How to Connect a MacBook to a Printer Wirelessly: Step-by-Step Guide

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Connecting a MacBook to a printer wirelessly is crucial for many people who value the flexibility and convenience of printing without being restricted by cables. With the increasing dominance of portable devices, such as laptops and smartphones, wireless printing is more important now than ever. In this article, we will walk you through how to connect your MacBook to a printer wirelessly.

Check Compatibility

Determine if printer is compatible with MacBook

Before attempting to connect your MacBook to a printer wirelessly, it is essential to determine whether or not the printer is compatible with your device. Most modern printers will support macOS, but it is always best to double-check before proceeding.

Review the printer’s instructions or manual for compatibility information

If you don’t have the original packaging of your printer, you can typically find compatibility information on the manufacturer’s website. Be sure to review the specifications and instructions to ensure your printer is compatible with your MacBook.

Determine if the printer and MacBook are on the same Wi-Fi network

For a successful wireless connection, both your MacBook and printer need to be on the same Wi-Fi network. To check the Wi-Fi network of your MacBook, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and note the name of the connected network.

Connect Printer to Wi-Fi Network

Check if the printer is connected to Wi-Fi

To check your printer’s connection to the Wi-Fi network, look for a Wi-Fi indicator on its display or refer to its manual for instructions on how to access this information.

Connect the printer to Wi-Fi if not already connected

If your printer is not connected to your Wi-Fi network, you’ll need to connect it following its specific instructions. Typically, this involves entering your Wi-Fi network name and password into the printer’s settings menu.

Check if printer is discoverable on the network

Once the printer is connected to your Wi-Fi network, make sure it is discoverable. This may require adjusting settings on the printer, such as enabling Wi-Fi Direct or ensuring that it is set to a discoverable mode. Refer to your printer’s manual for guidance.

Check printer settings for IP address

Some printers might require you to enter its IP address manually on your MacBook. To find the printer’s IP address, consult the printer manual or navigate to its network settings menu.

Configure Printer Settings on MacBook

Open System Preferences on MacBook

On your MacBook, click on the Apple menu located in the upper-left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.

Go to Printers & Scanners

In the System Preferences window, click on Printers & Scanners.

Add the printer on MacBook

Click on the + symbol located at the bottom of the list of available printers. This will open a new window where you can search for, and add, your wireless printer.

Choose the printer model from the list of available printers

Once you have located your printer in the list of available devices, click on it to highlight it and click on the Add button.

Configure the printer settings to the desired settings

Once the printer is added, adjust any necessary settings such as paper size, orientation, and quality. Additionally, you can set your printer as the default printer by right-clicking on it and selecting Set as default printer.

Test Print

Print a test document from MacBook

To ensure that you have connected your MacBook to the printer wirelessly correctly, print a test document. You can create a simple text document using a text editor like TextEdit or use an existing document.

Check for any errors or issues

Confirm that the test document printed correctly, and there are no issues with alignment, color, or quality.

Troubleshoot any problems that arise

If you encounter any issues during the test print, refer to your printer manufacturer’s support resources to troubleshoot the problem.


In this article, we have discussed the steps needed to connect your MacBook to a printer wirelessly. By following these guidelines, you can avoid the limitations and clutter of cables, thus enhancing your productivity as a MacBook user.


Can I connect my MacBook to a printer wirelessly that’s not Wi-Fi-enabled?

Some older printers may not natively support Wi-Fi connectivity. In this case, you can use a Wi-Fi print server or Bluetooth adapter, which can enable wireless printing for your non-Wi-Fi printer.

Can I connect my MacBook to multiple printers wirelessly?

Yes, you can add and use multiple wireless printers with your MacBook. However, only one can be set as your default printer at a time.

Why can’t my MacBook find my wireless printer?

If your MacBook is not finding your wireless printer, double-check that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and the printer is set to discoverable mode. Also, confirm that any required drivers or software are installed on your MacBook.

Does my MacBook need special drivers to connect to a wireless printer?

macOS usually installs the necessary printer drivers automatically when you add a new printer. However, some printers may require additional drivers or software to be installed manually. Check the printer manufacturer’s website for driver information and compatibility.

How can I print from my MacBook without being connected to Wi-Fi?

Some newer printers offer Wi-Fi Direct, which allows for a direct connection between your MacBook and the printer without requiring an internet connection. Alternatively, you can connect to the printer via a USB cable.

What should I do if my MacBook isn’t printing after connecting to the wireless printer?

If your MacBook is not printing, try restarting both your MacBook and the printer, ensuring they are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and double-checking the printer settings on your MacBook. If the issue persists, consult your printer manufacturer’s support resources.

How do I update my wireless printer’s firmware on my MacBook?

To update your printer’s firmware, visit the printer manufacturer’s website and navigate to the support or downloads section. Locate your printer model and download the latest firmware update, then follow the accompanying instructions carefully to complete the update process.