Hello everyone, thanks for checking out my article on how to connect a WiFi printer to your devices. Since I get asked this question a lot, I thought it might be helpful for me to explain about Wireless printers. In this post, I will explain step-by-step how to connect and set up a printer to work on your wireless network.
In my opinion, the biggest improvement of today’s printers is the ability to print wirelessly.
Having a printer on your WiFi network is a huge convenience. It allows you to print pictures and documents from any device like a smartphone, laptop, tablet or anything else that you have connected. You no longer need to physically connect to your printer by cable in order to print things. We now have the capability of printing anything from any device on our WiFi network. In this article, I will explain in detail how to set up your printer to work with all of your wireless devices.
How to connect a WiFi Printer – Getting Started with WiFi Printing
Using a WiFi printer for the first time will require some extra configuration compared to a wired printer. You will need to verify a few basic things before we can proceed.
- Make sure the printer that you are using is a WiFi printer.
Your printer will most likely have a sticker or emblem that shows “WiFi” or “Wireless Printer”. If you cannot find this and you are not sure if your printer is WiFi cabpable then you can verify it by searching the printer model number on google.
So you know, even if your printer isn’t wireless-ready there is still a way to use it on your WiFi network. It is a bit more complicated so I will get into that in another article and most likely make a video as well.
- Make Sure the printer is within the range of wireless network
Place your wireless printer close to your WiFi router or anywhere that you have a strong WiFi signal.
If you are not sure if the location has a good WiFi signal then you can test it. A quick way to test is by using another WiFi device like your cell phone at the same spot.
Some wireless printers do require you to initially connect them to a PC, but most do not. Don’t worry, we will describe the steps for both scenarios.
- Turn on the Printer
Turn on the printer. After turning on the printer, move to the next step.
- Connect Printer to Network
Different Printers use different methods to connect to a wireless network, let’s cover all of them so that you can find the one that works best for you.
- Case 1: Some printers come with a dedicated button to connect to a wireless network, this button can also be called a WPS push button. This is the same button used on wireless routers. So, this method is very simple and does not need any special knowledge to connect. You just need to press the WPS push button both on your printer and wireless router to which you want to connect your printer. When it is connected, it notifies thorough screen display on your printer.
- Case 2: Some printers have a proper menu interface on their screen and you need to navigate to the appropriate menu and search wireless networks and connect to a certain network. It is a good practice to go through the original documentation that comes with the printer because that contains a thorough guide including establishing the wireless connection. You can also download it in PDF format from the company website.
- Case 3: Some old wireless supported printers needs to be connected to computer or laptop in order to connect them to wireless networks for the first time. You need to connect the printer with your computer and use the software that comes with it to configure it right from your laptop. Software that comes with the printer is necessary to install because it is responsible to create communication between your computer and printer. Once, you have set up a wireless connection on your printer using PC, you can disconnect it from PC and place anywhere within the range of the router.
Note: In all these cases, you have to configure your printer only once for a Wireless Network. But, if you need to connect the printer to any other wireless network, you need to perform the operations again as described above.
How to Connect a WiFi Printer to your Apple MacBook
Below are the steps to connect a Mac device to Wireless Printer.
Make sure that your printer is connected to the same wireless network as your Mac device is.
- Go to System preferences. You can find this in the menu bar located at the top left corner of the screen.
- Click on Printers and Scanners.
- Click + icon located at the bottom of the window.
- While keeping in the Default tab, let your mac to find the nearby printer(s) connected to your network. Once your mac finds the printer connected to the same network as it is, it will display here.
- Click on Add now to connect this printer to your Mac wirelessly.
Note: The steps described above need that your printer must support AirPrint. In case, your printer does not support AirPrint, do some extra steps below.
- Once your printer is discovered by the mac and shown in the list, click on its name.
- Then click on Add to download drivers from Apple’s Servers.
- Click on Add to add the printer.
If the drivers are not available on Apple’s servers, you don’t need to worry about it. Just go to the website of the manufacturing company and download drivers for mac from there. After downloading the necessary drivers, install them and then add the printer according to the steps above.
How to Print from a Mac to the Wireless Printer
If you have connected the printer and mac to the same networks and added that printer in your mac too, you can take the print from this print wirelessly. Follow the steps below to do so.
- Select the file, picture or any printable document you want to print out from the connected printer.
- Click Command + P buttons simultaneously.
- A pop-up window will appear that allows you to manage the settings for the print such as the size of the print. Set the settings as per your requirements and click on Print. That’s it! You have successfully taken the print wirelessly, go and collect it from the printer.
Note: If you don’t see the printer, you need to add it by following the steps described above.
How to Connect a WiFi Printer to your Android mobile or tablet
Printing any document from an Android device from a wireless printer has become a big facility not only for the professional users in the offices but also for the students in homes. For its increasing use, android operating systems comes with pretty easy and shortcut method to connect to a wireless printer and get print out of it remotely. Follow the instructions below to connect a wireless printer to android and later on we’ll describe how to print a document using it.
