How to Connect My iPad to a Wireless Printer
By Andrew Aarons
Updated August 23, 2017
Apple’s iPad supports wireless interaction with other devices, including a wireless printer in your home or office. The iPad doesn’t need any additional or extra software in order to print wirelessly; as long as your printer is compatible with the iPad you just need to set your printer up on the same Wi-Fi network as the iPad and you’ll be printing in no time at all.
Apple’s iOS devices, which include the the iPad, the iPhone and the iPod touch, all include a feature called AirPrint that connects with a wireless printer over a wireless network to give your iOS device the ability to print. AirPrint isn’t a stand-alone program; instead, it integrates with iOS core programs like Safari, Photos and Mail, allowing you to print Web pages, your photos and your emails respectively.
AirPrint works with most, but not all, wireless printers. To ensure that you have wireless printing functionality, Apple provides a list of all compatible printers on its website (see Resources). Most major printer companies are represented on the AirPrint compatibility list, but double-check that your specific printer model is on the list before you try to set up AirPrint. If you haven’t purchased a printer yet, check the list before heading to the shop or check on the printer box to see if it’s AirPrint-ready.
Setting Up the Printer
In order to access the wireless printer from your iPad, you must first install the printer on your wireless network. Each printer manufacturer has different steps for this: some require plugging the printer in to one computer and installing on a USB connection first, while others allow for straight network setup. Follow the instructions specific to your printer to connect the wireless printer to your network. Once the printer is on the network, open the printer’s software on your computer and look for a check box saying “Enable AirPrint.” Not all printers have this setting; only some need you to turn it on before you can print from an iOS device.
Toggle on the Wi-Fi on your iPad on and connect to the same wireless network as your printer; then open Safari, Mail or Photos. Select the content that you want to print and then tap the “Print” icon. Your printer will appear in the list of available printers as long as it is turned on and online. Tap the printer to select it and to print your document. You may see an error message saying “No AirPrint devices found” if the printer is out of ink or has an error message on its control panel, but for the most part you should be able to print without issue.
Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.