My Computer Is Not Detecting My Photo Printer, What To Do?

Even though there have been many technological advancements over the last few years, the error of not detecting certain devices on your computer somehow lives on! But fear not, we have the solution to even your most mundane technical issues!

Microsoft and Apple may be rivals in the computer business, but we are here to serve both of their user-base. Check out all the steps below if your computer is not detecting your photo printer. We provided different tactics for both Windows and Mac users.

What To Do If My Computer Is Not Detecting My Photo Printer?

Since settings and features vary a lot between different operating systems, we will go through the process of detecting your photo printer on your computer by each of the popular computer OS options.

A. For Windows


For the computers running on Microsoft Windows, your photo printer can be connected to them in multiple ways. It can be established through an Ethernet, LAN (local area network or Wi-Fi) or through a USB connection to one of the other computers on that network.

If you have Windows 7, you will find the wizard called “Add Printer” present in the “Devices and Printers” section from the Control Panel. For other Windows versions except 10, the wizard is “Add a printer or scanner” and it is available in the “Printers & Scanners” section within the Settings Control Panel.

In the case of the latest Windows 10, you will not need any wizard to ensure the connection. The computer should automatically detect the printer from your wireless network or as soon as you plug the Ethernet cable into your photo printer. Just navigate to the “Printers & Scanners” section on Settings to see it.

1. Initial Checking

Initial Checking

If the device does not show up in any of the above-mentioned sections, click on the “Add a printer or scanner” button. When the printer shows up, click “Add device” to add it to the list of connected printers.

Make sure it is on the same network as your computer is and if it is connected to another computer, check if the print sharing feature is enabled on that PC.

2. Printer That I Want Isn’t Listed

Right below the list of all connected printers, you will see a clickable line that says “The printer that I want isn’t listed”. Then a wizard will appear to manually add the printer through TCP/IP address.

Remember to select the device type of “TCP/IP Device”. If it has some customized settings, choose “Custom” instead. Then enter the hostname or IP address and the port name of your printer. If they are the same, you will still have to enter them both individually. Then the system will let you install any necessary driver.

3. Find A Printer By Other Options

To find other ways of solving this issue from a Windows computer, choose the option of “Find a printer by other options”. Based on your version of the operating system, this will show you three to five processes of detecting the printer.

In addition to following the TCP/IP address route, you can also point out that the printer is an older model, write down the path to your shared printer, add the printer with manual settings, or find it using BlueTooth or Wi-Fi through P2P network devices.

For older models, there will be another dialog box right after which lets you search for it and then installs the respective driver. To find it by writing the path, remember to include the computer’s name and the network’s name which are connected to it already.

B. For Mac


1. Basic Tests

Start by doing the basic tests like unplugging the printer or reattaching the cords to restart it. You can also reboot your MacBook and see if it can detect the photo printer after it turns on again.

Also, look for signs on the printer regarding any anomaly which are usually conveyed through warning lights and error messages. It could be the common issue of paper getting stuck inside the device or lack of ink in the printer.

2. Network Checking

If none of the basic tests do the trick, you can start attempting advanced solutions. For all the devices working through a network like WiFi, start by checking that network’s connectivity or availability status. Besides, see if the photo printer and your computer are operating on the same network.

For poor connectivity, bring the printer and the router closer to each other. Alternatively, start using ethernet cables instead of wireless internet and establish a direct connection of the devices to your home network.

3. Printer Queue

Businesses that need to print photos very often can easily make their printer queue way too long. To cope with this overwhelming line-up, the device may stop responding altogether. This in turn makes it look like there is no connection between your MacBook and the printer.

To find out if this is the case, go to the “System Preferences” section under “Printers & Scanners” and pick the respective printer from the left menu.

Now open its print queue and see if there are too many tasks lined up for it. Remove the ones which are inconsequential at this point. Remember to also resume the paused tasks since they can also cause such blocks.

4. Printer Diagnostics

Navigate to the “System Preferences” on your Mac softweare and modify the diagnostic settings for your particular printer as necessary. On this page of system preferences, you will find the section called “Printers & Scanners”. Pick the specified printer from its left menu and click on the button named “Options & Supplies”. There you will see the diagnostic features listed under “Diagnostics” or “Utility”.

5. Manual Detection

Similar to Windows computers, Apple also has a way to manually add the photo printer to your Mac without software! For this one too, you will need to reach the “System Preferences” page and then pick the “Printers & Scanners” option. Click on the plus button to add the new printer.

The page shown now will have a few icons on the top left area saying Default, IP and Windows. Pick IP to add the new printer using its IP address if both of these devices are connected to the same network.

6. Last Resort

If none of the options discussed above worked for you, maybe it is time to update the printer drivers for your Mac. The erroneous ones must have an update with fixed bugs by now. Go to the App Store and check if it has any updates for your printer. If nothing works, your last resort would be to restore factory settings.

Final Words

It is great to own your problems and then approach them with the right mindset. So we hope that you end up winning over the printer and making your Mac identify it successfully!

However, if your computer is not detecting your photo printer even after those steps, consider consulting an expert to finally get that printing job going!

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