Windows printer troubleshooting for AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express

Do you have a USB printer that works the way you expect it to when connected to your computer, but not when it's connected to your base station for printer sharing? In that situation, this article helps you troubleshoot issues with printer recognition or sending a print job.

Note for Windows users: Please install Bonjour for Windows, available at Apple Downloads, to simplify the configuration of Bonjour printing via an AirPort Extreme Base Station or AirPort Express.

Before you start, remember that base station printer sharing is for printing only, not for printer utilities or other special features that may require a direct, proprietary connection. Exactly what you need to do varies slightly between AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express. We'll note the differences.

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Turn off and unplug

For AirPort Express:

  1. Unplug AirPort Express, and turn off the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the AirPort Express.
  3. Plug in AirPort Express, and turn on the printer.
  4. After AirPort Express finishes starting up, reconnect the USB cable from the printer.

For AirPort Extreme:

  1. Unplug the AirPort Extreme Base Station, and turn off the printer.
  2. Be sure the USB cable from the printer is connected to the AirPort Extreme.
  3. Turn on the printer.
  4. Plug in the base station.

Check printer recognition in AirPort Admin Utility

  1. From the Start menu, open AirPort Admin Utility (Start > All Programs > AirPort > AirPort Admin Utility).
  2. Select your base station, and click Configure.
  3. Click the Summary tab, and check to see if it recognizes your connected printer.

Check your printer driver

  1. Check the version of the printer driver that's installed on your computer.
  2. Look at the support website for the printer manufacturer to see if their latest driver is newer than what you have.
  3. If it's newer, download and install it.

Delete and recreate the printer queue

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel -> Printers and Other Hardware -> View installed printers for fax printers.
  2. Delete any queues for the printer model you have.
  3. Use these instructions to create a new queue.

Testing your setup

Your printer should now appear in Printer Setup Utility or Print Center. Open the TextEdit application, type a short sentence, and then try to print that document.

Still not working?

If your printer still doesn't work with AirPort printer sharing, you should contact the printer manufacturer for additional support or to verify compatibility.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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