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How to Add a Printer to a Mac

Table of Contents

Elevate Printing - Epson 3800 Printer and Macbook

The procedure to connect a printer to a Mac will be different from connecting a printer to a computer that uses a Windows operating system. If you own a Mac, you can follow the tips given below.

The driver software

The Mac operating system has pre-installed drivers for many computers. So when your printer is connected to the computer, it automatically shows up in the menu. In case your printer is not detected, then you should install appropriate software. You can get the driver software when you purchase the printer. If you do not have authentic software, then you can purchase it from the manufacturer’s website. The software should only be installed by users who have an administrator account.

Connecting a USB printer

If the USB printer doesn’t appear in the menu even after installation, then you will have to open the Show Printer List from the View menu. Add the printer by clicking on the Add Printer button. This option can be found in the Print and Fax preference pane.

Connecting a Network printer

If you are using a network printer, like an Apple Talk printer or an LPR, then the configuration mechanism will be a bit different. After choosing an Apple Talk printer from the set up menu, you should configure it in the Network preferences tab. If the printer is wireless, then do make sure that the printer is running through the wireless network, by going through the network setup. You can either manually punch in the information to the printer’s control panel or you can enter the information by connecting the printer to the computer with the help of a USB. Once the printer is configured properly to connect to the network, you can ping the printer from your Macbook Pro application using Network Utility. This can be found in the subfolder Utilities which come under the Applications folder.

After the connectivity has been verified, then you can move on forward with the process of adding the printer. This can be done in two ways. You can either add the device through the Printer Panel which can be found in ‘System Preferences’. Another way is to run the driver software installer related to the printer.

If you are using a LPR then you should enter the printer’s DNS name. To increase the efficiency of the operation, you can configure it so it uses a manual IP address.

After installation

After installing the printer you can give the print command. A pop up menu will open that lists the printers you can use. If the list of printers is long then you can make use of the Search option to find the printer of your choice.

Before connecting the printer to your Mac, do make sure that it is turned on and has no issues like low ink or paper jam. You can also run a software update in order to check for third party printer software updates.


Lewis is a writer and printer technician. He has written articles on how to refill printer ink and has also written printer reviews for

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo is a technology enthusiast and digital strategist with a fervent passion for Apple products and the innovative technologies that orbit them. With a background in computer science and a decade of experience in app development and digital marketing, Kossi brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the Apple Gazette team.

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