How to Install a Network Printer on a Mac

By Kate Evelyn

If you don't have your own personal printer to hook up to your Mac and instead would like to share another one that's already in your home or office, simply install a network printer. With this setup, your computer talks to a printer already connected to a print server. The server, in turn, sends your data to the printer. It's an inexpensive option and is easy for anyone with basic computer knowledge to configure.

Things You'll Need

  • Macintosh computer
  • Network printer


Step 1

Boot up your Mac and click on the Apple icon in the top left portion of the screen. When the Option menu pops up, choose the Print and Fax icon.

Step 2

Click the "+" sign at the middle of the screen. This will bring up a window showing all the network printers your Mac can communicate with. Choose the printer you'd like to use from the list. You can identify it by manufacturer and model name.

Step 3

Click on the "Add" button. A screen with installable options will come up, presenting you with the advanced features your printer is capable of, such as using a secondary tray. Check any you would like to be able to use when you access it with your Mac.

Step 4

Select "Continue." Your computer will automatically find the drivers for the printer you selected. On the off chance it cannot find the proper drivers, it will ask you what driver to use and you might need to visit the printer manufacturer's website and find the Mac printer driver yourself. After you have the driver, download it to your Mac by double clicking on the package and then pointing the printer install to this driver.

Step 5

Select "Continue" again. The network printer will now be installed and will appear as an option when you try to print.

Tips & Warnings

  • In most cases, there will be a picture of your printer on the Print and Fax screen that matches what your printer actually looks like. This is helpful for determining you have installed and are printing to the right printer.
  • Make sure if you get the driver yourself that you get the Mac driver and not the Windows driver. Otherwise, you'll be wondering why it won't work.Make sure your network printer is supported by Mac. Most newer printers will be, but some older ones are not.Some third-party sites offering drivers are not legitimate. It's best to go through the manufacturer or Apple.

References & Resources