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How to Connect a Printer to MacBook Easily

Are you new to Macs and wondering how to connect a printer to your MacBook? You’re not alone!

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of connecting your printer to your Mac so you can start printing those important documents. Keep reading for tips and instructions on how to get started.

How to add a wireless printer to a MacBook

If you have a wireless printer and your computer is connected to the same Wi-Fi network, your MacBook will most likely show all the printing devices that are currently available. 

  1. To check what printers are connected to your MacBook click on the Apple Menu in the left hand corner. 
  2. Select System Preferences > Printers and Scanners.
  3. You should see all the connected devices in the sidebar on the left

There may be times where you will need to connect the printer with a USB cable to your MacBook. You can use the setup assistant to connect the printer with your Wi-Fi network. When you have successfully connected to the Wi-Fi network, you will be able to print wirelessly. 

How to Connect a USB Printer to MacBook

Before you plug in your printer, make sure that all of your applications and the operating system on your computer are up to date.

Double check if there are any software updates by going clicking on the Apple menu > About This Mac > Software Update.

You can also update apps using the App Store. Your printer should automatically connect when plugged in if there are no updates needed. However, you might need to download additional macOS drivers for your printer from the manufacturer’s website that’s compatible with your MacBook.

How to connect a network printer to a MacBook

To connect the printer to Wi-Fi network follow these steps:

1. Click on the Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers and Scanners

2. Click on the Plus button under the list of printers on the left to add the printer manually

3. Switch over to the IP tab

4. Now enter the IP address, name of the printer and the hostprotocol, queue, and approximate location. This is important for correctly identifying your printer.

How to connect a printer to a MacBook with Bluetooth

1. Make sure that your printer has a Bluetooth connection for this method to work

2. Turn on Bluetooth on your MacBook by clicking on the Bluetooth button in the menu on top of the screen

3. Turn on your printer

4. Go to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Printers and Scanners 

5. Click on the plus sign underneath the list of devices 

6. Now select your printer from the list of devices available

However, if your printer does not appear in the list then most likely you will have to install the printer drivers manually and then repeat the steps to add the printer via Bluetooth.

How to Add a Printer to a MacBook via WPS

Connecting your printer via WPS is only possible if your network uses WPA and WPA2 encryption protocols. This requires you to press the Wireless or Wi-Fi button on your printer and then the WPS button on the router.

Keep in mind these steps will vary depending on the printer and router you have so it’s best to check your user guides for instructions. When you’ve set up WPS, proceed with the following steps.

1. Click the Apple icon > go to System Preference.

2. Now click on Printers and Scanners. For older MacBook models, look for Print & Scan under Hardware.

3. Click on the + sign under the list of printers. You might have to click the Lock icon at the bottom of the window and type in your password to make changes in the Print & Scan menu.

4. Select the printer you would like to add. Your MacBook should display a list of discoverable printers on the network.

5. Select the printer’s software or driver in the Use field. You can choose from:

  • AirPrint – Apple’s printing technology which lets you print from AirPrint-compatible printers. If your printer is not AirPrint-compatible, you will need to install the driver.
  • Your printer’s own print driver that’s already installed.
  • Auto Select – This option will download the correct print driver when your computer updates if you don’t have a print driver installed.

6. Now click Add. Your new printer will be added to the list of printers and you will be able to see this on the left-hand side of the Print & Scan window.

How to set up a printer on a Mac

To set up a printer on a MacBook, you can use the macOS presets to create custom printer settings that can be applied to your print jobs by default.

1. Open a printable file and in the Preview menu click on File.

2. Click on Print from the drop-down menu.

3. When the printing menu appears, select the advanced menu >Show details. You can adjust the settings according to your preferences before printing.

4. You can set your current settings as a preset by clicking on the Presets menu >  Select Save current settings as a preset.

5. Now name your preset and select whether you want these settings to be applied on the current printer or all printers.

6. Click the OK to finish setting up your printer on a MacBook.

How to find a printer’s IP address on a MacBook

To find the IP address for the connected printer follow these steps:

1. Click on the Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers and Scanners.

2. You’ll see all the devices connected to your MacBook on the sidebar on the left. 

3. Select the correct printer and you will be able to see the IP address displayed on the right.

How to print wirelessly from your Mac

You need to make sure that the computer and printer are turned on, have a good network connection in order for your print jobs to be printed successfully. There is an easy way of doing this by using keyboard shortcuts: Command (⌘)+P or go into File > Print from the menu to print.

You can either use the default printing settings or you can choose your own.   If you click on Show Details at the bottom of the window, there are more advanced options like choosing what quality to print with or if you want borders. 

