Printing Tips

Print a document

  1. Open an item that you want to print, then choose Print from the File menu, or press Command-P.
  2. Choose your printer from the Printer pop-up menu, which lists nearby printers. You may need to wait a moment for the printer to appear in the menu.
    Print dialog
  3. Optionally change any of the other settings shown, such as the number of copies to print. Click Show Details to display additional settings that your printer or app supports. These settings vary depending on the printer and app you’re using. Click Hide Details to show just the most commonly used settings.
  4. To send the print job to your print queue, click Print.

Manage your print jobs

After you click Print, the print job goes to your print queue, which automatically sends the job to the printer. To open your print queue:

  • Click the icon of your printer in the Dock. The printer icon appears when the print queue contains jobs.
  • Or go to Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners. Select your printer from the list, then click Open Print Queue.

Printer queue

You can take any of these actions from the print queue:

  • View status messages about your printer, such as “Printer is not connected.”
  • View jobs that are in progress, waiting to be printed, or couldn’t be printed because of a problem with the printer or its connection.
  • Pause, resume, or delete jobs.
  • View settings and other information about your printer, such as the printer’s name and supply levels.
  • Preview your document by double-clicking it or selecting it and pressing Space bar.

Learn more

For more information, click the question mark in the Print window or Printers & Scanners preferences.

Connect an AirPrint printer to a Wi-Fi network

You can connect an AirPrint printer to a Wi-Fi network for wireless printing from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

This general information isn’t specific to any particular AirPrint printer. For detailed steps, check the printer’s documentation or contact the printer’s manufacturer. All Wi-Fi printers need a properly configured Wi-Fi network and the name (or SSID) and password of that network.

If the printer has a built-in display

Printers with a touchscreen or other built-in display (control panel) generally expect you to use that display to select or enter the name and password of your Wi-Fi network. Check the printer’s documentation for details.

If the printer uses Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)

If your Wi-Fi router isn’t made by Apple, check the router’s documentation for details about how to add a WPS printer.

If your Wi-Fi router is an AirPort Base Station:

  1. Open AirPort Utility, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Select your base station in AirPort Utility, then enter the base station password, if prompted.
  3. From the menu bar, choose Base Station > Add WPS Printer.
  4. Select either “First attempt” or “PIN” as the type of WPS connection to allow. Then click Continue.
    • If you selected “First attempt,” push the WPS button on the printer. When the printer’s MAC Address appears in AirPort Utility, click Done.
    • If you selected “PIN,” enter the printer’s PIN number, which should be listed in the printer’s documentation. Then click Continue. When the printer’s MAC Address appears in AirPort Utility, click Done.
  5. Quit AirPort Utility.

If the printer can connect to your Mac via USB

You may be able to use a USB connection to set up Wi-Fi printing:

  1. Connect the printer to your Mac using the appropriate USB cable.
  2. Install the Mac software that came with the printer, and make sure that it includes a printer setup assistant.
  3. Use the printer setup assistant to connect the printer to your Wi-Fi network. Check the printer’s documentation for details.
  4. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer and Mac. The printer should remain connected to the Wi-Fi network.

If the printer can create an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network

You may be able to use the printer’s own ad-hoc Wi-Fi network to set up Wi-Fi printing:

  1. Install the Mac software that came with the printer, and make sure that it includes a printer setup assistant.
  2. Make sure that the printer’s ad-hoc Wi-Fi network is turned on. Check the printer’s documentation for details.
  3. Open the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac by clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, then select the name of the printer’s ad-hoc Wi-Fi network. While your Mac is on the printer’s network, your Mac won’t be able to connect to the Internet or other services on your regular Wi-Fi network.
  4. Use the printer setup assistant to connect the printer to your Wi-Fi network. Check the printer’s documentation for details. The printer may restart before it connects to the network.
  5. Return to the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac and switch back to your Wi-Fi network.

Learn more

After the printer is connected to your Wi-Fi network, you’re ready to start printing:

Resolve printer issues on your Mac

Follow these steps if you can’t get your printer to work with your Mac.

These steps might help you to resolve printing issues such as these:

  • Your printer doesn’t appear in the Printer pop-up menu of Print dialogs.
  • Your printer doesn’t appear in Printers & Scanners preferences.
  • Your Mac displays a message that software for your device isn’t available.

If your Mac doesn’t see your printer or have the software for it

  1. Make sure that your printer is turned on and ready. For help with an error light or other error condition that appears on the printer itself, check the device’s documentation or contact the manufacturer.
  2. If your printer is connected to the USB port of your Mac, disconnect it.
  3. Check for software updates to make sure that your Mac has the latest information about your printer.
    Your Mac downloads software for most printers automatically, so it’s usually unnecessary to install software from the printer manufacturer. 
  4. If you disconnected your printer from the USB port in step 2, reconnect it now.
  5. From the Finder, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  6. Select your printer in the list of devices. You might need to wait a moment for it to appear.

If your printer doesn’t appear in Printers & Scanners preferences, click Add (+) at the bottom of the list, then choose the command to add a printer or scanner. The window that opens offers more ways to find your device:

Add Printer window

  • Default: Choose Default to display the list of printers connected to your Mac or discoverable on your local network. You can use the search field at the top of the window to narrow your search. 
  • IP: Choose IP if your device is connected to your network and you know the device’s IP address (or host name) and protocol. If you don’t have this information, ask your network administrator or check your device’s documentation.
  • Windows: Choose Windows if your device is connected to a PC using printer sharing, or to your network using the Windows SMB/CIFS protocol. You might first need to set up File Sharing to connect to the networked Windows resources.

If you still can’t see your printer or successfully add it, contact the printer manufacturer for support.

If your Mac has some other issue with your printer or scanner

These steps might resolve printing issues that have no other clear cause.

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Select your printer or scanner in the list of devices, then click Delete (–) to remove it from the list.
  3. Follow the steps in the previous section to add your printer again.
  4. If the issue persists, Control-click anywhere in the list of devices in Printers & Scanners preferences. Then choose “Reset printing system” from the shortcut menu that appears.
    Resetting the printing system causes all printers and scanners—including their queues, jobs, and custom settings—to be removed from Printers & Scanners preferences.
  5. Follow the steps in the previous section to add your device again.

If the issue remains unresolved, take these final steps to remove any currently installed printer drivers that could be causing the issue:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Control-click anywhere in the list of devices, then choose “Reset printing system” from the shortcut menu that appears.
  3. From the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder. Type /Library/Printers/ and click Go.
  4. The Printers folder opens. Choose Edit > Select All to select all items in the folder.
  5. Choose File > New Folder with Selection to put all of the selected items into a new folder named New Folder With Items.
    To save storage space, you can delete the New Folder With Items folder after completing the remaining steps.
  6. Follow the steps in the previous section once more.

If your printing issue persists, contact the printer manufacturer for support.