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How to add a printer on a Mac [Simple and Easy]

You can connect a printer model to a Mac as long as you fully set up AirPrint. Go to the Apple menu sign, choose System Preferences, and then select Printers and Scanners to add a printer on the printer list if you want to use it on your Mac.

All Airprint-enabled printers are MacOS compatible, and you don’t need to install the printer’s software from the manufacturer. The Airprint will take care of that; by automatically downloading the printer’s software. 

If it’s not Airprint-enabled, you will have to contact Apple support for assistance on making it MacOS compatible.

Below is a list of the printers that can be added to a Mac.

  1. Wireless printers
  2. USB printers
  3. Network printers 
  4. Bluetooth printers
  5. WI-FI printers
  6. WPS printers

The connection process may vary from one printer to the other, depending on their features.

1- Adding a  wireless printer

As long as this printing device is connected to the same network as your Mac, it will be displayed automatically.

How to find out what printer is connected to your computer

  1. Click the Apple menu sign at the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Choose System Preferences.
  3. Select Printers and Scanners.
  4. Check on the left sidebar, and you will see all devices connected to your computer.

For some wireless printers, if it’s a first-time connection, you may need to use a USB cable to connect the printer to your Mac. 

Then connect the printer to Wi-Fi using the setup assistant.

2- Adding a Network printer

In case you want to add the Internet printing protocol (IPP), Airprint, or HP Jet direct printer, you can connect it to a Mac as an IP printer.

  1. First, go to the Apple menu. Click on System Preferences, and then select Printers and Scanners.
  2. On the left, underneath the list of printers, click the plus button. 
  3. Click on the IP tab
  4. Enter the printer’s IP address
  5. Click the protocol pop-up menu, and choose a protocol supported by your printer; Line printer, HP Jet direct, IPP printer, or Airprint.
  6. Type in your queue name for your printer. If you don’t know it, you may leave it blank or contact your network administrator for more information.
  7. Name your printer and give it a location name, too, to identify it in the printer’s pop-up menu.

3- Adding a USB printer

Before connecting the printer, please make sure your MacOS and any other installed applications on your Mac are up-to-date. Click on the Apple menu sign, and then go to About this Mac, select software updates to check for any software updates.

If updates are available, you will find them under the Software Update section in the sidebar on the left of the screen.

If all software updates are up-to-date, plug in the printer, and it will connect automatically to your Mac.

In case you have connection problems, you may need to download additional drivers for that printer model you intend to connect to your Mac.

Please, use a multiport adapter when connecting a USB printer to your Mac. The multiport adapter will ensure your battery serves you properly because they tend to draw a lot of energy while in use.

Read also: Best All-In-One Printers for Mac

4- Adding a Bluetooth printer

  1. Make sure your printer is Bluetooth enabled.
  2. On the Mac, turn on the Bluetooth.
  3. Power on your printer.
  4. Click the Apple menu, select System Preferences, and then Printers and Scanners.
  5. Select the plus sign button on the devices’ list.
  6. From the list of devices, select your printer in the Default tab.
  7. If the printer does not appear in the list, the drivers may not have automatically been installed via Bluetooth.
  8. Just install them manually and repeat the above steps to add the printer.

5- Adding a Wi-Fi printer

Usually, network printers may need a configuration profile to be discovered on your Mac’s network via Airprint.

In a case whereby a profile is provided, install, download or copy it to your Mac.

Then double-click the profile on your Mac to open it.

When a message pop-up asking you to install the profile, proceed by clicking Continue.

Click install if asked to confirm the installation.

Add the printer to the printer’s list by going to the Apple menu, and then select the System Preferences and click on the Printers and Scanners.

Click the plus button and then select the Default button.

In the Printer list, select the Wi-Fi printer and click Add.

If the printer is not on the list, make sure there’s a network on your computer, and you have the latest configuration profile and repeat the above steps.

6- Adding a WPS printer

If you want to add the WPS printer to your Mac successfully, your network must be in WPA and WPA2 encryption protocol.

  1. Then power on your Mac and the printer.
  2. Turn on Wi-Fi on the WPS printer.
  3. Make sure the printer has a network connection.
  4. Follow the standard procedures to connect the printer to your Mac.

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