How to Connect a Printer to an iMac

by Stephen IpUpdated September 28, 2017
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • USB printer cable

  • Paper

  • Internet connection

The Apple iMac is an all-in-one desktop computer that uses the Mac OS X operating system. One benefit of the Mac OS X operating system is that the software needed for many printers comes preintstalled. This allows many printers to be recognized and used when they are plugged into an iMac USB port. Installation of specific printer software from the manufacturer is usually not required to start printing from an iMac.

Connect a printer to an iMac with a USB printer cable, then plug the power cord into an electrical outlet. Wait until the printer is plugged into the iMac and the iMac is turned on before turning on the printer.

Check to see whether the printer is recognized by the iMac. Open a document and try to print by clicking "File" in the menu bar, then selecting "Print" from the drop-down menu. If the connected printer is shown in the the Printer pop-up menu, select the printer and make a test print. The setup process is complete. If the printer is not shown in the pop-up menu, it can be added by using the Print and Fax preference pane.

Clicking the Apple icon, then select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu. Click "Print and Fax" to open the preference pane.

Click the plus sign in the Print and Fax preference pane to add the connected printer. The Printer Setup Utility will appear, allowing you to add a printer. Click on the "Default" tab if it is not already selected. Select the connected printer from the list. The necessary driver software for the printer will be downloaded automatically.

Print a test page once the driver has been installed and the printer appears in the Printer pop-up menu.


To download needed drivers while adding a printer, your iMac must be connected to the Internet. If the drivers are not downloaded during the printer setup process, make sure the computer is able to connect to the Internet and try again. If your iMac is part of a network that is connected to a printer, it is possible to print to this nearby printer by selecting it in the Printer pop-up menu. Click on the "File" menu with a document open and select "Print." Click on the drop-down menu next to Printer and select the nearby printer from the list shown.


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Stephen Ip has experience writing online professionally and his work can be seen in the Mac, iPhone and Digital Photography Channels. He works as a technical writer in the software industry. Ip received a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

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