Because computers don't fix themselves

Printing to a Windows shared printer from a Macintosh

What a pain in the butt!

Connecting to a shared printer on a Windows network is one of the easiest things to do on a network.

Until you add a macintosh to the equation.

Setting it up might appear easy.  But, if your Windows computer has a user name and password, good luck. If you try to set it up with the normal connecting through the network, even if you save your user name and password into your keychain, the printer will pause, and wait for you to open the printer window to tell you that you need to authenticate.  EVERY time you print.  Lame!

But, there IS a way.  Just not a way any average user would know.

This assumes your printer is already set up correctly and shared on a windows computer.  And, that you know the user name and password of the computer sharing the printer.

On the Macintosh:

  • Click on the apple, and go to System Preferences.
  • Go to Printers
  • Click the + to add a printer
  • Now, right click (or control+click) on the toolbar at the top, and customize the view.
  • Choose Windows from the pull-down menu, and hit ok.
  • NOW you can actually choose the Windows icon.  Let it think for a minute, but it should see the shared printer.  Choose it.
  • Then, in the network path box, enter this:  smb://username:password@servername/sharedprinter.  (So, if your Windows machine is named “Computer,” the printer is named “R2D2,” and the windows computer is accessible by the user name, “Dave” with the password “password,” it looks like this: smb://Dave:password@Computer/R2D2)
  • Be sure to change the name of the printer to what you want it to appear as (otherwise, it will auto-name it the name of your Windows machine… confusing).
  • Lastly, choose the correct printer driver from the pull down list. (If your printer isn’t listed, have you already downloaded and/or installed the macintosh driver for that printer?  If not, do so, and it should be in this list).
  • Hit ok, and you’re set.

Not hard, but definitely not intuitive.

Good luck!