How to Enable AirPrint on a Mac and Use Any Printer

airprint mac

AirPrint is one of the major new features for iOS 4.2, it allows printing from a iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Unfortunately, it only works with 11 different printers. That’s a very small percentage of printers on the market.
Steve Jobs did answer a email from a customer and stated “more printers will be added soon”.

If you want AirPrint to work now, there are some tweaks you can install that will let you use AirPrint with any printer that is on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPad.

Here are three different options for enabling AirPrint from a Mac. The first one is free, the others offer a few more options and a free trial period.

There is now an updated version of AirPrint Activator for Mac OS X Lion and it’s still Free. I recommend trying this solution first.

Click on this link for AirPrint Activator v2.

AirPrint Activator

AirPrint Activator is a free tweak that will have AirPrint working on you Mac in a few easy steps.
Apple did recently have the developer remove the tool for download, stating it infringed on Apple’s copyrighted code. The developer has replaced the code and in hope’s that Apple will let him distribute the new code.

The new AirPrint Activator Tool is available for download. After the download is complete, launch AirPrintHactivator.


Click on the togle switch and then enter the admin password.

Go to System Preferences, then printers. Find your printer and click on the minus sign to remove it. After it’s been removed, click on the plus sign and add the printer.

Make sure you check “Share this Printer on the Network”.

Your should now be able to print from you iOS device to your printer.


Printopia is a excellent piece of software that makes AirPrint work like it should.
Once Printopia is installed on your Mac, you can print to any network printer with AirPrint, save a PDF or JPG file directly to your Mac or print PDF and JPG files directly to the Mac’s Dropbox folder.

Setting up Printopia is pretty much seamless.

All you need to do is install the application and select the printers to be shared.

Then print from your iOS device.

You can download a free 7 day demo here or purchase it for life for $9.95.


There is also a tweak called FingerPrint that will enable AirPrint for all printers on a Mac for only $7.99. Like Printopia, it is incredibly simple to set up.

Just download the free trail here, install it and select your printer. Then your printer should show up on your iOS device almost immediately.

FingerPrint allows you to send a document to your Mac, send to iPhoto or print from your iOS device.

Cancel Printing or Check Status

If you would like to check the status of the print job or cancel it, double-click the home button, tap the Print Center icon, then select a print job or tap Cancel Printing.

AirPrint for Windows

To enable AirPrint for Windows users, there is a simple free tweak that enables AirPrint for any printer. Here is a step by step how to.

  • MikeH

    I did the three steps above and still could not get my HP photosmart 7550 to work on a PC

  • Phil


    Sorry, you had trouble with enabling AirPrint on your PC. I have made a new page showing how to do this on a PC. I found this to be simpler and it took me about 10 minutes to get it working on a PC.

  • MikeH

    The latest posting from today that worked good.

  • Nick

    Wow… works great for my ipad. Thank you!!

  • Henry

    Safari would not download any of these apps.

  • Phil

    I just tested them in Safari on my Mac and they downloaded, You should be able download them on your computer.

  • Rosemary

    AirPrint prints mirror image with my HP7500,confused

  • Russell

    Airprint worked great with my iPad and Canon MX310 printer

  • Juarez

    How can i download the AirPrint activator directly to mu ipad2 ?

    Tua kW

  • Phil

    You can’t download it directly on you iPad. It has to be downloaded to a computer. It allows you to connect to your printer through your wifi network but there is nothing to download on your iPad.

  • Adrienne Jaret

    My HP Dekspjet 3050 does not appear in the active Airport Sharing Window. Printer Sharing is selected in System Preferences. When I downloaded trial version of Printopia, the printer clearly showed in the Airport Sharing Window. Is there any fix for this without my having to purchase Printopia at its current price of $19.95? I need to print from my iPad periodically, but not regularily.Thanks for any help you can give!

  • Jmax

    AirPrint activator won’t recognize my hp printer. I delete and add it. Made it my default and nohing it only sees PDF printer. I also install printopia and when I switch it on my printer shows in AirPrint activator, when I switch it off it goes away.

    Any ideas?

  • Phil

    I need to update the post since the release of Lion. Here is where to get Airprint Activator for free for Lion. I will update the post soon.

  • Phil

  • Adrienne

    Thanks, Phil. Version 2 worked. Took two tries. Had to turn my printer on before downloading for my HP Deskjet3050 to appear in the AirPrint Sharing Window. Works great now!

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  • Roberto

    Hi please help me! I have the same problem as Rosemary. Airprint works but prints mirror image in my HP K5400. The printer setup is set to not print mirror images but the problem persists. If I initialize the airprint.exe by double clicking the airprint.exe file it works fine. The problem occurs if I include the airprint.exe as a service Any idea how to solve that?

  • Cheryl

    Worked like a charm for my Canon MX860. First print from iPad was a complete success, and free!!

  • Rick

    Hey – just downloaded AirPrintActivator v2.1b4 on my iMac – installation went just as described. My iPad then recognized it – tried to print an email and iPad looked like all was ok – box came up saying printing to AirPrint printer but nothing happens – any ideas??

  • JLG

    If you’re having trouble getting AirPrint Activator or any of the other free solutions to work, please save yourself a lot of hassle and spend the ten bucks for FingerPrint. It’s slick, it’s supported by the developer, and it just works.

  • Pingback: How to Enable AirPrint Service on Windows 7/Vista/XP (32-bit/64-bit) | Jaydien Network Solutions

  • Mary Ellen

    Just bought an hp4620 to use to print from my IPad. Now what? Do I need anything else?

  • DMF

    Got a problem with all the above…..I need to print AWAY FROM MY MAC. I’m on the road with my business every day and need to use a MOBILE PRINTER from my iPad AND my iPhone. Tried the HP Officejet 100 demo model at a retail outlet but it wouldn’t recognize my iPhone…nobody could get it to work. Anyone know if the bluetooth onboard is compatible with the apple platform or not? Any help would be appreciated!

  • vicki

    I downloaded to my mountain lion mac. my ipad got the printer to spit out a sheet but it was blank!! what now? doesn’t it work with mountain lion/ipad?

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  • Mac joe

    yes, works great with Canon printer, thank you

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  • Rayna

    is print n share worth a go?