How to Add A Printer to Your Mac?

By Connie | Posted to Home > Howto, updated on August 19th, 2021

Summary: This article introduces four different ways to add a printer to Mac. Read it to know how to add a printer to your Mac via Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, or IP address.

add printer to Mac

If you got a new printer and prepared to print some documents, you should add it to your Mac first. But adding a printer to a Mac is not an easy matter.

Don't worry. The following instructions will show you how to add a printer to your Mac via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IP address, or USB in detail.

How to add a printer wirelessly

If you have a wireless printer, you can connect it to your Mac via Wi-Fi Protected Set-up (WPS). You can follow the steps below:

  • Press the Wireless or Wi-Fibutton on your printer, followed by the WPS button on your router.

Note: The steps may vary depending on which printer and router you use. You can check the user guide of the two devices.

  • Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.
  • Open Printers & Scanners in System Preferences
  • Click the + icon at the lower left corner. (You may need to unlock it in advance)
  • Select the desired printer.
  • Choose the available software or driver options of your printer in the Use: filed. Then, click Add.

Select a driver for your printer in Printers & Scanners

Usually, there are three driver options:

  1. AirPrint: An Apple technology that helps you print full-quality output without the need to download or install extra printer drivers.
  2. Your printer's driver: It will be listed in the Use filed only if you've installed it.
  3. Auto Select: If your Mac doesn't have a printer driver, choose "Auto Select" to automatically download the correct printer driver when your Mac updates.

Connect a printer to your Mac via Bluetooth

If you got a printer that enables Bluetooth, you should pair it with your Mac as you do with wireless headphones. Then, you can print your files, photos, or documents with ease.

  • Open System Preferences> Software Update to check if your Mac runs the latest macOS, if not update your Mac.

Note: If your Mac has an AirPrint printer (Check it in "Printers & Scanners"), there's no need to check for software updates.

  • Follow the printer's instructions to turn on your printer.
  • Open System Preferences and then select Printers & Scanners.
  • Click the + button and choose your printer from the list. Then, click Add.
  • Click Bluetooth in System Preferences, and pair it to your printer.
  • Select Bluetooth in System & Preferences

Add a printer to your Mac via USB

Unfortunately, not all printers have the capability to connect to a Mac through network or Bluetooth. You can use the common way - adding a printer to your Mac via USB.

First, plug your printer's USB cable into your Mac. Once the printer is connected to your Mac, your Mac will detect the printer and download the required driver automatically. If it doesn't auto-detect the printer, manually add the printer through the following steps.

  • Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.
  • Click the + icon at the lower left corner. (Or you need to unlock it in advance)
  • Select the printer to add.
  • Click Add.

Connect a printer to your Mac via IP address

There's a reliable way to add a printer to your Mac when your printer isn't listed in the Printers & Scanners. That is through the printer's IP address.

You should know your printer's IP address, printing protocol, and the printer's type. You can get this information from the printer's user guide.

Then, follow the steps to add your printer to your Mac:

  • Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.
  • Click the + icon in the bottom left corner. (Or you should unlock it in advance).
  • Click the IP icon.
  • Connect a printer to Mac via its IP address
  • Enter the printer's IP address in the Address box.
  • Rename the printer if you want to.
  • Select the printer driver you want to use in the Use: box.
  • Click Add.

When you prepare to print some documents or photos with your new printer, the key step is to add it to your Mac. This post offers stepwise methods to help you connect a printer to your Mac via the network, Bluetooth, USB, or IP address. You can select the way that your printer supports.