexmark driver updates

Apple has released updated drivers for Epson and Lexmark printers, but you likely will not need to install these updates.

Apple has released updated drivers for Epson and Lexmark printers. These updates are available through Software Update but can also be downloaded from the Apple Support Downloads page. However, while it may be tempting to install, unless your printers are not working properly, then you likely do not need to apply these updates.

Apple's printing system, the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS), uses a bunch of generic drivers that are then enhanced upon to add functionality for a specific printer's features. As new printers are developed, drivers are morphed to include their features rather than developed from scratch for the printer. In addition to providing drivers for new printers, some bugs with prior drivers are also tackled with these updates; however, this is not the case with all drivers and many (if not most) will likely be unchanged. Therefore, only apply these updates if you have problems with them.

A last thing to keep in mind is that even though these updates are available, they include the driver set for all supported Epson and Lexmark printers (see this Web page for all supported printer models in OS X), so unless you plan on printing from a variety of printers from these companies, then installing all the drivers is a bit overkill. This is especially true since OS X will automatically download the latest driver for your printer from the Web when you initially set it up. Therefore instead of applying all the printer drivers, even if you feel you need to update, the best thing is to force the system to install the latest driver only for your printer.

  1. Go to the Print & Fax system preferences.
  2. Remove your printer (optionally right-click your printer and choose "Reset Print system," which can help fix numerous odd printing problems).
  3. Add your printer again, and the system will search for or download the latest driver.

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