- Go to the Settings interface of your android device. Usually, you can access it by tapping on gear like an icon from your apps page. You can also access it directly through the notification panel. Pull down and tap on small gear like icon.
- Search for printing inside the settings. If you don’t see the search icon in your settings, you have to find it manually inside the settings.
- Once you find printer related option inside settings, just tap on it.
- Here you can manage the connection with printers. You may see Cloud Print here, but that is an old way of printing through android devices. If you are a Samsung android device owner, you may see Samsung print service plugin and may some of the other plugins depending on your device. Tap on Cloud Print and move to the next step.
- Tap on the menu icon (located at the top right corner of the screen, or its icon and position can change according to the operating system and device).
- A drop-down menu list will appear, just select Add printer from the list. A window will open where you will see printer(s) connected with the same wireless network as your mobile is.
- If you want to restrict access to the printer, you can tap on the email address listed here. It will allow you to hide the printer from the list and won’t let others print using it, except those allowed by you using the Printer Visibility section.
- Keeping the things straight forward for the sake of simplicity, let’s move to the Manage Printers section, where you can add a new printer.
- Once you have added a printer, you are good to print using it.
How to Print From Android to the Wireless Printer
Below are the steps you have to follow in order to print PDF documents from your already added printer.
- First, download the Cloud Print app from the play store. To do so, open play store and search Cloud Print, tap on it and then tap on install.
- The next step is to select the file which you want to print. The file can be any PDF document, a photo saved locally on your storage or any printable file stored at OneDrive or Google Drive. Open the file, click on the Menu icon.
- Now, click on Print from the drop-down menu that appeared by taping on the menu icon located at the top right corner of the screen. The position may change across different operating systems and device variants, but it can be easily located.
- Tap the arrow facing downwards, to select the printer out of available ones.
- Tap the printer to select it and then tap the printer icon.
- Done! You have successfully printed a file using a wireless printer connected with your device.
Note: If the Google account linked with your Android device is also linked with your chrome browser on your PC and if you have added the printer on cloud print using this account, then directly, that printer will be visible to you here on cloud print mobile app. But if you have not added the printer in cloud print, follow the steps below after this section.
How to Connect a WiFi Printer to Cloud Print
- Open google chrome browser on your PC or laptop.
- Open chrome settings. To open settings, click on three dots located at the top right corner of the screen, a drop-down menu will appear. From that menu, click on Settings.
- Settings interface of chrome will open, now click on Advanced Settings.
- Scroll down and click on Manage which is located in the Cloud print section.
- Click on Add printer.
- Select the printer you want to add to cloud print.
- Click on Add printer(s).
Now, the printer you have linked with your cloud print will be available to all the devices having cloud print service or app, using the same Google account as used with google chrome while adding the printer to cloud print.
How to Connect a WiFi Printer to your iPhone or iPad
In this section, you will learn how to connect the iOS device to a wireless printer.
Note: Let us clear that there are two categories of printers while talking about connecting them with an iOS device. Printers that support AirPrint fall in one category and the printers which do not have an AirPrint feature (that allows connecting to iOS devices using built-in function). In this section, we will guide about connecting wireless printers of both these categories.
- Connect AirPrint Printer to iPhone or iPad
- This step is to make sure that your iPhone or iPad, and Printer, both are connected to the same wireless network. To connect the AirPrint printer to a wireless network, you have to see the steps, described after this section.
- Now, you have to open the printable file, which you want to print.
- Tap on the Share button, it looks like an arrow facing upward and it is located at the bottom of the screen when a file is opened.
- When you will tap on the share button, a pop-up will appear asking to select the method of sharing. Just tap on Print out of these options and move to the next step.
- Tap on Printer and your iOS device will discover any AirPrint printer if available nearby. Select that printer.
- If you want to change options related to the printing output such as the size of the print, color, double-sided or single-sided print, etc. Tap on Options to make changings to these settings as per your requirement. When you are done with the settings, move to the next step.
- Tap on Print located at the top right corner of the screen. The print will now come out and the printer you have selected for this purpose is now added to your device. In the future actions related to printing any file, this printer will come out from where you can access it quickly to get your prints.
Connect AirPrint printer to Wireless Network
AirPrint printer either comes with WPS, Adhoc network or built-in display. In the case of WPS, press the WPS button on your router and AirPrint printer to connect it. For the model that creates an Adhoc network, discover the Wi-Fi network in the iOS device, created by the printer and connect to it. For the models that come with built in display, navigate to network wizard and connect to router’s signals. Give the password using printer buttons, if your router’s Wi-Fi is secured with a password.
- Connect Printer to iPhone that does not have AirPrint
- Make sure that both your printer and mobile are connected to the same wireless network.
- Download and install the Printer’s app. Complete guide about downloading, installing and using the app comes with the printer. You can also download PDF from their website.
- Configure the printer settings within the app. The major setting is to set up an Adhoc network through the printer so that it can be discovered by other devices searching for it.
