How to make any printer work with AirPrint on the Mac

How to make any printer AirPrint compatible with Printopia for Mac

AirPrint is a great feature that lets the iPhone or iPad print to any compatible printer right over Wi-Fi, no awkward cables or frustrating drivers required. Unfortunately, not every printer is AirPlay compatible, especially older printers. So what can you do? Easy, just get a copy of Ecamm's Printopia and start using any printer as an AirPrint printer!

How to get started with Printopia

There are two versions of Printopia for you to choose from. One is for personal home use while the other is geared more towards corporations and schools. Make your choice and then purchase one or the other. Start with the one week free trial if you aren't sure which one suits your needs best.

Printopia preferences pane

Not only can you print directly to any printer from Printopia, you can also share anything you print to Dropbox, Evernote, and many other services. If you want things stored to a specific folder on your Mac you can do that too. For Printopia to work, just be sure your printer is connected to your Mac and that it's selected to be shared in the Preferences pane of your Mac, like pictured above. You can connect your printer either via a hard wired connection or through WiFi. Printopia should recognize either.

How to use AirPrint with Printopia

Once you've got Printopia installed and running on your Mac, there's nothing to install on iOS. It works the same way AirPrint would. Just choose a print option inside almost any app that supports printing. Not only should you see official AirPrint enabled printers, you should also see any printers shared within Printopia as well as options to send to your Dropbox, a folder on your Mac, and any other options you've configured.

Essentially the options for Dropbox, Evernote, and folders on your Mac are just a super convenient way to transfer documents back and forth using the native Print dialog that's already built into iOS. As long as you're on the same WiFi network and Printopia is running on your Mac, you're good to go!

If you've given Printopia a try, let me know in the comments how you use it. Has it removed the burden of having to find AirPrint compatible printers?

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 9 comments. Add yours.

Xdmfan says:

I use handy print it works great I have three printers all wireless in three different rooms and it only cost me .99

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kevinbhayes says:

I tried handy print, but found it wasn't reliable at times. It's cheaper than Printopia, but the extra features and UI made it worth the money for me.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Same here. And Printopia does so much more beyond printing that the $20 to have it forever is worth the convenience and reliability in my experience.

Wiz_Odd says:

I've been using Handyprint for a long time, since before they changed the name. It's been 100% rock solid for us. We do need to keep the iMac on all the time, which isn't ideal, but that machine does other household duties so it's not so bad.

Djbeat123 says:

Love printopia, I have used it with two printers already! Made no difference. It's an amazing software...

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DrSavant says:

Everyone seems to overlook the fact, that you need to have a constantly running Mac, to utilize Printopia.

Not everyone has that constantly running Mac - my MBA is off when I'm home.

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ame says:

This sounds like a great solution. I'll be getting a laptop this summer probably, but I don't know if Ill be replacing my printer til next year despite the fact I need one of those too (my needs are pretty specific on that and those don't often work with airprint or otherwise).

Appels2 says:

I use Printer Pro from Readdle on my iOs devices. Works flawlessly. Combined with the free Documents app it also offers a solution for the missing print functionality in the Office apps.

ClaraMee says:

printopia is quite expensive, prefer the print n share app i downloaded