Options for connecting printer to new MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by moonjb, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. moonjb macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Just wondering what my options are for connecting this Epson printer that came with my MBA. Do I need to buy an external drive? Have any of you had success with a drive other than the superdrive that apple has? I only need it for this one time use, so I would like to get one a little bit cheaper than the one through apple. Or, is there a way to download the software wirelessly?

  2. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    OSX has some built in drivers - plug it in through USB and see what it does. If it doesn't and it recognises that the model is compatible it will ask you if you want to download the driver through Software Update

    Else just google and download the mac driver. No disk drive needed at all :)
  3. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Yup, thats right. Should be a piece of cake. If you do end up needing the cd for some obscure reason, just pop it in another computer and copy the contents to a thumb drive.
  4. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    You are clearly coming from Windows :) Plug it in, it will just work.
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    It will just work after a quick software update, which will download the appropriate drivers. ;) You have clearly been a Mac user for a long time.

    Common printer drivers were always included with each release of OS X, which is why we never had to download them, and it was one of the first things people said to delete when trying to free up space on their hard drives (along with deleting unused languages).

    How do you think Apple made 10.7 such a small install compared to previous versions? That's right, they didn't include printer drivers and languages in the install media. ;)

    But, it is good advise, because the Mac is smart enough to download the proper driver from Apple.
  6. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    ~4 years, which is not so long that I'm not still astounded at how easy installing hardware is relative to Windows. I didn't do anything with our new printer except click "+" in Printers and click on it on the network. That was the end of my thought process.
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    And the same for me. I bought a Samsung ML-1640 printer two years ago and simply plugged it into my MBP, and more recently, my MBA; they simply shook hands, as the computer recognised the relevant driver, and, by then clicking "+" on the printer, away we went.

    I had more problems a few years ago with my old Dell printer (a 1100, I think). It was a lovely little laser printer, but the MBP didn't recognise it, as its drivers were not in the data base. In that instance, I had to get support from the Apple store where I bought the MBP.

    Essentially, it transpired that the trick was to fool, or persuade, the MBP into thinking it was linked with another printer - one with a a driver similar to the Dell - and downloading the relevant printer driver, which was more accessible. So, then, that was done, they shook hands, and the MBP accepted the Dell and worked (flawlessly) with it.

  8. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    No one has yet pointed out that the drivers included with OS X may not be the latest. Also, the ones on the CD are probably not the latest either. Your best bet would be to download the driver from Epson's website.

    Also, if the printer is an all-in-one, it might come with other software such as Photoshop elements or such. You'll probably need to use the DVD for that. If you have another computer nearby, you can use OS X's DVD sharing to help.
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Printer drivers are no longer "included" with the OS, so it already has to download them from Apple (via Software Update). Printer drivers were included up until 10.6, but in 10.7 they aren't there anymore. But you're right that Apple might not have the latest driver, and Epson's site is another good resource.

    For what it's worth, some wireless printers are a pain to get working depending on your setup. When we bought a Brother 2270DW printer earlier this year (highly recommended, btw) I had to hook it up to my PC via USB to configure the wireless network settings. Overall, I think I worked on it for about an hour. It wasn't as easy as I would have liked it to be, but ever since then, it's worked like a champ!
  10. jcg878 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    OS X downloaded the drivers and accompanying software at the time of recognition. It may not work for everything, but it worked for me. Twice.

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