Ninja tip: How to re-enable network AirPrint on Mac

Using the release version of Mac OS X 10.6.5 and curious how to re-enable network AirPrint for your iPhone or iPad? Apple seems to have us in limbo as to whether or not this feature will actually work when the final version of iOS 4.2 ships, but if you have the current iOS 4.2 GM software and aren't afraid to get your geek on, you can get it working now. Follow on after the break to find out how...

Developer Steven Troughton Smith broke down the process on his High Caffeine Content blog, and it goes like this:

  • Search the dark places of the interwebs for a pre-release developer build of Mac OS X 10.5.6. (10H542 is known to work).
  • Migrate the following files to your Mac:
    • /usr/libexec/cups/filter/urftopdf
    • /usr/share/cups/mime/apple.convs
    • /usr/share/cups/mime/apple.types
  • Go to Print & Fax in System Preferences and remove and re-add your printer
  • Go to Sharing in System Preferences and enable printer sharing

He adds:

Basically, doing this should add the image/urf mimetype to your shared printer, and a new Bonjour field 'URF'. Once you have those, it should work. Theoretically, there's no reason someone can't write a server application that broadcasts said Bonjour info and prints for you, so you don't have to use files from a prerelease build. I would expect something like that to appear over the next few weeks.

So there you have it, a simple if not easy way to be able to AirPrint from iOS 4.2 GM to shared printer on Mac OS 10.6.5. If you try it out, let us know how it works for you!

[High Caffeine Content]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Ninja tip: How to re-enable network AirPrint on Mac


Are there places on the web where non-developers can get a hold of the (legit) Golden Master for 4.2?
And if there is and I install it ,will this affect anything when the public release of 4.2 happens?

or do what I did buy a HP D110a and print to it. It was updates yesterday to airprint :) rock on!

It's working for me. I got just the 3 files from an AppleInsider commentor's post:
I would clarify 2 things:
1. reboot your machine after replacing the files
2. in addition to enabling print sharing, you (obviously) need to share your printer (after you delete and re-add it)

Got my AirPrint working yesterday.. been printing from my iPhone around the office just to be a show off and to talk the execs into letting me get an iPad. Already got 4 of 5 execs converted to the iPhone.... only one hold out. He will come to the darkside. lol

Yes this works great. However I can't use it at work since they have strict filters for wi-fi. If there was a way to ad-hoc my laptop and still use the 3G to get out to the internet.

I am relatively good with computers so this would be a very simple swap but I do had a quick question.
If this is done will it pose any problem with future updates? Specifically ones looking to replace these files?

Done it. Works great! Got the files from a link in another websites post and added them. I was surprised that the simplicity of this. Ive been printing things for a littlewhile now just for fun because it's so awesome. Kinda wish apple had included it, but this works just fine for now.

This fix worked great for me. I wonder, however, how this will behave after future OS X software updates. Is is correct to assume that as long as these specific files are not replaced in an update, this hack will continue to work?

There is a really simple Mac app that requires zero technical know-how (you just download and run it):
I've tried it and it works great, all you do is install the app as you would any mac app, then delete and re-add your network printer, and make sure you tick "share this printer on the network"

Another option, if you are leery of putting old beta files back on your system, is to download and install Printopia. It installs an AirPrint server on your mac in seconds and works wonderfully. You can install the free trial for 7 days. It does cost $9.95 after the 7 days, but I think that is a very small price to pay for both functionality, and peace of mind...especially for us systems administrators who are very cautious about installing hacks on systems.