AirPrint for Windows – Printing from your iPhone or iPad

AirPrint for Windows – Printing from your iPhone or iPad

Apple added the ability to print from your iPhone or iPad in iOS 4.2.  This was great news when it was announced, until everyone realised that only about six printers currently support the AirPrint functionality natively (mostly HP).

Have no fear, you can still print from your iPhone or iPad with AirPrint using your Windows-based PC by installing a small software package.

Here’s how:

1. Make sure that you have updated iTunes to version 10.1 or greater.

2. Make sure that any printers that you want to use with your iPhone or iPad are shared

 

3. Make sure that the PC/printer and your iPhone and iPad are on the same wifi network – this won’t work if you are online with a 3G connection.  You need to be sure that you are connected to your local network via wifi.

 

If you are using iOS5, then follow these instructions:

4. Download and install FingerPrint from Collobos (hat-tip to Roderick Lane for this find)

5. Run the software and select which printers you would like to share (all are selected by default).  If you close the app it will still be running in your task bar.

6. That’s it – spend the $10.00 / £6.70 and buy this software if you want to print with iOS5 at the moment.  As soon as the freeware “Airprint for Windows” app (discussed for versions iOS4.3 and earlier below) is available I will update this blog.

If you are using iOS4.3 or earlier, then use these:

4. Download the AirPrint software from here and save it to your desktop (or other folder that you prefer).

5. Right click on the downloaded program icon – and select “Run as administrator” and let it install (press next and continue as necessary).

6. Now we need to ensure that connections to the printer can be sent through the windows firewall.  So, in order to get this done – load the Control Panel (select Start menu and then “Control Panel”).

7. Select “System and Secirity” (my system is Windows 7 – but yours should be similar).

8.  From the “System and Security” option, you will see “Allow a program through the Windows Firewall” – select this.

9. Now you need to select the “Allow another program..” from the button at the bottom of that form and locate the AirPrint program (for 64-bit systems it will be in c:\program files (x86)\airprint”) – it will be either:

C:\Program Files (x86)\AirPrint\airprint.exe

or

C:\Program Files\AirPrint\airprint.exe

10. You should see “AirPrint for Windows” in the list – and so now click on the “Add” button.. and then “Ok” when you get back to the Windows Firewall option.

And that’s it!  You should now be able to see the printers from your iPhone or iPad.  To try it, simply load Safari…

Here’s how to test:

 

At the bottom of the screen (iPhone), you will see the “share” icon – press it and select “Print”

You will then see this menu

Press select Printer – and you will see all your shared printers listed.  Just select one and then press print.

Note – if it prompts you for a user name and password, this means that you have “Password protection sharing” switched on.  You can disable this if you like – but I wouldn’t recommend it.  Simply enter the user name and password that you have set on your PC and you are good to go.

There – lot’s of steps, but pretty simple to get set up – and once it is.. you can print from your iPhone or iPad to any shared Printer.

 

 

  • Steve

    I bought an app called Print bureau and that lets me print to my old Epson printer without a PC on. I don’t know how it does it but when you tap on print in pages or Safari it has the option of print via print bureau and it just finds my printer on my wireless network.

  • Andy

    I assume that a PC has to be left on in order to print?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, with this solution you would need to leave your PC running in order to print.

  • Lulu

    This is awesome. I just set it up now and it’s perfect. Thanks a lot.

  • Jhphang123

    I had followed all the above steps but my iphone could not find the printer in same wifi network which had been shared.

  • jhbronllan

    Worked well on my ipad 2 until I installed iOS 5 yesterday. Now my ipad 2 can’t see my network printer.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, me too.  I’ll look into this and report back with an update.

  • Anonymous

    Have updated with a recommended fix for iOS5.  New software called FingerPrint – very nice.

  • Larrydunsmore

    I too bemoan the loss of Print to PDF. As an author, i found invaluable for research. I don’t suppose the above system would work with my PC’s doPDF?

  • Anonymous

    It does work – just tested it.  You will end up with a dialog box on your PC asking you to confirm the file name (will have to check to see if that can be switched off.  But I used ScanSoft Print to PDF and FingerPost and it worked perfectly.  

  • Russ

    Brilliant! I bought ‘print central pro’ a while back and it was an effort to print anything; this, however, is perfect!

  • Mellofunk28

    So I have to buy the full version right. The trial prints page with “not licensed”