Plus, a quick workaround if you're in a hurry
Apple’s AirPrint technology makes it so easy to wirelessly send print jobs to a printer from your iPhone. You can print hard copies of web pages, images, notes, and other documents without moving an inch or plugging a cable. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and a compatible printer.
The AirPrint technology is fast, intuitive, and easy to use. Yet, there are instances when your iPhone can’t find your printer. If this describes your present situation, we’ve compiled 11 troubleshooting steps that’ll help you fix the problem. The recommendations in this guide are also applicable to iPads.
Note: AirPrint doesn’t work with cellular or mobile data.
1. Confirm That the Printer Supports AirPrint
Your printer won’t show up on your iPhone? That could be because the printer doesn’t support AirPrint. Examine the printer’s body or instruction manual for a “Works with Apple AirPrint” label.
There are other ways to confirm if a printer is AirPrint compatible. Visit the product page on the manufacturer’s website or check the AirPrint info page on Apple’s website.
On the Apple website, you’ll find a comprehensive list of devices (printers, servers, etc.) that support the AirPrint technology. If your printer isn’t on the list, it most likely doesn’t support AirPrint. We recommend reading this guide on printing to a non-AirPrint enabled printer from your iPhone.
2. Is the Printer Working Correctly?
You have an AirPrint-enabled printer but it’s not showing up on your iPhone. What do you do? For starters, ensure the printer is powered on and active. Some printers, depending on the type or model, enter a “sleep mode” or “low-power state” after a certain period of inactivity.
Press the printer’s power button to turn it on. You should also check the printer’s status lights or screen for any error message or warning. Usually, a flashing or solid red light indicates an issue with the printer. Refer to our troubleshooting guide on fixing Wi-Fi (wireless) printers for more solutions.
3. Connect iPhone and Printer to the Same Network
For your iPhone to find your printer, your iPhone and the printer must be on the same wireless network. If an AirPrint-enabled printer isn’t showing up on your iPhone, head to the printer’s network settings and ensure its Wi-Fi is enabled. Most importantly, make sure the printer is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone.
If the problem persists, the printer could be blocked or blacklisted on the network. Go to the router’s settings and whitelist the printer.
It’s also worth mentioning that your iPhone may fail to detect an AirPrint printer due to a weak Wi-Fi signal. Make sure both devices (the iPhone and printer) are in close proximity to the router with minimal interference.
4. Switch to a Private Network
Apple cares about the safety of your files and documents, so AirPrint doesn’t work on unsecured public networks. Hackers can easily intercept files that you send (to your printer) on a public network.
If your iPhone and printer are connected to a public Wi-Fi network, you’ll always get a “No AirPrint Printers Found” error. Switch your devices to a private, password-protected network and try again.
5. Re-Enable Wi-Fi
Refreshing the Wi-Fi connection for both devices (i.e. your iPhone and printer) might fix the issue. Turn off your iPhone’s Wi-Fi from the Control Center or the Settings app—go to Settings > Wi-Fi and toggle off Wi-Fi. Re-enable Wi-Fi after some seconds and join a wireless network.
Head to your printer’s settings menu and do the same: Disable Wi-Fi, wait some seconds, turn it back on, and join the same wireless network that your iPhone’s connected to.
If your wireless printer doesn’t have an LED display or screen, look out for a physical Wi-Fi button. Check the printer’s instruction manual if you can’t find a Wi-Fi button or don’t know which button controls the printer’s Wi-Fi.
6. Restart Your iPhone
Before you shut down your phone or you’re using a different iPhone (or iPad) to send files to the AirPrint printer. If other iOS devices can find the printer, that means your iPhone is the problem. Shut down your phone and try connecting to the printer again.
7. Restart the Printer
Power-cycling your printer can resolve common printer-related issues. If your AirPrint printer doesn’t show up on multiple iPhones despite being on the same Wi-Fi network, restart the printer and try again.
8. Restart or Reset Your Router
Your router could also be the problem. Shut down the router and turn it back on. Afterward, connect your iPhone and printer to the network and try printing a file wirelessly.
If the AirPrint printer is still missing, or your iPhone keeps displaying a “No AirPrint Printers Found” error, reset the router and try again.
9. Hard Reset the Printer
Should the printer remain undetectable, consider resetting it to factory default settings. Note that hard resetting your printing may erase some configurations like tray size, page count, language, etc. You’ll need to redo these settings and preferences when you reset your printer.
10. Reset iPhone’s Network Settings
Performing a network reset worked magic for some iPhone users. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and enter your iPhone’s passcode to proceed. Click Reset Network Settings on the confirmation prompt and your device will restart.
When your iPhone comes back on, join the same Wi-Fi network hosting the AirPrint printer and try printing a file.
11. Downgrade or Update Your iPhone
iOS updates also have a history of destabilizing the AirPrint functionality. So, if you noticed your iPhone stopped detecting your printer after installing a new OS update, you can roll back to a previous iOS version.
Also, AirPrint can also fail to work if you’re running an old or outdated iOS version. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available update on the page.
AirPrint Without a Router
Some high-end AirPrint-enabled printers can host a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you have one such printer, create a hotspot, go to your iPhone’s Wi-Fi menu and tap your printer’s name to join the network. When you want to print a file, you’ll find the printer on the Printer Options page.
Use this workaround to quickly print a file if you don’t have time to try the troubleshooting techniques listed above. However, if your iPhone still can’t find the printer, you should get in touch with the (printer’s) manufacturer.