How to Connect a Printer to Mac

by Anthony Clark

As an individual, you will find the need to print out documents for personal use or official use. When this need arises, you might have to pay a few bucks to get your documents printed out if you don't have a printer. However, if you do have a printer in your home or office, it can save you the cost of paying someone to get your printings done. The process is easy and stress-free.

For you to start printing from the comfort of your home or office, you need more than just a printer. You will also need a personal computer such as a tablet, desktop, palmtop, laptop, or even a workstation. Each of these computer devices is produced by different manufacturers and they come in different types. You can use them for different functions such as designing, typing documents, playing video games, listening to music, watching videos, and coding.

The list is endless but for this article, our focus is on how to connect a printer to a personal computer like Macintosh to print documents and image files.

The Brief History of Macintosh

Macintosh consists of a group of personal computers manufactured by Apple. The first Mac was produced on the "24th of January 1984" by Apple incorporation, and it has since been developed to become some of the best personal computers in the 21st century. The Macintosh stood out at the time of its launch by Steve Jobs because of two unique features; the graphical user interface and the introduction of the mouse. These features made Macintosh stood out in the market.

Mac has made life easy in the world of IT over the years because of its special features.

If you own a Mac, and you need to print documents or images on it, you will be required to add a printer so that it can access your files for printing. The user interface of the Mac Operating System (MacOS) is entirely different from Windows Operating System (Windows OS), but the computer preference settings are quite similar. So, if you need to connect a new printer, you shouldn't find it difficult to change the printer settings when using a Mac for the first time.

The macOS makes use of software known as "AirPrint" (an Apple Printing Feature) to connect scanners and printers to Mac. While this feature makes connecting a printer to Mac easy, not all printer supports it. So, there are printing software and printer drivers available online for installation which is mostly provided by printer manufacturers. This printing software helps the connection of printers to a computer system such as Mac easy and fast.

This article will guide you on the steps you need to take to connect a printer to your Mac.

How to Connect a Printer to Mac

How to Connect a Printer to Mac
How to Connect a Printer to Mac

The process of setting up a printer connection on Mac can be complicated because there are different types of printers and the connection mode varies. For instance, a printer can be connected to Mac via USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. It can also be added via a Network Adapter or through an Ethernet connection. So, understanding how to carry out each of these connections is highly necessary. We'll show you how to add a printer to Mac through several connections.

How to Add a Printer to Mac via USB Connection

How to Add a Printer to Mac via USB Connection
How to Add a Printer to Mac via USB Connection (source)

One of the best ways to connect a printer to a Mac is through a USB cable. This method of connection has been in use for years and can appear to be an old-style, but effective one.

It is important to upgrade your macOS and any application software installed on your system before going ahead to connect the printer to it. This will make your USB connect automatically.

Follow these steps to connect a printer to your Mac via USB connection;

  • Check for software updates on App Store
  • Install the latest software update available on App Store
  • Connect the printer to a power source and prepare it for use
  • Plug the USB cable into a USB port on your Mac and note the prompt displayed
  • Wait for few seconds for the printer to automatically connect

Note: If your Mac has one USB-C port, you should use an adapter with multiple ports.

You can see the step is straightforward and fast. However, if your printer doesn't connect after this process, you will have to install new software drivers on your Mac. Ensure the new drivers installed are compatible with your device, and a good way to get them is on the manufacturer's website. The disadvantage of using USB printers is the high amount of energy they consume.

How to Add a Printer to Mac via Wireless Connection

How to Add a Printer to Mac via Wireless Connection
How to Add a Printer to Mac via Wireless Connection (source)

One of the best ways to add a printer to a Mac is through a wireless connection. It is an automatic seamless connection that does not require much stress. This mode of connection involves connecting a printer via a "Wi-Fi Protected Setup" known as WPS. The Wi-Fi connection button on your router and printer must be powered on before you start the process.

Follow these steps to connect a printer to your Mac via Wireless Connection;

  • Locate the "Apple logo" on your Mac from the top left corner
  • Navigate to the "System Preference" from the Apple menu
  • Select the "Printers and Scanners" option from system preferences
  • Locate all the connected devices from the sidebar display
  • Click the "+ sign" to setup printers or scanners nearby
  • Select the printer you want to use from the list of printers discovered
  • Choose your preferred printer software from the list on "Use-Field"
  • Click "ADD" directly below the Use-Field to confirm your selection

Once you click "ADD", the printer will be automatically added to your Mac computer.

How to Add a Printer to Mac via IP Address Connection

Connecting a printer through the use of an IP Address is a special mode of connection. This mode of connection involves setting up your Mac to identify the printer's IP address, which is mostly used when your computer can not detect a printer through the wireless connection.

If you choose this mode of connection, you have to first figure out your printer's IP Address, then add it through your system's preference settings. You can get it from user documentation.

Follow these steps to connect a printer to your Mac via IP Address Connection;

  • Locate the "Apple logo" on your Mac from the top left corner
  • Navigate to the "System Preference" from the Apple menu
  • Select the "Printers and Scanners" option from system preferences
  • Locate a list of connected printers from the display screen
  • Click the "+ sign" option from the list of displayed printer devices
  • Locate a blue-globe IP Address icon and click it
  • Carefully input your printer's IP address in the "IP Address field"
  • Select the printer software driver you will like to use from the "Use-Field"
  • Select the "ADD" tab to confirm your connection and wait for few seconds

At this stage, the printer will be automatically connected to your Mac without any hassle.

How to Add a Printer to Mac via Bluetooth Connection

This method is quite similar to a wireless mode of connection but the difference is that you will get to connect the printer via Bluetooth instead of a Wi-Fi connection. Printers and scanners can be automatically installed and connected to a Mac via Bluetooth if the printer is compatible.

Follow these steps to connect a printer to your Mac via Bluetooth Connection;

  • Ensure that the printer you want to use supports a Bluetooth connection
  • Check your system menu on Mac to power on your Bluetooth visibility
  • Connect your printer to a power source and prepare it for connection
  • Navigate to the "Apple Logo" menu on your computer to access system preferences
  • Select "System Preferences" and navigate to the "Printers and Scanners" option
  • Scroll through a list of connected printer devices and click the "+ sign" at the bottom
  • Now, your Mac will automatically detect your printer and connect it via Bluetooth

Each of these steps is straightforward to follow. In case you encounter any problem, you should go over the steps from the beginning and we are sure the issue will be sorted.

Conclusion

Connecting printers to Mac requires a careful approach unlike when connecting other regular devices. This is because the printer setup can be difficult to execute without prior knowledge of how to go about the task. Hence, that led us to write this piece to help you.

If you want your Mac to work seamlessly, you need to always ensure the operating system is frequently optimized and updated. This will make the connection of external devices such as scanners and printers easy and effective. We highly recommend "AirPrint enabled printers".

So, no matter what your goal is; be it trying to connect a printer to your Mac at home or the need to connect a printer to different Mac computers on a business network, be rest assured that this guide will offer a solution. Ensure you study it and share it with your friends.

About Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark has always had that wierd passion for digital drawing and printing since he was little. He would just wander around in his parents' house in Phoenix, Arizona; drawing various things with his older digital tablet. Be it just a memory collection or a portay of just about anything: object, parents, school, events, etc. He received his BA in Graphic Design at San Jose State Universiry at the heart of Silicon Valley. Now Mr. Clark is really excited to present his expeirence coupling with some colorful dips to help shape it the future of printing.

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