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How to Share a Printer Hooked Up to Mac with Windows 7 PC

Troubleshooting Printer Issues

Common Printer Issues

The printer sharing option can be useful, especially for a small enterprise network. It can keep your costs down by decreasing the number of printer devices you need to purchase. Below is a guide on how to share a printer, which is physically attached to a PC featuring Mac OS X 10.6 or Snow Leopard, with a computer running on Windows 7.

For Mac printer sharing, you also require the below things:

  • A working wired or wireless Ethernet network
  • A common workgroup for Mac and other PCs on the network

The printer sharing process involves three steps – (a) Ensuring Mac and other systems are on a common configured workgroup; (b) Turning on Printer Sharing in Mac OS; and (c) Adding a connection to Windows 7 PC’s network printer.

Configure the Common Workgroup Name

WORKGROUP is the default name of this feature in Windows 7. If you have not made changes to it on Windows PCs connected to the network, then you are good to go since the Mac OS also creates the same name for connecting to the systems with the other OS. Yet in case you have renamed WORKGROUP in Windows, then configure the same name in Mac OS too.

Turn on Printer Sharing in Mac OS

For this, you need to have a printer already connected to Mac PC that you want to share on the network.

  • Launch System Preferences by selecting it from the Apple menu.
  • In the window that pops up next, choose Sharing preferences from the Internet and Networking
  • The pane that you chose has a list of services that you can run on Mac. Put a tick next to Printer Sharing in the said list.
  • Once it is enabled, a list of available printers for sharing appears. Put a tick next to the printer that you need to share.
  • Exit System Preferences.

Printer Sharing

The Mac PC then lets other systems on the network share the configured or designated printer.

Add the Shared Mac Printer to Windows PC

This is the final step in Mac printer sharing.

  • Click on the Start button in Windows, and choose Devices and Printers.
  • In the next window, click the Add a printer button at the top left side.
  • Then, click on Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth Printer.
  • The Add Printer wizard then searches the network for printers available. Once it finishes the search, a list of printers available on the network appears.
  • Choose the above-mentioned shared device from it. Click on the Next
  • Ignore the message that tells you it does not have the right printer driver installed. Mac OS does not have any Windows printer drivers installed. So, click on OK to start installing a driver in Windows to communicate to your shared Mac printer.
  • The above-mentioned wizard then displays a two-column list. From its Manufacturer column, choose the brand of your printer connected to Mac. From its Printers column, choose the model of the printer attached to Mac. Click on OK for confirmation.
  • The said wizard then processes the installation and upon its completion, it presents you with a window letting you change printer’s name as it pops up on the Windows computer. Change it to a different name as per your wish, and click on Next.
  • Then, the wizard presents a window that asks if you would want to configure new printers as the default for Windows 7. The same window also lets you print a test page. This lets you test whether printer sharing is now working. Click on the Print a test page
  • Once the process completes, click on the Finish button, and you are good to go.

Print A Page

Using the Shared Printer

Using the Mac shared printer from Windows is no distinct than it would be if it were connected directly to the computer that features the latter OS. All of your Windows apps will see the shared device as though it were physically attached to the system.

Keep in mind the below points too.

  • Of course, a Mac PC has to be powered on for the shared device to be available on the network.
  • Some of the printer properties may still not be available over the network. For instance, you may not necessarily be able to find out the printer consumables’ status on the shared device, like how much ink is remaining or whether its paper tray is empty. Also, note that this differs from one printer to the other and from one printer driver to the other.
  • Printing from the configured network may keep the Mac PC from going to sleep. If yes, it may not respond to print requests from networked computers.

In case you require assistance with troubleshooting printer issues of any kind, get in touch with our technical support team through the toll-free number mentioned above.

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