OS X Yosemite: Add or remove a printer

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Add or remove a printer
Important:   OS X is compatible with most common printers and downloads the latest printer software automatically (if necessary). To make sure you have the latest software, don’t install the software that came with the printer or from the manufacturer’s website. When you add a printer, OS X prompts you to download the latest software if it’s needed.

You use Printers & Scanners preferences to set up printers, add and delete printers, and set printer options. (If you switched from a Windows computer to a Mac, use Printers & Scanners preferences like you used the Printing control panel in Windows. For more information, see What’s it called on my Mac?.)

No matter what type of printer you want to use, you follow the same general process to get your printer ready to go. If you’re not sure what type of a printer you have, check the packaging that came with your printer.

If you want to make sure your printer is compatible with OS X, see Apple Support article Printer and scanner software available for download. All AirPrint-enabled printers are compatible with OS X and you don’t need to install any software. For more information, see Apple Support article About AirPrint.

Connect a USB printer to your Mac

For most USB printers, all you have to do is connect the printer to your Mac. OS X automatically detects the printer and downloads any necessary software. For other printers, you may have to complete a few steps to add the printer.

  1. Update your software: Choose Apple menu > App Store, click Updates, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that OS X has the latest information about printer software it can download from Apple. If you don’t do this, you may see a message that software isn’t available when you connect your printer.

  2. Prepare your printer: Use the instructions that came with your printer to unpack the printer, install ink or toner, and add paper. Turn on the printer and make sure it’s not displaying any errors.

  3. Connect your printer: Connect the USB cable to your Mac. If you see a message prompting you to download new software, make sure to download and install it.

    Important:   If your Mac has a single USB-C port, use a multiport adapter. Connect the printer, then connect a USB-C cable to a power supply to prolong battery life of your Mac. For more information about USB-C, see About USB-C.

Add a Wi-Fi or network printer

  1. Update your software: Choose Apple menu > App Store, click Updates, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that OS X has the latest information about printer software it can download from Apple. If you don’t do this, you may see a message that software isn’t available when you connect your printer.

    If you have an AirPrint printer, no software is installed so you don’t need to check for software updates.

  2. Prepare your printer: Use the instructions that came with your printer to unpack the printer, install ink or toner, and add paper. Turn on the printer and make sure it’s not displaying any errors.

  3. Connect your printer: Follow the instructions that came with the printer to connect it to the network. For more information, see the Apple Support article Connecting a Wi-Fi printer to your Wi-Fi network.

  4. Add the printer to your list of available printers: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners. If you don’t see your printer listed on the left, click Add at the bottom of the list. A dialog appears listing printers on your local network. It may take a minute or two for your printer to appear. Select your printer when it appears in the list, then click Add. If you see a message prompting you to download new software, make sure to download and install it.

    If your printer still doesn’t appear in the list, try adding the printer by its IP address (see below).

When you add a printer, OS X can usually detect whether the printer has special accessories installed, such as additional paper trays, extra memory, or a duplex unit. If it can’t, a dialog appears that lets you specify them. Make sure the settings in that dialog accurately reflect your printer’s installed accessories so you can take full advantage of them.

After you add your printer, OS X automatically uses AirPrint if your printer supports it.

Add a network printer by its IP address

If a network printer you want to use isn’t in the list of available printers, you can add it as an IP printer. The printer must support one of these printing protocols: HP Jetdirect (Socket), Line Printer Daemon (LPD), or Internet Printing Protocol (IPP).

You must know the network printer’s IP address or host name, printing protocol, and model number or printer software name. If it uses a special queue, you also need to know the queue name. See the person who manages the printer or server for assistance.

  1. Update your software: Choose Apple menu > App Store, click Updates, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that OS X has the latest information about printer software it can download from Apple. If you don’t do this, you may see a message that software isn’t available when you connect your printer.

    If you have an AirPrint printer, no software is installed so you don’t need to check for software updates.

  2. Prepare your printer: Use the instructions that came with your printer to unpack the printer, install ink or toner, and add paper. Turn on the printer and make sure it’s not displaying any errors.

  3. Connect your printer: Follow the instructions that came with the printer to connect it to the network. For more information, see the Apple Support article Connecting a Wi-Fi printer to your Wi-Fi network.

