How To: Activate AirPrint for iOS [Mac and Windows]

The owners of iOS devices will have to use the AirPrint technology, in order to print their documents. In this case, they will need to have an AirPrint-enabled printer to complete that operation. If you belong to that category, you might encounter a serious problem that can prevent you from going through the process. This problem involves the compatibility of your printer with the AirPrint. If you have such a problem, let us show you how you can troubleshoot it.

What is the AirPrint Technology

The AirPrint service was firstly introduced with the iOS update in 2010. It is Apple’s solution for wireless printing and we can now notice that many major printer manufacturers support it very well. However, those of you, who do not a printer that compatible to the AirPrint. can still tweak your device, so that you support printing in your iPad or iPhone. Let’s see how you can do this.

Printer Manufacturer Apps

The first method to turn your old printer into an AirPrint-enabled one involves the use of its manufacturer’s app. If you are fortunate enough, your printer’s manufacturer may support you with a third-party iOS helper app. A few of these apps are:

  1. Brother iPrint and Scan 
  2. Canon Easy-PhotoPrint
  3. Epson iPrint
  4. HP ePrint Home and Biz
  5. Kodak Pic Flick

NOTE: Be aware that all of those applications have different features from each other. For example, the Canon Easy PhotoPrint app can only support you with photo printing. 

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These kinds of apps will probably provide you with the support that you need. However, we noticed that a few of them do not support many standard printers. In this case you will have to use another application. Unfortunately, this type of solution comes with a price, but the good news is that it will help you to get the job done.

Use the FingerPrint app

The FingerPrint is the only third-party app that can work with all iOS devices and wireless standard printers. On top of that, it offers a great number of features. We should warn that you will need to pay, in order to have access to those features. You will not regret it though. Apart from the FingerPrint, you will need a Mac or a Windows computer, your iOS device and a printer that can run with your desktop PC.

Now let’s continue with the installation of the application. You will notice that this process is pretty easy. The only major decision that you will have to make during the installation is choosing the iOS device, in which you will install it later.

The FingerPrint fuctions similarly with a print server for iOS. Keep in mind that you need to install the app in a PC, which will be on, when you want to print. You should also know that the best possible location for the FingerPrint server is either a Windows or OS X home server, which has access to your printers.

  • Download the FingerPrint and install it on your desktop PC.  You will not encounter any annoying customization options. Keep clicking Next until you finish with the installation.  Finally, reboot your PC.

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  • When your computer has rebooted, launch the app from the Start menu. Once you do it, you will be able to view a list of the available printers.

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  • Uncheck the printers that are either not connected to your PC and the ones, which you do not want to use. Once you have selected the printers that you want to use, take your iOS device. Fortunately for you, there is no configuration, required on your Apple device to access your printers.
  • After this, open a program with printing options and try out your printer’s compatibility. Note that any of your programs, which can have access to the AirPrint service, can also access the printer on the host PC. For example, we visited our website by using the Safari browser, so that we test our printing possibilities on a tutorial.
  • On your Safari browser tap on the button that displays right next to the address bar. The click the Print option from the contextual menu that appeared. This will open the AirPrint menu.

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  •  In the AirPrint menu you will view every printer that is available on your host computer. In addition, not only you can send your documents to those printers, but also you can either send your print as a document to the DropBox, if it is installed, or open the printing file on the host PC. In case you only intend to get physical prints from your Apple device, we believe that the DropBox and the Open on My PC will be quite useful for you.

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  •  When you select the printer that you want to use, you will be asked to choose the number of print copies and whether if you want your copies to be double-sized or not. For the purposes of this guide we chose to use our Brother device to print one simple copy.

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Once you hit the Print button in the Printer Options menu, the process will begin. Additionally, a message will display on your screen and it will keep informed about the progress of your printing.

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As you can see the solution to your printer’s compatibility with an iOS device is very handy but on the other hand it requires a bit of your attention. Therefore, test your printing capabilities carefully.