Wireless printing is a great way to print from multiple devices without needing clumsy wiring and cables. Connecting a Wi-Fi-enabled printer to your network can be complicated, depending on the device.
Most printers will have a setup wizard that walks you through the process, but it’s always helpful to understand how wireless printing works. Here’s how to connect your printer to WiFi.
In this guide, we’ll cover the steps for connecting a wireless printer to your WiFi network, including Windows and Mac.
Printer Setup on Windows
We recommend updating to the latest version of Windows 10 or 11, as this will ensure you have up-to-date driver support.
First, be sure your computer is connected to the same network as your printer.
- Open up your computer’s start menu and go to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners. This will bring up the list of available printers in your area.
- If there are no printers listed, click Add a printer or scanner and wait for it to find nearby devices. You may have to enter your password if prompted by Windows.
- Select the printer you want to add. Look for the manufacturer’s name and model number.
- Click Add device and enter your printer’s password if prompted.
- Lastly, ensure that your printer is listed in the Printers & Scanners section of the Control Panel.
Here’s how to connect specific brand printers to WiFi: Canon, Brother, and HP.
Printer Setup on Mac
To add a printer to Mac, you’ll need to follow these simple steps:
- Open System Preferences, which you can do by clicking on the Apple symbol in the top left corner of your screen.
- Select Printers & Scanners.
- If your printer doesn’t show up on this list, click on the + icon and then select your printer from the menu that appears.
- In the Use field, select the software or driver for your printer and click Add.
Here’s how to connect a Canon printer to a Mac.
Connect via WPS
Some printers have the ability to connect with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) mode, which allows you to quickly and easily link your printer to a wireless network.
- Make sure your printer is on, connected to your Wi-Fi network, and within range of your router.
- Press and hold the WPS button on the printer for five seconds. The light will blink, indicating that it’s in discovery mode.
- To connect a DeskJet or Envy printer to a Wi-Fi network, press and hold the Wi-Fi button and Power button for five seconds until the blue bar flashes.
- Press and hold the WPS button on the router for about a minute until the Wi-Fi light stops flashing.
Video Tutorial for Printer WiFi Connection
Here’s how to connect your printer to WiFi with wireless wizard, WPS, from a phone, table, Mac, or Windows computer.
Manufacturer Specific Software
Many printer brands, including HP and Epson, have their own set-up software that can help you get your new printer up and running in no time.
These programs walk you through connecting it to your computer, installing ink cartridges and paper, and setting up wireless connectivity if needed. They also offer troubleshooting tips if you run into any problems along the way.
The process for connecting a printer to Wi-Fi can vary from printer to printer. Consult your owner’s manual for specific questions.
Alternative Print Methods
If you’re having trouble with a wireless connection, try using a USB cable instead. The printer may not be able to connect wirelessly if the user has not installed the correct drivers or if there is an issue with the wireless connection. Be sure to verify that the cable is connected to both the computer and the printer.
Another way to print is Apple AirPrint. Apple AirPrint is a feature of many Apple products that allows you to print wirelessly from your mobile device or computer. It’s easy to set up and use, and there are a lot of great apps that support it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about connecting a printer to Wi-Fi.
Why won’t my printer connect to Wi-Fi?
If you’re having Wi-Fi issues, you may need to reset your printer’s settings. This will clear out any temporary issues that might be causing problems and give you a fresh start.
Here’s how to factory reset your Canon or HP printer.
Factory reset Epson printer
Press the Home button on the printer’s control panel, then select Setup. Go to Restore Default Settings and press OK. Select Reset Network Settings and press OK again. Finally, choose Yes.
Here’s how to reset your Brother printer.
Why doesn’t my printer show up on my PC?
If your printer does not appear on the list, ensure that your drivers are up-to-date.
Try restarting your PC and checking again. If that doesn’t work, you may need to reinstall your driver software.
Update drivers on Windows 10 or 11
- To install or update your printer driver, start by going to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers and Scanners.
- To access your print server’s settings, click Print Server Properties in the Related Settings area.
- To remove the driver and associated packages, select the printer’s driver, click Remove, and then click Remove Driver and Driver Package.
To reinstall your printer driver, go back to the Printer Server Properties window, select Drivers and then Add. Use the Add Printer Driver Wizard.
Update Printer Drivers on Mac
Open System Preferences and select Print & Scan or Printers & Scanners. Click the + button at the bottom left.
Select your printer from the list that appears, then click the – button. Click the + button. From the pop-up menu, select Add Printer or Scanner.
From the list of printers, choose your preferred device and click Use.
- AirPrint: if your printer is compatible with AirPrint, you can print wirelessly by selecting the AirPrint option in your printer software.
- Software: You can use printer software installed on your computer or downloaded from Apple. To do this, choose Select Software and find your printer’s software in the list.
- File update: If you don’t have any printer software installed on your computer or want to use a different file, you can download it from Apple. Choose Other and then select the file and click Add.
Here’s how to delete and rename a printer on Mac.
Getting your printer online is an important step to connecting your iPad to your printer.
How did it go for you? Have a question about the process? Let me know below and I’ll do my best to answer it.
Bryan Haines is a co-founder and writer on PrintLikeThis. We troubleshoot printer problems to get you back to printing.
He also writes at Storyteller Tech and is a travel blogger at Storyteller.Travel. Bryan is co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with his wife, Dena.