Sharing a Printer between a PC and Mac

Mac and PCThese days, most homes have more than one computer.  Maybe the kids have their own laptops or perhaps there are two offices with desktop computers in them.  So, what do you do if one person uses the desktop PC with a Windows operating system while another person in the house just bought a Mac laptop?  Can computers with different operating systems use the same printer on a network at the same time?

The answer is yes, but you will have to make a few changes first.  Make sure the printer is physically connected to the Windows PC and working properly before you begin. Also, keep in mind that the PC and printer must both be on to access the printer from the Mac.

On the Windows PC:

  1. Open Start Menu and go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet.
  3. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click the down arrow button next to Printer Sharing. (This will expand the sections).
  5. Choose Turn on printer sharing.
  6. Click Apply.

On the Mac:

  1. Start System Preferences by clicking its icon in the dock (or click the Apple icon in the top left corner and choose System Preferences).
  2. Select Print & Fax. (A list will be displayed of configured printers that can be used).
  3. Click the plus sign (+) to pull the printer browser up.
  4. Select the Windows icon.
  5. Choose the appropriate workgroup name (it will be in the first column) and click the computer name of the Windows PC.
  6. Select the appropriate printer.
  7. Using the Print Using dropdown menu to choose the driver required to install the printer.
  8. Click Add.

Once these steps have been completed, you should be able to access the network printer via your Windows PC and Mac.  It may take a few minutes of your time, but it certainly is easier and less expensive than adding a second printer.

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

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