How to Print Wirelessly From a MacBook

By J.T. Barett

A how-to guide on wireless printing from the MacBook. The MacBook’s OS X software supports AirPrint, a feature that supports sophisticated printing options.

Many modern inkjet and laser printers connect to Wi-Fi networks, allowing convenient wireless printing for mobile devices such as Apple’s MacBook. The MacBook’s AirPrint technology identifies AirPrint-compatible printers, easing printer setup and use on wireless networks.

Connect to Wi-Fi Network

To print wirelessly from a MacBook, ensure that the computer is on a Wi-Fi network to which you have access, and which has one or more AirPrint printers.


When the MacBook joins a Wi-Fi network, it detects those printers that support AirPrint, and automatically connects to those you’ve used before. You can add new printers via the System Preferences app.

Add a Printer

Step 1

Start the System Preferences app by clicking its icon in the Dock.

Step 2

Click the Printers & Scanners icon in the System Preferences screen.

Step 3

Printers & Scanners screen

Click the + symbol to add a printer. Click to select a printer from the list of available AirPrint-compatible printers on your network.

Step 4

Close the Printers & Scanners screen.

Print Wirelessly

Step 1

Select note

Start the Notes app by clicking its icon in the Dock. Select a note by clicking on it.


The procedure is largely the same for most apps that can produce printed output; Notes is used here as an example.

Step 2

Print a note

Click the File menu and select Print to see a dialog box of print options.

Step 3

Print dialog 1

Click the Details button to set options such as portrait and landscape printing, print quality and paper size.

Step 4

Print dialog 2

Set options such as print orientation, print quality and paper size. Click the Print button to print the note.


  • Click the Printer drop-down to choose from a list of AirPrint printers on your network.
  • Click the PDF button to see options for creating a PDF document instead of a printed page.

AirPrint Alternatives

Some printers don’t support AirPrint, but you may still be able to use them. For example, programs such as handyPrint and Printopia let you add non-AirPrint printers to your MacBook; the programs send AirPrint the data it needs for wireless printing. You can also connect the printer to the MacBook with a Universal Serial Bus cable; although USB is less convenient than a wireless connection, it may help in a pinch.