5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2011 7:20 PM by tkclevi
tkclevi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently set up activeprint from my iphone 4 to a windows PC wired to a printer that enabled wireless printing. Is there any way that i could do the same thing with my iMac? I tried adding the printer on the iMac with the IP address, but it doesn't recognize it. How could I get this to work?


iMac, iPhone 4, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • PAHU Level 6 Level 6 (15,750 points)
    There are several requirements for adding a printer to OS X that is connected to Windows.

    The first is that is must be shared. The app for the iP4 to print may not share it for the Mac to use so check that you have the printer shared.

    If you are using Windows 7 then there are several built-in facilities that stop the Mac. You need to disable HomeGroup and you need to ensure the network profile is set to Home or Work. Public will block the sharing. You should also disable password controlled setting in Advanced Sharing. It may also prove helpful to enable the Guest account.

    With the printer shared and the other conditions met then you should be able to add the printer on the Mac by selecting the Windows icon. The workgroup being used should display in the first column, followed by the printer name. Selecting this may prompt you for the Windows account name and password. Entering these will show the printer share name.

    With the share name displayed and selected the last caveat is the printer driver on the Mac. Many of the vendor drivers for OS X are for direct USB connection only so you need to use an alternative such as Gutenprint. If you can tell us which printer you have then we can better advise your OS X driver options.
  • tkclevi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I set the network to home and enabled printer sharing. But nothing appears when i click the windows icon on the mac. The PC is running on windows vista with a linkseys router for the web. The printer is a HP officejet 5600 that is not wireless and plugs into the PC with vista. Is there anything else I should do?
    Thanks for replying.
  • PAHU Level 6 Level 6 (15,750 points)
    When you select the Windows icon you will see three columns. The first column is for workgroup names. This should show the workgroup name used by Vista, which by default is workgroup. For the Mac to 'see' this it must be using the same IP subnet as Vista. If you were to check the network setting on Vista for whatever connection you are using to connect to the router it will show the IP address, subnet mask and gateway address. If the subnet mask is set to then your Mac needs to have an IP address with the same three sets of numbers the same as Vista. It would also need the same subnet mask and router (gateway) address. For example, if Vista has an IP of with a subnet mask of and a router address of, then the Mac would need an IP address of 192.168.1.X, where X is a different number to 10 because it is being used by Vista. And as mentioned it would need the same subnet mask and gateway address for the port that is being used to connect to the Linksys.

    It is also helpful to set the same workgroup name in the Mac as being used by Vista. This is set in the WINS section of Network settings for the respective network port being used. Have a read of [Tom Nelson's article|http://macs.about.com/od/printersharing/ss/Printer-Sharing-Share-Your-W indows-7-Printer-With-Your-Mac.htm] regarding printer sharing for Windows 7, which is applies to Windows Vista also.

    Once you can see the printer share then the last thing to note is that you will probably need a different driver than the HP provided driver. The [hpijs|http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/macos x/hpijs] package will allow you to print from the Mac via the Windows share.
  • Jhereg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    PAHU's method is good for getting the mac to sniff out the shared windows printer on the same workgroup, however, sometimes (like in my case) my macbook refused to place nicely with my windows shared printer for a while, so I had to resort to using the printer via IP method.

    I ended up doing a version of the fix listed at: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1283076

    On the Windows machine (that the printer is connected to)

    1. hold the start button on the keyboard and hit 'r'.

    2. type 'cmd' and hit enter.

    3. type 'ipconfig' and hit enter.

    4. write down the ip address of the printer's host machine (take note of the subnet while you are there
    if you want to tinker with getting the workgroup setup working later)

    5. open control panel.

    6. open the printers option and write down the name of the shared printer you want to use from the mac. At this point if you see any crazy characters in your printer shared name or you don't want to type in a 255 character printer name, naming the printer something smaller is advisable. For the purpose of this, I renamed my Canon PIXMA iP4000 - Office to "pixmaip4000" and just reinstalled the printers on the windows machines to find the new name.

    7. go back to the control panel and open 'programs and features.

    8. on the left sidebar click 'turn windows features on or off'.

    9. expand the print services folder and enable all 3 options.

    10. hit ok and then wait for the dialog to go away (might take a few minutes). This will take quite a while on older machines as it sets up the LPD daemon and you will often think it has frozen as the bar will sit at 0% for 15 minutes or more before suddenly jumping to 98% and then completing another few minutes after that.

    Onward to the Mac you want to print from

    1. go to system preferences

    2. open print and fax

    3. click the plus sign to add a new printer.

    4. Click on the IP Icon in between Fax and Windows icons on the top icon bar

    5. Set Protocol to : Line Printer Daemon - LPD

    6. Set Address to the IP of your windows machine that is hosting your printer

    7. Queue should be the name of your windows printer. In my example I used "pixmaip4000"

    8. Name can be anything descriptive that helps you tell which printer is on what computer (especially if you have multiple printers hanging out on your network.) Location can be any description that helps you remember where the printer is)

    9. select the correct driver for your printer under Print Using.

    10. click add

    I have included a screenie of the mac setup example for visual reference.


    (Random note) After I set up the computer to print this way, my macbook miraculously decided that it could see the workgroup printers. Sometimes working around things gets you right back to the start where you wanted it 3 hours earlier!
  • tkclevi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    WOW! thank y'all so much! This is awesome to print wirelessly! God Bless!