Adding a Printer to your Mac

Updated to include macOS High Sierra.

Apple has come a long way in making adding a printer a quick and simple process. In most cases, you don’t even use the disc that comes with your printer. To add a printer, ensure that the printer is on and connected to either your Mac or your network, then:

  1. Click the Apple symbol on the left side of the menu bar at the top of your screen, then choose SYSTEM PREFERENCES.
  2. Click PRINTERS & SCANNERS in the System Preferences window.

If your printer is connected to your Mac, it may already be listed in the PRINTERS list on the left side of the System Preferences window. If so, your printer is all ready to use.

If not:

  1. Click , and in most cases a drop-down list will appear.
  2. If your printer is in the list, just click it. You may be prompted to download the driver if the driver isn’t one of the many already in OS X.

Your printer will then show up in the PRINTERS list in the System Preferences window, and is all ready to use.

If your printer does not show up in the drop-down list, clicking the plus sign probably opened a separate ADD window. If the drop-down list appears, but your printer isn’t in it, click ADD PRINTER OR SCANNER to open the ADD window.

In either case, if your printer did not show up in the original drop-down list, it’s a good idea to install your printer’s driver before continuing. The best way to get the most recent driver is to go to the printer manufacture’s website and download the driver directly from there. If a disc came with your printer, you can also install the driver from the disc, but this may not be the most recent release of the driver.

Sometimes installing the driver automatically adds the printer to the computer. If this is the case, the printer will show up in the PRINTERS list in the System Preference window, and the printer is all ready to use. If it does not automatically add the printer, use the ADD window to locate and add your printer.

In the ADD window:

  • If your printer is listed in the DEFAULT tab, select it and then click ADD.
  • If your printer is a IP printer, click IP in the toolbar, enter your printer’s location information, then click ADD.
  • If your printer is on a Windows network, click WINDOWS in the toolbar, locate your printer on the network, then click ADD.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant

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