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TS2303: Printing from Classic Helix Sometimes Fails to Print

macOS Bug

The Problem

“After printing one job, Helix (in Classic) won’t print again until the computer is restarted.”


Each printer set up in macOS maintains its own print queue. These queues can be seen by opening the Printer Setup Utility and double clicking on any printer.

The bug in macOS is that anytime a print queue is printing (the printer icon shows as launched in your dock) or even just open (the print queue window is open) print jobs sent from Classic applications do not print.

Solution #1

Make sure the print queue window is closed before printing from Classic. Also be sure to wait after printing for the print queue to deactivate (disappears or quits in the Dock) before printing again.

Solution #2

If you’ve lost an important print job, you can still recover it. In the Finder, choose Go to Folder (in the Go menu), type /private/var/tmp and click the Go button. The folder where the temporary print jobs. In here you will find (along with many other temprorary files) a folder named folders.501 (or something in the 5xx range). In that folder you will find a folder named TemporaryItems. This is where print jobs are stored (with other things) while waiting to be sent to the printer.

Each file name starting with TemporaryCustom_PS_File is a document you have printed from Classic (including those that printed successfully) since the last time you started (or rebooted) your computer. You can reprint any of these print jobs by dragging them onto your printer icon or into an open print queue window.

Technical Note:

These temporary files are really Postscript files without the .ps extension. You can also turn a .ps file into a PDF by adding the .ps entention and then opening it in Preview, which will convert it to a PDF and give you an option to save the file as a PDF.


Special thanks go to Gib Henry for discovering and documenting this problem.