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.
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:
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
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.