HP Envy 7855 Printer
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How To Connect A Printer To Mac

Dan King
Dan King

Table of Contents

Apple Macs are pretty well known for being fairly easy to use, but they do come with their share of minor frustrations, especially when trying to connect existing peripherals. Connecting a printer to a Mac can be one of these difficult challenges. Follow our guide to learn the easiest way to connect your printer to your desktop Mac or MacBook.

There are several situations wherein you might want to  connect a new printer to a Mac computer:

  1. You might have come from being a Windows PC user and just purchased your first Mac. You will have to connect all of your existing peripherals.
  2. You just purchased a new printer and need to connect it to your existing Mac.  
  3. You might have purchased a new Wi-Fi router and your peripherals are not working with your Mac over your local network.

No matter your situation, here is a simple guide to help you connect your printer to your Mac.

Please keep in mind you should always visit the website of your printer's manufacturer prior to following these steps. There you will be able to find drivers and software for your printer. These are important for you to get full use of your printer and allow it to communicate smoothly and efficiently with your Mac.

How to Add a Printer to Your Mac Using a USB Cable

Connecting a printer with a USB cable is very easy and is the simplest method of using a printer with your Mac.  Here are the steps:

  1. Update your printer software on your Mac
  2. Power up your printer and if it has a screen, make sure there are no errors.
  3. Connect the USB cable from your printer to your Mac.  For newer Macs, you will likely need a USB-A to USB-C adapter since modern Macs (especially MacBooks) primarily have USB-C/Thunderbolt ports.  Many printers utilize a USB-B to USB-A cable such as the one below.
USB-B to USB-A printer cable

How to Add Your Printer to a Mac via Wi-Fi

If you have a local network, your printer might be available on the network without any additional setup.  These are the steps to follow to get your printer connected if both your Mac and printer are on the same network.

If you have a Mac that has Bluetooth capability and are using Bluetooth to connect your printer, you can follow these same steps. You can ignore the steps about Wi-Fi - but the rest of them are applicable to Bluetooth as well!
  1. Update your printer software on your Mac
  2. Power up your printer and make sure there are no errors on the screen
  3. On your printer, make sure it is connected to your local network.  Here is an example of what it might look like on your printer screen:
Printer connected to WiFi network
  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen
  2. Click System Settings
Apple menu System Settings

3.  Scroll down the left-hand menu and click on Printers & Scanners

Printers & Scanners option under System Settings

4.  If you do not see your printer listed under Printers on the right-hand side, click Add Printer, Scanner, or Fax...

Add Printer, Scanner, or Fax button highlighted

5.  A new window will pop up on your screen with your printer, scanner, and fax options.  Make sure you have the Add Printer option selected.  It might take a little bit of time for your printer to show up in the list as it needs to be detected on your network.

Add Printer dialogue window on Mac

6.  Once your printer shows up in the list --> Click on your printer to select it and then click the Add button at the bottom of the window.

Add button highlighted on Mac Add Printer dialogue

When you finish setting up your printer, MacOS can usually detect things like ink level, paper level, etc.  Sometimes this requires the printer manufacturers software to be installed, so if you want to be alerted about these things, make sure to have the latest software updates.

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