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Add Printer to Student MacBook Air

Add a USB printer

For most USB printers, all you have to do is connect the printer to your Mac. macOS 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. On your Mac, update your software: Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Software Update, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that macOS 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.


Add a Wi-Fi or network printer

If your Mac and printer are already connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the printer might be available to you without any setup. To check, choose File > Print, click the Printer pop-up menu, choose Nearby Printers or Printers & Scanners preferences, then choose your printer. If your printer isn’t available, you can add it.

  1. On your Mac, update your software (if you don’t have an AirPrint printer): Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Software Update, then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that macOS 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, 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.

  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 the Add button  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. 

When you add a printer, macOS 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.

Creation date: 9/22/2020 12:57 PM (bforish@duxbury.k12.ma.us)      Updated: 9/22/2020 12:58 PM (bforish@duxbury.k12.ma.us)