  4. Add the printer to your list of available printers: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.

    Click Add from the printer list, click IP Printer, then enter the printer information, using the following table as a guide.

    Address

    Enter the printer’s IP address (a number that looks like 192.168.20.11) or host name (for example, printer.example.com).

    Protocol

    Click the Protocol pop-up menu, then choose a printing protocol your printer supports:

    • HP Jetdirect – Socket: HP and many other printer manufacturers use this protocol.

    • Line Printer Daemon - LPD: Older printers and print servers may use this protocol.

    • Internet Printing Protocol - IPP: Modern printers and print servers use this protocol.

    Queue

    If your printer requires it, enter the queue name for your printer. If you don’t know the queue name, try leaving it blank or see your network administrator.

    Name

    Enter a descriptive name for the printer (for example, Color Laser Printer), so you can identify it in the Printer pop-up menu.

    Location

    Enter the printer’s location (for example, “outside my office”), so you can identify it in the Printer pop-up menu.

    Use

    If this pop-up menu doesn’t display the appropriate software for the printer, choose Select Printer Software, then select your printer in the Printer Software list.

    If that list doesn’t include your printer, try downloading and installing the printer software (also called a printer driver) from the printer manufacturer. You can also try choosing generic printer software from the pop-up menu.

Add a Bluetooth printer

  1. Update your software: Choose Apple menu > App Store, click Updates, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that OS X has the latest information about printer software it can download from Apple. If you don’t do this, you may see a message that software isn’t available when you connect your printer.

    If you have an AirPrint printer, no software is installed so you don’t need to check for software updates.

  2. Prepare your printer: Use the instructions that came with your printer to unpack the printer, install ink or toner, and add paper. Turn on the printer and make sure it’s not displaying any errors.

  3. Connect your printer: Follow the instructions that came with your printer to make sure it’s ready to connect via Bluetooth. You also need to make sure to turn on Bluetooth and set up the Bluetooth printer as a new device.

After you connect your printer, if you see a message prompting you to download new software, make sure to download and install it. OS X automatically uses AirPrint if your printer supports it.

Connect a printer to an AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort base station

More than one Mac on your network can share a printer connected to an AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme Base Station, whether they connect to the network wirelessly or with a cable.

Note:   Connecting a printer to the USB port, AirPort Time Capsule, or AirPort base station doesn’t make it an AirPrint-enabled printer.
  1. Update your software: Choose Apple menu > App Store, click Updates, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that OS X has the latest information about printer software it can download from Apple. If you don’t do this, you may see a message that software isn’t available when you connect your printer.

    If you have an AirPrint printer, no software is installed so you don’t need to check for software updates.

  2. Prepare your printer: Use the instructions that came with your printer to unpack the printer, install ink or toner, and add paper. Turn on the printer and make sure it’s not displaying any errors.

  3. Test your printer: Temporarily connect the printer to the USB port on your Mac, then print a test page.

  4. Connect your printer: Plug in the printer to your AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort base station.

    • If your printer has an Ethernet port, connect your printer to one of your base station’s Ethernet ports.

    • Otherwise, connect your printer to the USB port on the AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort base station.

      If you’re setting up an AirPort Express for the first time, connect the printer to the AirPort Express before setting up the base station.

  5. Print a document: Open a document, then choose File > Print. Open the Printer pop-up menu, then choose the printer in the Nearby Printers section of the menu.

    Note:   For a USB-connected printer, if you have problems scanning, viewing the printer’s utilities, checking ink cartridge status, or viewing error messages, disconnect the printer from the AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort base station and connect it temporarily to your Mac. Choose Apple menu > App Store, then click Updates. Install any software updates listed for your printer. Then, reconnect it to the AirPort Time Capsule or AirPort base station.

Remove a printer

If you no longer use a printer, you can delete it from your list of available printers.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.

  2. Select the printer in the list, then click Remove .

If you delete the printer that’s set as your default printer, OS X selects another printer as your default. To set a different printer as your default, choose it from the pop-up menu in Printers & Scanners preferences.

Published Date: Sep 11, 2017
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