'Hold for Authentication' Error in Mac Print Queue

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When printing from a Mac, customers will sometimes see ‘Hold for Authentication’ in the job status in the print queue window. The job doesn’t progress and gets ‘stuck’.

We’ve seen this error at customer sites, and we’ve also noticed online forums with a lot of activity due to this particular error. It looks to be unrelated to PaperCut, but often shows up when customers start implementing shared Print queues on servers.

Note that if you see this error, this is actually OS-level authentication that’s being referenced - not the PaperCut Client authentication.

Troubleshooting preparation

Given that this is normally unrelated to PaperCut, in order to keep things simple while troubleshooting, it can be easier to remove PaperCut from the equation first. Ignore the printer in PaperCut by ignoring the printer in PaperCut. Send a test job to the printer from the server itself to make sure that the job doesn’t show up in PaperCut under Logs → Job Log.

Note that if you’re testing to see if it’s happening at the OS level with PaperCut excluded, you’ll still need to print through the shared print queue on the server. Printing directly from the workstation to the Printer will bypass the server print queue entirely (and also PaperCut) so will not be a true test of the server queue.

Troubleshooting steps

How we wish there was one ‘fix all’ solution for this : ) Sadly our customers and the forums have proved that there may be different fixes depending on exactly what is causing the issue. A few suggestions to try are below…

Make sure the Server Print queue is installed correctly

  • If printing to a Windows hosted print queue from a Mac workstation, make sure you’re using SMB. Some customers have also resolved the issue by uninstalling the print queue and then installing the printer using the ‘Windows’ tab as per Apple’s documentation.
  • If printing to a Mac hosted print queue from a Mac workstation, make sure that the printers have been added to the workstation using IPP.
  • Make sure that there aren’t any spaces or special characters in the printer name.

Try removing the saved authentication from the Keychain

  • First try hitting the ‘Refresh’ icon in the screenshot above (where the mouse pointer is), to see if that forces the OS level authentication again.
  • Open your Keychain Access.app and delete the entry for the print queue in question. Then cancel the job and retry. More info on that over on the Apple forums.

Try a different driver

  • Some customers have found that using a different driver resolves the issue in some cases. It’s worth checking the manufacturer’s website to see if there’s an updated (or alternative) driver.

Try using a fully qualified domain name for the printer

  • If you’re using an AD-authorized queue, then it may be worth changing the mapping to the fully qualified domain name as detailed in Apple’s Support Article.

Check if you’re printing across subnets

  • Are the workstations on the same subnet as the print server? If not, on the print server if you go into the CUPS interface at http://localhost:631 then go into ‘Administration’ at the top, then on the right hand side under the Server settings, make sure that ‘Allow printing from the Internet’ is checked. If that’s not checked, it will ask you to restart CUPS.

Categories: Apple Mac OS X,Troubleshooting

Keywords: hold for authentication, waiting for authentication, authenticate, mac, os x, print queue


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Article last modified on October 23, 2015, at 11:15 PM
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