Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to use your old printer with Apple’s Airprint

When Apple introduced Airprint for the iPhone and iPad everyone was thrilled but within seconds the reality set in that you would need to buy a new printer for it to work.  Luckily there is a utility you can install on your Windows PC to allow Airprint to use your existing printer.  It works great.  The only issue is it’s not a “Putz” proof install, you will need some computer skills for this to work.

Here are the steps, I am only going to document Windows 7 but it will work with XP and Vista.

Control panel – Network and Sharing center, change advanced sharing options (upper left corner).  Turn on network discovery, file and print sharing, sharing so anyone with network access and read/write files.  In that same window turn off password protected sharing.

Find your printer from control panel, devices and printers.  Right click the printer and select properties. Select the sharing tab and check the box for “Share this Printer”.

Control panel – Users Accounts.  Manage another account, Turn on Guest.

Download the Airprint utility.  For x64 Windows make a directory C:\Program Files (x86)\AirPrint.  For x32 Windows make the directory C:\Program Files\AirPrint. Unzip the file into the directory you just made.

You must do this step before the below commands.  The Windows Firewall needs to allow access for Airprint.  Control panel – Network and Sharing center, Windows Firewall (lower left corner), select Allow a program or feature through the Windows Firewall.  Use the browse button and navigate to where you unzipped Airprint.  Add the airprint.exe program to the firewall.

Then run the below command for x64 or x32 version of Windows:

x64
sc.exe create AirPrint binPath= "C:\Program Files (x86)\AirPrint\airprint.exe -s" depend= "Bonjour Service" start= auto

sc.exe start AirPrint

x32
sc.exe create AirPrint binPath= "C:\Program Files\AirPrint\airprint.exe -s" depend= "Bonjour Service" start= auto

sc.exe start AirPrint

You can now try and print from your Apple device.  I tested these steps on a Canon MF4690 multi-function laser printer and it works great.

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