How to connect a printer to Mac

In this post, we will guide new Mac users on the process of connecting their printer and enable them to print various types of documents. It doesn’t matter whether the printer is a laser printer, inkjet printer, or multifunctional printer, as the printing technology is of secondary importance. What matters most are the drivers or controllers and the physical connections of the printer.

Can I connect a printer via USB Type-C cable?

connect printer to mac

The USB type C port has become a standard in the Mac computer ecosystem. Since 2016, MacBooks only come with this type of connection for USB accessories, although the newer MacBooks also have an HDMI port and an SD card slot, USB peripherals still require the USB-C port.

When connecting a printer via USB-C, there are two important factors to consider. The first is the printer cable. Many printers, especially those released several years ago, still use USB Type A cables. If we have an older printer at home that we want to connect, we will need to use a USB Type A to USB Type C adapter. However, there should not be any issues when using an adapter, as the Mac should detect it without any problems.

USB-C on Mac

The printer software

As previously mentioned, there are two distinct areas to consider when connecting a printer to a Mac: the physical hardware and the software. Within the software aspect, there are two areas that may appear similar but can be significantly different. The first area is the technology used to connect the printer to the Mac, with several options available:

  • The AirPrint printing system enables direct connection between a Mac and a printer through a Wi-Fi network, provided both devices are connected to the network. You can identify if your printer is compatible with AirPrint by checking the manufacturer’s model specifications. Many printers also indicate their compatibility, making it easy to determine.
  • Another way to connect a printer to a Mac wirelessly is through proprietary applications provided by the printer manufacturer. Even if the printer does not have AirPrint technology, it can still be connected to the computer wirelessly using these applications. You can check the printer’s specifications and search for the appropriate application to connect it to your Mac. These applications can be found in the App Store or on the manufacturer’s official website.

mac airprint technology

When it comes to connecting printers to a Mac, drivers or controllers play a crucial role. These programs allow the Mac and the printer to communicate with each other. However, it’s important to note that not all printer drivers are compatible with the latest versions of macOS, especially if the printer is very old or if the drivers haven’t been updated to 64-bit, which is the standard for macOS applications and the operating system. In such cases, it may be necessary to search for alternative driver software or consider upgrading to a newer printer that is fully compatible with your Mac.

That’s correct! When connecting a printer via cable to a Mac, it’s necessary to find and install the appropriate drivers for the computer. If the printer is connected wirelessly, the necessary drivers may already be included in the app. And if the AirPrint system is used, the process is completely automated and doesn’t require any additional driver installation.