iPhones have AirPrint technology that lets you print everything, including web pages, documents, and photos. Even without the AirPrint, you can wirelessly connect your iPhone to a printer and get the prints you want. But there are a number of glitches that can make your iPhone fail to recognize your printer.
There are a number of reasons why your iPhone can’t find your printer. These include old printer technology, network setting conflicts, poor WiFi, and AirPrint not enabled or supported. Here are the 6 settings to check to help your iPhone find the printer.
If you understand the issues and how to troubleshoot, you will be in a better position to handle any inconveniences. This article analyzes some of the challenges you may face when you print from your iPhone and the solutions.
Why Can’t My Phone Find My Printer? 6 Steps
The first step to take if your iPhone can’t detect printers is to check printer compatibility with AirPrint.
Then, confirm that both your iPhone and printer connect to the same Wi-Fi network.
The fixes that can resolve your problem are as discussed in detail below:
1. Ensure Your Printer Supports AirPrint
Your iPhone can’t detect a printer with AirPrint unless the two are compatible. Here are hundreds of printer models that support Airprint.
And here are the current printer brands that support AirPrint. Some of these brands have hundreds of compatible printer models.
- Fuji Xerox
- Konica Minolta
- Star Micronics
- TA Triumph-Adler
Check your settings if your printer supports AirPrint, but your iPhone still can’t detect the printer. Some models need you to switch on AirPrint in your printer settings to let your iPhone detect the printer.
AirPrint Enabled Print Servers
- HP ePrint Enterprise
- HP JetAdvantage Connect
- HP NFC/Wireless 1200w – Mobile Print Accessory
- HP Roam for Business
- iPrint Appliance
- Lantronix xPrintServer Home
- Lantronix xPrintServer Office
- Lexmark International, Inc. Print Management
- LRS Mobile Connector
- Micro Focus iPrint Appliance
- NT-ware uniFLOW
- SEH Computertechnik GmbH primos
2. Confirm That Your Router Supports Bonjour
AirPrint doesn’t work on routers that don’t support Bonjour. Bonjour was released in 2002 and was initially known as Rendezvous. It is still current and was last updated in August 2019 (release 878.260.1)
If your router doesn’t support Bonjour, first confirm that you haven’t enabled any form of isolation. Then, ensure that multicast doesn’t break on your network.
Alternatively, you could disable airtime fairness on ASUSWRT-based ASUS routers with the below steps:
- Click on ‘wireless’ on your router, then go to the ‘professional’ tab
- Set the band to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz if your Wi-Fi allows
- Set the airtime fairness to disable, then apply the new settings
Here’s how to connect your iPad to a printer.
3. Confirm That Your Network Is Strong and Private
Sometimes the answer behind “why can’t my iPhone find my printer?” is a weak internet connection. In such a case, you’ll have to boost the network’s strength to get your devices to the task. For example, you could move your printer closer to the router to increase stability.
Apple has excellent consideration for the security of your networks and devices. Due to the strict security measures, AirPrint doesn’t work on hotspots or public Wi-Fi networks. So you must use a private wireless network such as your home router. Of course, there are exceptions.
4. Restart Your Routers and Devices
Glitches on your network, iPhone, or printer could hinder your phone from finding AirPrint.
One of the primary solutions to minor hitches is to restart the associated devices.
- For your iPhone, the restart procedure varies based on your model.
- For your router, the simplest solution is to unplug and leave your router off for 30 seconds and then plug it back in.
- Printer restart methods too vary based on your printer manufacturer. So you can check online and find out how to start your printer version. In most cases, you’ll have to pull the printer’s power cable from the wall outlet. Then wait for some seconds before you plug back the power cable. Finally, turn the printer on, and you’re good to go.
5. Update or Downgrade Your Devices
A significant bug calls for an update of your iOS. Check online for a newer version than what you currently have. Alternatively, check your phone’s settings for the latest version of your software. You’ll find the information in your general settings, under the ‘software update’ category.
Also, update your printer’s firmware based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
For example, for HP printers, download the HP smart application on your computer and look for available updates under the advanced settings. You could also use your printer’s control panel to download the firmware.
Some iPhone iOS versions destabilize AirPrint operations when you install a new version. If the issue started after an update, you could roll back to the previous version and see whether you’ll resolve the problem.
6. Reset Your iPhone’s Network Settings
Some network settings conflict with the operations of AirPrint. A network reset on your iPhone restores your settings to the original state and eliminates any hitches.
To reset a network, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset. Then tap on Reset. Finally, click on the Reset Network Settings to complete.
Here’s how to connect your printer to WiFi.
How Can I Get My iPhone To Recognize My Printer?
First, enable Wi-Fi on your printer to ensure your iPhone recognizes your printer’s network settings.
Then, check your iPhone settings and tap the ‘printer’ option under ‘Wi-Fi printer’ settings. You could also print wirelessly if you add your printer to your iPhone’s ‘printer options’ menu.
If you still face recognizability problems, try the troubleshooting options discussed below.
1. Enable AirPrint
AirPrint from Apple allows you to print without installing other drivers.
If you want to confirm whether your printer is AirPrint enabled, try to print without any drivers. If you don’t face any challenges, then AirPrint is allowed.
The other simple way to confirm is to check with Apple. A support page with a list of enabled devices is available to guide you. Alternatively, use the shortcut CMD+F on your keyboard. Then, input your printer manufacturer and name to get a confirmation.
Finally, AirPrint works over Wi-Fi. So, if your printer doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, be sure that AirPrint isn’t enabled. In such cases, you can still print with a wired printer, but you will have to install apps or drivers.
Canon and HP are some top printer models so check out how to make your iPhone recognize each.
2. Check Your Canon Printer Model
To make your iPhone recognize your canon printer, do the below tasks.
- Ensure the printer model is compatible with your iPhone
- Confirm that the connection status is active and you have a strong network signal
- Add AirPrint compatibility to three of the all-in-one inkjet photo printers
3. Check Your HP Printer Model
Often, when your iPhone fails to recognize your hp printer, the problem lies with your settings, phone, or network. Try the below tactics to resolve the issue.
- Enable ‘Wi-Fi’ Direct on your HP printer
- Restore your printer’s network settings to the default state
- Restart your printer, iPhone, and router
4. Forget Your Printer as a Bluetooth Device
Your iPhone saves information about the connection procedure when you first connect to a Bluetooth device. Any changes after the first connection interfere with your printer’s connectivity. But, you can solve the issue if you forget and repair your printer.
Here’s more about how to rename a printer in Windows and Mac. And how to delete a printer on Mac.
Now you know the answer to “why can’t my phone find my printer?” So, try out the above solutions to fix the problem. If you still can’t solve the issue, you could contact the Apple support team to address the more complex software and hardware issues.
Dena Haines is a co-founder and writer on PrintLikeThis. We troubleshoot printer problems to get you back to printing.
She also writes at Storyteller Tech and is a travel blogger at Storyteller.Travel. Dena is co-founder of Storyteller Media, a company he started with her husband, Bryan.