Printer troubleshooting for AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express
- Last Modified on: January 29, 2007
- Article: 107418
Do you have a USB printer that works the way you expect it to when connected to your computer, but not when it’s connected to your AirPort base station for printer sharing? In that situation, this article helps you troubleshoot issues with printer recognition or sending a print job.
Before you start, remember that base station printer sharing is for printing only, not for printer utilities or other special features that may require a direct, proprietary connection.
Exactly what you need to do varies slightly between AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express. We’ll note the differences.
Turn off and unplug
For AirPort Express:
- Unplug AirPort Express, and turn off the printer.
- Disconnect the USB cable from the AirPort Express.
- Plug in AirPort Express, and turn on the printer.
- After AirPort Express finishes starting up, reconnect the USB cable from the printer.
For AirPort Extreme:
- Unplug the AirPort Extreme Base Station, and turn off the printer.
- Be sure the USB cable from the printer is connected to the AirPort Extreme.
- Turn on the printer.
- Plug in the base station.
Check for software updates
Check printer recognition in the AirPort Admin Utility or AirPort Utility
- Open the AirPort Admin Utility or AirPort Utility, located in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
- Select your base station, and click Configure.
- Locate the Summary page. For AirPort Admin Utility version 3, you’re already there (it’s the default page). For AAU version 4, included with AirPort Express: From the View menu, choose Summary. For the AirPort Utility, select the desired base station and press command-L or select Manual Setup from the Base Station menu.
- Once you’re looking at the Summary view, check to see if it recognizes your connected printer.
Check your printer driver
- Check the version of the printer driver that’s installed on your computer.
- Look at the support website for the printer manufacturer to see if their latest driver is newer than what you have.
- If it’s newer, download and install it.
Delete and recreate the printer queue
- Open Printer Setup Utility (10.3) or Print Center (10.2).
- Delete any queues for the printer model you have.
- Add a new queue, and choose Bonjour (formerly "Rendezvous"). It should locate and show the printer attached to the base station.
Testing your setup
Your printer should now appear in Printer Setup Utility or Print Center. Open the TextEdit application, type a short sentence, and then try to print that document.
Still not working?
If your printer still doesn’t work with AirPort printer sharing, you should contact the printer manufacturer for additional support. For example, there are lists of AirPort-compatible printers on the Lexmark and HP websites.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.