MTE Explains: What You Need to Know About AirPrint For iOS

In today’s networked world, having WiFi is almost a necessity. So many devices depend on having WiFi, from computers to mobile devices to even television systems. This means printers need to be able to connect to WiFi too, and for iOS devices, that’s where AirPrint-enabled printers come into play.

At first, AirPrint sounds like something that will help everyone using an iOS device who also has a WiFi printer. The problem is that it’s not always the case. There are only certain printers that are AirPrint-enabled, but that information isn’t always readily available. Listed below is that information, as well as some other necessary information about AirPrint.


What is AirPrint?

AirPrint is a service available on iOS devices. It makes it possible to print via WiFi through many of the apps, whether it’s in Photos, Safari, or Mail. It’s available on all iPads, iPhones 3GS and later, and third generation iPod Touches and later. Unlike with computers, there are no drivers to install or configuring of a printer queue. The option is embedded in all these apps. But there’s a hitch. You have to have a printer that is AirPrint-enabled. Printing without will give you a message that says, “No AirPrint Printers Found.

Which Printer is AirPrint Enabled?


The list of printers that are AirPrint-enabled is continually growing. Apple updates the list every so often to stay up-to-date. These printers include the Hewlett-Packard, Epson, Brother, Canon, Lexmark, and Samsung brands. If the printer is not on the list, printing via WiFi can still be an option, provided you are using an app by the printer manufacturer allowing for it, or by using a third-party application such as Printopia 2. You will also want to read through the documentation to be sure the printer’s firmware is up-to-date for the use of the AirPrint feature.

How do I Use AirPrint?


A WiFi connection is necessary, even if the printer actively works through another means, such as Bluetooth, a USB connection, the AirPort Base Station, or Time Capsule. You maybe be able to print to a Mac when connected in this manner, but not to an iOS device. When installing the printer, follow the guidelines in the manufacturers’ documentation on how to get it properly set up for WiFi. It will need to be on the same WiFi that your iOS device is connected to.


Once the printer and the WiFi connection are set, you can access the Print function in the Share menu of any app native to the iOS system. It’s also available in several third-party apps. You will need to select the printer from a list of printers available to your network. There are also options to select the number of copies to be printed as well as the desired pages of a document. While the document is printing, the “Print Center” app will show up in your recent apps by double-clicking the Home button, allowing you to check on its progress.


The are currently over 200 printers that have the AirPrint capability. The necessity of using the print function will decide whether it’s worth scrapping your current printer out for an AirPrint-enabled one or not. Since other options exist, such as a printer manufacturer’s app or a third-party app, AirPrint isn’t a necessity, but it can make the process much easier.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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