How to Add a Printer to Mac

How to Add a Printer to Mac

Connecting a printer to your Mac isn't rocket science, and with our step-by-step guide, you will surely be able not only to connect the printer to your Mac but also set it up to run without issue.

How to connect a printer to your Mac

How to connect a wireless printer to Mac

How to connect a USB printer to Mac

How to connect a network printer to Mac

How to change printer settings on Mac

How to find a printer IP address on Mac

How to print wirelessly from your Mac

How to remove an unused printer from your Mac

How to connect a printer to your Mac

Macs make it easy to set up your printer by using a special instrument called AirPrint. It will help you connect the most popular printers using Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or a USB connection without any additional software.

Note: If your printer is not supported by AirPrint, macOS will automatically download the necessary software as soon as your printer is connected.

Depending on the type of printer you’re going to use, the flow of connecting it to your Mac will differ.

How to connect a wireless printer to Mac

To connect a wireless printer to your Mac, make sure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Here are a couple of other tips:

  • If your printer isn’t AirPrint-enabled, make sure all software is updated in Apple menu → App Store → Updates

  • If it’s the first time you’re using the printer, make sure you have ink/toner and paper ready

When you’re ready, follow the guide below:

  1. If it’s the first time connecting your printer and Mac, make sure the printer cable is connected to the computer when possible

  2. Turn the printer on, and choose the required settings (language, tray, etc.)

  3. Follow the original instructions that came with your printer; the settings may vary depending on the printer’s brand, its model, and generation

Note: You might need to connect a printer to your Mac when you set the computer up for the first time.

  1. After you connect your printer to your Mac, disconnect the cable from the computer and make sure that the connection to the Wi-Fi network remains

  2. Go to Apple menu → System settings → Printers & Scanners

  3. If you’ve already opened a document for printing, choose File → Print (or a shortcut Command+P) → Add printer in the Printer pop-up menu

  4. If you don’t see your printer on the list, click the Add button add button macosin the lower-left corner of the screen

  5. Wait several minutes until your printer appears in the list of your local networks

  6. Select your printer and click Add

  7. If you’re asked to download additional software to set up the new printer, download and install it

  8. Start a test print

If your printer doesn’t appear in the list of available printers, proceed with the following:

  1. After you click the Add button add button macosin the lower-left corner of the screen, choose IP

  2. Here you’re required to enter some printer information:

  • Address: the printer’s IP address (that looks like 123.456.78.90) or its hostname (looks like printer.setup.com)

  • Protocol: AirPrint (Canon, Dell, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, HP, etc.), HP Jetdirect (for HP and other models), Line Printer Daemon (older printers), Internet Printing Protocol (modern printers)

  • Queue: if you don’t know the queue name of your printer, leave this line blank

  • Name: fill in the name you’ll be choosing every time you need to print a file

  • Location: choose optionally

  • Use: if the printer doesn’t display the appropriate software, choose Select Printer Software and select your printer from the list

How to connect a USB printer to Mac

The majority of USB printers require you to update your software on Mac and then connect the printer to your computer. After this, your Mac will automatically download all the needed software.

Note: You will not be able to connect a USB-only printer to many new Macs without an appropriate USB adapter.

To successfully connect your USB printer, consider the following:

  • If your printer isn’t AirPrint-enabled, make sure all software is updated in Apple menu → App Store → Updates

  • If it’s the first time you’re using the printer, make sure you have ink/toner and paper ready

If you still cannot automatically connect after joining the USB cable to your device, follow the next steps:

  1. Turn the printer on, and choose the required settings (language, tray, etc.)

  2. Connect your printer with the USB cable to your Mac

  3. If you’re asked to download additional software to set up a new printer, download and install it

Note: If there’s a single USB-C port on your Mac, use a multiport adapter to prolong the battery life of your Mac. Make sure to connect the printer first, and then to connect the USB-C cable to a power supply.

How to connect a network printer to Mac

To add a Bluetooth printer to your Mac, proceed with the following guide:

  1. If your printer isn’t AirPrint-enabled, make sure all software is updated in Apple menu → App Store → Updates

  2. Follow the original instructions to set up your printer; make sure the printer is ready to connect with Bluetooth

  3. On your Mac, go to Apple menu → System settings → Bluetooth  

  4. From the list of available devices, choose your printer and click Pair

  5. Then go to Apple menu → System settings → Printers & Scanners

  6. Choose your Bluetooth printer, click the Add button add button macos , then Default

  7. Choose the printer from the list and click Add

  8. If you can’t find your printer from the list, enter its name in the search field; confirm with Return

  9. If you’re asked to download additional software to set up the new printer, download and install it

  10. Connect your printer to the AirPort base station or AirPort Time Capsule, so that any Mac on your network can use it

How to change printer settings on Mac

You can also adjust your printer settings to fit your needs. Use Presets in macOS to save your printer preferences for future use:

  1. From any of your files, click File → Print (or a shortcut Command+P) to open the printing menu

  2. Under Presets, choose Printer Features

  3. Set the available parameters: color, two-sided print, cover page, paper layout, etc.

  4. From the Preset menu, choose Save Current Settings as Preset

  5. In the Name, choose your printer

  6. To apply the settings to all printers connected to your Mac, select All Printers (if this option is available)

  7. Confirm new settings with OK

How to find a printer IP address on Mac

To find an IP address of a printer connected to your Mac, do the following:

  1. Go to Apple menu → System settings → Network

  2. On the left side of the window, you’ll see a list with all the connected devices

  3. From this list, choose the necessary printer

  4. The IP address and other characteristics will be indicated on the right side of the window

If your printer has not been connected to your Mac yet, the guide below should help you.

To find the IP address of a printer with an LCD display, try the following:

  1. On the printer, go to Menu or Setup

  2. Navigate your way to menus similar to the Network setup option or Networking

  3. To view the IP address settings, find a name similar to IP address, TCP/IP, Wi-Fi Status, or Network Status in the available network options

  4. The printer’s IP address should be listed in this section

Note: If a network printer has no display, the easiest way to find the IP address is to print a test page. Commonly, the printer’s IP address is mentioned on the printed pages.

How to print wirelessly from your Mac

After you connected your wireless printer to a Mac, changed the printer’s settings, and checked it via printing a test page, it’s time to use the machine to its fullest. You can print Word, PDF, or Notes documents, different formats of pictures, and webpages from your browser.

Printing wirelessly from your Mac is easy, just follow our guide:

  1. Make sure that your printer is turned on

  2. From your Mac, open the file you want to print

  3. Then select File → Print, or use the shortcut Command+P to open the printer menu

  4. Set the number of copies, as well as two-sided/one-sided, portrait/landscape printing

  5. Click the Show Details button to set options for your printed file:

  • Print orientation

  • Print quality

  • Paper size

  1. Get your copy directly from the printer

How to remove an unused printer from your Mac

If you’re wondering about how to uninstall a printer on Mac, follow the next steps:

  1. Go to Apple menu →  System settings → Printers & Scanners

  2. Select the printer you want to uninstall from the list of available printers

  3. Click the Remove button remove button macOS to delete the printer from the list

Now you know how to connect a USB, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth printer to your Mac as well as how to change printer settings or remove the unused printer if there’s a need. Once you connect and choose the necessary settings for your printer, you no longer need to set it up.

We hope our article was helpful, and you’ve already got the first documents printed out from your Mac.

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