When you are done, click on Print. A task manager will show the current jobs with this printer and you can monitor them.

How to remove an unused printer from your Mac

If you have a few printers connected to your Mac, it’s likely that over time you won’t be needing all of them. If you don’t want to be asked which printer you want on the list when printing a document, you can easily remove certain devices from your list. 

To remove a printer from your MacBook:

  1. Click on the Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers and Scanners
  2. In the sidebar on the left of the window, you’ll see all printers currently connected to your Mac
  3. Select the device you want to remove
  4. Click on the minus sign underneath the list to delete the printer

If you delete the main printing device on your computer, it will be given to another printer automatically. You can change these settings manually.


Why won’t my MacBook connect to my wireless printer?

When something is not working with your printer, the first thing you should do is disconnect every cable between the printer and computer. Then reconnect them, making sure they are tight. If the problem still does not go away, try using another USB port on your Mac to connect your printer.

To print things on your Mac wirelessly, make sure that your printer is connected to the same network. If there are more than one printer in the network, check if you’re printing from the correct device. If your printer is not working, you should open the System Information on your MacBook and click USB. If your printer’s name appears under the hardware list but it still does not work, you should review the manual to troubleshoot.

How do you add a printer to a MacBook?

To add your printer to the list:

  1. Open System Preferences in the menu and click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Click Add and then Default.
  3. Find the printer in the list of printers and click it to add it.

How do I get my MacBook to recognize my wireless printer?

The first thing to try is to unplug your printer and plug it back in after you update the operating system on your MacBook. If that doesn’t work, make sure that you booted your MacBook correctly. Another way to find and add a printer is by typing in its IP address. 

How do I manually add a printer to a MacBook?

To add a printer to your MacBook:

  1. Go to the Apple menu
  2. Click System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  3. Click on the Add button and then select the Default button.
  4. Find your printer in the Printers list and press Add.

Why is my printer not connecting to my MacBook?

First, restart your computer and your printer. If that doesn’t work, then check to make sure that the wireless router is on and working. If it still does not work, try again to connect the printer to the network.

How do I find devices and printers on my Mac?

Click the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners. This will show you all of your printers. You need to hold down the Control key on your keyboard while clicking anywhere in the list of devices.

Why can’t my laptop find my printer on Mac?

To find a printer to your MacBook:

1. Click the Apple menu, then click System Preferences
2. Click Printers & Scanners
3. Right-click anywhere in the Printers pane
4. Try to Reset the printing system
5. Type your user name and password if prompted
6. Click OK to confirm a reset

Why is my wireless printer not being detected?

Always check to make sure your printer is connected to WiFi. If it’s not, try using a USB cable to connect it. If that doesn’t work, you might need to move your printer closer to the WiFi router or find a spot in your house with a better WiFi signal without any interference. If you’re still having problems, you might need to update the drivers for your printer.

How do I get my Mac to recognize my wireless printer?

To get your MacBook to recognize printer:

1. Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.
2. Select your printer from the list.
3. If you don’t see your printer listed, click the Add button, select your printer, then click Add.

How do I get my printer to recognize my WiFi?

To get your printer to recognize your Wi-Fi, these steps should fix the problem. If you’re still having issues, you can call the manufacturer’s helpline.

1. Connecting with a cable

This will help you find out if the problem is with your WiFi signal. If your printer works when it’s connected to the USB cable, then you need to move the printer.

2. Move to a new spot

Although the WiFi signals that deliver data to our devices may be invisible, you will find that there are many things inside a house that can affect Wi-Fi signals. Appliances, walls, and even fish tanks can reduce the Wi-Fi signal between devices. Moving the printer to an area with fewer obstructions can help improve the signal strength. 

4. Reboot devices

If you own multiple gadgets and devices at home, you know the routine. Unplug the device, wait a minute, and plug it back in. This is often enough to solve the problem.

5. Update firmware

Sometimes updates to routers, computers, and other devices can cause problems with printers. For example, if someone moves from Windows 8 to 10, their computer might start having trouble connecting to the printer. But a firmware update may be able to fix that.

6. Confirm the device is on the right network

If you have a WiFi Range Extender in your home, it’s important to make sure that the printer and laptop are on the same network. If they’re not, you might have trouble connecting to the internet. To fix this, log on to the right network or move the printer closer to the main router.

7. Reset the printer

This is the last resort if you can’t fix your connection. A factory reset will clear all of your settings, including your WiFi login information. Instructions for how to do this vary by brand and model.


Printing from your MacBook is easy, but it can be difficult to figure out how to connect a printer.

We hope this article has helped you get started and that you’re able to easily print those important documents now.