5 Simple Ways To Connect A Wireless Printer To Mac

Connecting a printer with a Mac desktop or laptop is not a difficult task the process is similar and simple to Windows. If you are switching from Windows to Mac, you will get a similar printing control panel.

Necessary Feature That Printer Should Have

If you are buying a printer for your Mac computer or laptop you should know some basic and mandatory things. Important is your printer should compatible with macOS you can get a detailed list of printer drivers for Mac in their support article

And if the printer is AirPrint-enabled then it is compatible with macOS. When you are buying a printer, the product specification always declares that it is compatible with macOS or supports AirPrint. So, be sure to check it.   

If you have connected your printer and mac device to the same WiFi network then there are maximum chances that your printer is available for easy setup.

To check, choose File > Print, click the Printer pop-up menu, choose Nearby Printers or Printers & Scanners preferences, then choose your printer. But if it’s not you can add it by the process described below.

Read: See All Printer Reviews

How To Connect A Printer To WiFi Network?

Whereas first, you have to know how to connect an AirPrint printer with a WiFi network. There are 3 ways to connect a printer to a WiFi network. Let’s check out first.

Printer Built-in Display

If the printer has a touch screen display or other display with the control panel generally allows you to connect a WiFi network by entering the name and password of the network. You can get the details from the printer’s documentation.

Connect via WPS

There are different steps for different printers and routers so check the printer and router documentation for instructions. We are describing the process that is ideal for a router that is made by Apple or compatible with Apple devices. 

If your router holds AirPort Base Station then follow the steps:

  • Open AirPort Utility, available on utility folder in the application folder.
  • Select a base station and enter the base station password in AirPort Utility if promoted.
  • From the menu choose the base station and add a WPS printer.
  • You will get two options First attempt or PIN click anyone and continue.
  • For the First Attempt option press the WPS button on the printer. After that printer’s MAC Address will appear click and done.
  • For the PIN option enter the printer’s pin available in the printer documentation after that press and continue. When MAC Address appears in AirPort Utility, click and done.
  • You have completed the job exit AirPort Utility.

Connect via USB

You can also use a USB connection to set up WiFi printing:

  • Connect printer and mac with compatible USB cable.
  • Install mac software delivered with the printer but be sure to include printer setup assistant.
  • Use the printer setup assistant for connecting the printer and WiFi network.
  • Now disconnect the USB cable from the printer and mac but the printer will remain connected with the WiFi network.

There is more other process available but they are less recommended as that type of feature is not always installed in the printer.

The above three methods are applicable for all macOS-supported printers and these are the best way to connect. 

How Do I Connect A Wireless Printer To My Mac?

In short, connecting a wireless printer to a Mac device can be done by three major processes: you can connect via WiFi, via IP address, and Bluetooth.

But you have to follow a few steps and you need to know some specifications that a printer should have.

Add Printer To Mac Device via WiFi

Now it is time to add the printer to the Mac device. If the printer and mac device are connected to the same network then normally the printer is available for setup but if not then follow this.

 On Mac you need to update the software if your printer is not compatible with Apple AirPrint otherwise you don’t need to update software.

Because in most cases when you add a printer to a Mac device the macOS uses AirPrint to connect the printer by automatically downloading the printer’s drivers. You don’t need to install them separately. 

After that prepare your printer by unpacking, installing ink or toner, and adding paper. Now turn on the printer and connect it to a network by using the above method as your printer demands. And now enlist the printer in the system.

Go to the Apple menu icon at the top left corner of the screen then select System Preferences then go to Printers and Scanners for the old model it will be written Print & Scan.

If you don’t find your printer on the left then click on the plus(+) sign below the list. 

After clicking the plus sign the default tab of the Mac laptop or desktop will show you all the list of discoverable printers select the one you like to add.

The use field will give you the option to select the printer driver with that it will give you several other options like:

  • AirPrint: AirPrint allows you to print from the printers that are compatible with Apple AirPrint. 
  • Printer’s own printing driver if you have installed them.
  • Auto Select: If you don’t have a printer driver and want your Mac laptop to download the right one. 

And you have covered all the processes click on the add button to put it in the list. After the printer addition, macOS generally gathers all information related to printers like accessories installed, additional paper trays, extra memory, or a duplex unit.

If it shows nothing then a dialogue box will appear that ask to specify them. To take the full benefit make sure you provide accurate information in that dialogue. See the above images

How Do I Connect A Wireless Printer To My Mac By IP address

There is another way of adding a printer is by the IP address but before that, the printers need to have any one of these protocols: AirPrint, HP Jetdirect (Socket), Line Printer Daemon (LPD), or Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). And with that, you should have the details of IP address, printing protocol, and model number or software name. 

Now click on the Apple menu then click system preference after that select printers and scanners. Click on the plus button below the printer list now select the IP button a blue globe-like icon.

Now enter the following details:

  • Address: Fill in the IP address or hostname
  • Protocol: AirPrint, HP Jetdirect, Line Printer Daemon, Internet Printing Protocol
  • Queue: If needed then enter the printer’s queue name otherwise leave it blank.
  • Name: Enter the full name of the printer.
  • Location: Enter where you want to place the printer inside your home or outside the office.
  • Use: In this, you have to select printer driver or software if it does not show then you can go for auto select. 

How Do I Connect A Wireless Printer To My Mac By Bluetooth

If the Mac device is enabled with Bluetooth or you can use a USB Bluetooth adapter that you can connect your Bluetooth-enabled printer. If everything is ready then follow the steps below.

  • Update the software on your Mac laptop or computer by following the above process.
  • Prepare your printer and make it ready to connect with Bluetooth.
  • Now add your printer to the list: Select the Apple menu then system preferences after that click on printers and scanners follow by clicking add button and then click the default button. 
  • Then select the printer from the list that appears in your printer that is not in the list then make sure you have the latest Bluetooth driver installed for that you can check the manufacturer. 
  • At last click the add button. 


Here we conclude our article How Do I Connect A Wireless Printer To My Mac. We hope this article solves your query and helps you to establish a solid connection.

Feel free to tell us what you think about How Do I Connect A Wireless Printer To My Mac in the comment section on our contact page. 

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Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.

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