If you have an AirPrint-enabled printer, printing to iPad should be as easy as one, two, three.
- Tap on the Share button .
- Select Print , , and Select Printer if your printer is not already selected.
- Click on the Print button .
The iPad must transmit the print job to the printer and you must be good. But unfortunately, it doesn’t always go so well. If you can’t print or if iPad can’t find your printer, there are a few things we can try to fix.
If the printer isn’t listed on your iPad
The most common issue is iPad not finding or recognizing your printer. After all, if your iPad can’t find your printer, it can’t print to it. The main cause of this problem is that the iPad and the printer are not communicating with each other properly. I have found that some printers, especially the early AirPrint printer, are just a bit finicky and require special handling from time to time.
- Make sure your printer is turned on. It may sound simple, but I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to print a document only to find that the printer – which is located in a different part of the house – was turned off at some point.
- Check that you are connected to the correct Wi-Fi network. AirPrint works over Wi-Fi, so if you’re connected to the Internet via 4G, you won’t be able to print to your network printer. Not only do you need to connect via Wi-Fi, but it must be the exact same Wi-Fi network as your printer. Most homes only have one Wi-Fi network, but some routers broadcast on a 2.4 Ghz and a 5 Ghz network. And larger homes may have a Wi-Fi extender that broadcasts on a different network. You’ll need to make sure both the iPad and the printer are on the same network for AirPrint to work properly.
- Refresh your Wi-Fi connection. This will force the iPad to search for the printer again. To update Wi-Fi, open iPad Settings, tap Wi-Fi in the list on the left, and tap the green switch to turn Wi-Fi off. Leave it off for a moment and then turn it back on. Once iPad connects to the network, try printing again.
- Restart the iPad. It’s amazing how many random problems are fixed by simply restarting the iPad. The only reason this isn’t first on the list is that many of the other steps here are so quick to check. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the iPad prompts you to scroll to power off , then slide the button. After turning it off, long press the button again to turn it back on.
- Restart the printer. Instead of being a problem with the iPad, it could be a problem with the printer. Turning the printer off and back on can correct printer-side problems. Remember to wait until the printer has reconnected to the Wi-Fi network before trying it again. Most AirPrint printers have a Wi-Fi icon or light on the screen to indicate that they are connected properly.
- Verify that it is an AirPrint printer. If it’s a new printer, make sure it’s an AirPrint printer. It should say it is compatible with the iPad on the packaging if it is AirPrint enabled. Some older printers use a specific app to print from iPad, so check the user manual. You can get a list of AirPrint printers on the Apple website. If this is a new printer and it’s not AirPrint-enabled, I’d suggest upgrading to one that works with your iPad.
If the printer appears in the list
If you can see the printer on your iPad and send print jobs to the printer, it’s probably not an iPad issue. The iPad should detect standard issues like the printer is out of paper or out of ink, but this relies on the printer to communicate with the iPad.
- Check ink levels and paper. Normally, the printer should have an error message if it has a problem with the print job, such as out of paper, out of ink, or a paper jam.
- Restart the printer. Any number of things could have gone wrong on the printer side, and simply restarting it can cure these issues. Turn off the printer and leave it off for a few seconds before turning it back on. Once it has started, try printing again.
- Run diagnostics on the printer. Many printers have the option to run basic diagnostics. This would check for ink levels, paper jams, and other common issues.
- Restart the iPad. The issue shouldn’t be with the iPad if the printer shows up on it, but before we go any further we should go ahead and restart the iPad. Press and hold the sleep button until the iPad prompts you to slide to power off , and then slide the button. After turning it off, long press the sleep button again to turn it on again. If this doesn’t work, you may need to try some iPad troubleshooting steps.
- Reboot the router. The problem may not be with the printer. If you have checked everything on the printer, it could be the router that is causing the problem. You can turn off the router for a few seconds and restart it to see if that resolves the issue. Remember to warn all family members. This will bring down the entire Wi-Fi network while you restart it.
- Contact the manufacturer of the printer. At this point, we’ve gone through the basic troubleshooting steps, including restarting the iPad, printer, and router. For more specific troubleshooting steps, you will need to contact the printer manufacturer.