- Open Settings on your iPhone. To do so, simply tap on the gear icon from the apps panel on the home screen.
- Tap on Wi-Fi.
- If you are connected to a wireless network, you need to disconnect from it in order to connect to the printer. So, for this, locate the network created by your printer and tap on it.
- Now you can print the files using this printer and remember to disconnect from the printer’s network so that you can connect to any other wireless network for internet access.
Note: This method has a limitation that you cannot use Wi-Fi to get internet access while using the printer. Because, the printer creates its own network through which your device is connected to it, therefore, you can connect to only one Wi-Fi at a time.
How to connect to WiFi Printer in Windows 10
Windows 10 is hitting more devices day by day because of the rapid improvements being made by Microsoft. Connecting to wireless devices such as wireless printers in Windows 10 is also made really easy with these improvements in Windows 10. In this section, we will represent the steps by which you can connect your Windows 10 PC or laptop to wireless Printer and later on how to get print using this connected printer.
- Open Printer and Scanner section on windows 10. There are multiple ways of accessing this section. You can search in the Windows 10 search bar located near the start menu button as shown in the image below. You can also access this section by going to the settings app and finding it there.
- Make sure that your printer is turned on and connected to the same network as your pc is connected to.
- Click on Add a Printer or Scanner.
- If your printer is turned on and connected to the wireless network, then it will show here. Click on the Add device button to add this printer and use it for future actions.
In any situation, if your printer is not displayed on the list, you can try the following troubleshooting or fix.
- Press Windows + Q simultaneously to open windows 10 search. Type printer and scanner here.
- Open the printer and scanner section and click on Add a printer.
- Now, click on “The printer that I want isn’t listed” option. This will explore some more option for you.
- Click on Add a Bluetooth, wireless or network discoverable printer.
- Now select the desired printer from here.
Note: The steps described above are also compatible with the wired printer. Simply plug the wired printer to your windows 10 pc and perform the steps above. But our focus is wireless printers, so to take print of any printable object within windows 10, just select that particular file (you can also select multiple files at the same time) you want to print and press CTRL + P simultaneously. Set up the settings and click on print. Your wireless printer which you have just connected by following steps above, will receive the job in the queue and print the stuff.
How to connect a WiFi Printer in Windows 7
Connecting a Windows 7 PC or laptop to a wireless printer requires more steps as compared to windows 10, but it is not difficult. We have made is easy by explaining it with the help of pictures.
- Click on the Start icon. It is located at the bottom left corner of the window.
- On the right side of the start menu panel, click on Devices and Printer.
- At the top of the window, click on Add a printer.
- A Pop-up window will open. Click on the option saying Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer.
- PC will now scan for available printers and display them. Identify your printer when it is displayed and click on it.
- Click on Next. Windows will now download and install drivers for the requested printer. The downloading and installing time depends on the computer performance and speed of the internet you are connected to. Be patient while this process.
- After the driver installation, you are asked to name the printer. You can leave it as the default name. Click next.
- Done! You have successfully added a new wireless printer on your PC using windows 7. You can print a test file by clicking on the respective option or just finish the task without printing a test page.
Highlight the file or document which you want to print through the wireless printer, press CTRL + P and then set the settings as per your requirements. Click on Print the get the print out of the wireless printer.
How to connect a WiFi Printer in Windows 8 and 8.1
Windows 8 and 8.1 have improved interaction with peripheral devices. These devices also include printers as well. As compared to windows 7, windows 8 and 8.1 requires less number of steps to connect to a wireless printer. So, let’s start the guide.
- Open charms bar of windows 8 or 8.1 by hitting Window + C keys at the same time. You can also open the charms bar by moving the mouse cursor to the upper right corner of the screen. Then click on gear like the icon to open Settings. Then click on Change PC Settings.
- From the left side menu panel, click on Devices. Corresponding to the device menu a new interface will appear. Click on Add a new Device.
- Your PC will now scan all the devices available and show up the wireless printer if available to it nearby. Now, the next step depends upon the type of the printer. Some printer creates their own Adhoc network and some printers have WPS button on them. In the case of Adhoc network, at this step windows 8, 8.1 will ask you to enter a password for the network created by the printer. On the other hand, if the printer has a WPS button, windows 8, 8.1 will notify you to push that button. By doing this your printer will be linked with your windows 8, 8.1 PC.
- Done! You can now print the files by using shortcut key CTRL + P.
Bluetooth printers are also wireless printers but do not use any network to connect to devices. Rather they use Bluetooth technology to pair with the devices and exchange inputs and outputs between each other.
To connect a printer through Bluetooth, the steps are almost similar to every device. You just need to locate the Bluetooth menu on your device and add a Bluetooth device from there.
- On Android and iOS, open settings and open Bluetooth section. From their tap on add Bluetooth device. Your printer will display here. Pair your device with the printer and you are ready to print.
- Similarly, on a laptop, you need to right-click on the Bluetooth icon from the icons near the date and time. Click on Add a Bluetooth device. When your printer displays highlight it and pair it with your laptop.