My iPad Won't Print or Can't Find My Printer

What to do if your iPad can't print

With an AirPrint-enabled printer, printing on the iPad should be as easy as tapping the Share button, choosing Print, and selecting your printer. The iPad transmits the print job to the printer, and you should be good, but the process doesn't always go that smoothly.

If you can't print or the iPad can't find your printer, try a few troubleshooting steps that resolve most common problems.

These troubleshooting tips work with iPadOS 14, iPadOS 13, and all currently supported versions of iOS.

If the Printer Isn't Showing Up in the List on Your iPad

The most common problem occurs when the iPad cannot find or recognize your printer. The root cause of this problem is that the iPad and printer are not communicating with each other correctly. Some printers, especially early AirPrint printers, are a little finicky and require special treatment from time to time.

An iPad showing no printers


Try these troubleshooting steps, in order:

  1. Make sure your printer is turned on. Some printers auto power off, so check the printer's status first.

  2. Verify that you are connected to the correct Wi-Fi network. AirPrint works over Wi-Fi, so if you are connected to the internet using 4G, you can't print to your network printer. You must connect through Wi-Fi, and it must be the same Wi-Fi network as your printer. Most homes only have one Wi-Fi network, but some routers broadcast on a 2.4 GHz network and a 5 GHz network. Large homes may have a Wi-Fi extender that broadcasts on a different network. Ensure both the iPad and printer are on the same network with the same frequency.

  3. Refresh the iPad's Wi-Fi connection. This procedure forces the iPad to look for the printer again. To refresh Wi-Fi, open the iPad's settings, tap Wi-Fi in the left-side list, and tap the green switch to turn Wi-Fi off. Leave it off for a moment and then turn it back on. After the iPad reconnects to the network, try printing again.

  4. Reboot the iPad. It is surprising how many random problems rebooting the iPad will solve. Rebooting isn't first on this list because many of the other steps here are quick to check. Hold down the Sleep/Wake Button (also referred to as the Power button) until the iPad prompts you to slide to power off. Then, slide the button. An iPad Pro requires you to hold down the Power button and either of the volume buttons. After it powers down, press the Power button again to restart it.

  5. Restart the printer. Instead of a problem with the iPad, it could be a problem with the printer. Powering down the printer and powering it back up again could correct problems on the printer side. Wait until the printer has reconnected to the Wi-Fi network before testing it again. Most AirPrint printers have a Wi-Fi light or icon on the display to show that it is connected properly.

  6. Verify it is an AirPrint printer. If this is a new printer, it should say that it is AirPrint compatible on the packaging. Some older printers use a specific app to print from the iPad, so refer to the owner's manual. You can get a list of AirPrint printers from Apple's website.

If the Printer Appears in the List

If you can see the printer on your iPad and send print jobs to the printer, it is probably not an iPad problem. The iPad should detect standard problems like the printer being out of paper or out of ink, but this capability relies on the printer to communicate back with the iPad.

An iPad showing a printer in the Printer Options dialog box


  1. Check ink levels and paper. The printer should normally display an error message if it had any problem with the print job, such as being out of paper or ink or having a paper jam.

  2. Reboot the printer. Any number of things could have gone wrong on the printer's side, and rebooting it can cure these problems. Power off the printer and leave it off for a few seconds before powering it back on again. After it reboots, try printing again.

  3. Run diagnostics on the printer. Many printers report basic diagnostics. This procedure checks for ink levels, paper jams, and other common problems.

  4. Reboot the iPad. The problem shouldn't be with the iPad if the printer is showing up on it, but reboot the iPad anyway. Hold down the Power button until the iPad prompts you to slide to power off and then slide the button. After it is powered down, hold down the button again to restart it. If that doesn't work, you may need to try some iPad troubleshooting steps.

  5. Reboot the router. The problem might not be with the printer. If you checked everything on the printer, it could be the router causing the trouble. Turn the router off for a few seconds and boot it back up again to see if that fixes the glitch.

  6. Contact the printer's manufacturer. At this point, you've gone through the basic troubleshooting steps, including rebooting the iPad, printer, and router. To get more specific troubleshooting steps, contact the printer's manufacturer.

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