Share Any Attached Printer or Fax With Other Macs

Enable Printer Sharing on Your Mac

Printer Sharing Settings in OS X
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

The print sharing capabilities in the Mac OS make it easy to share printers and fax machines among all of the Macs on your local network. Sharing printers or fax machines is a great way to save money on hardware; it can also help you keep your home office (or the rest of your home) from getting buried in electronic clutter.

Enable Printer Sharing OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and Earlier

  1. Click the 'System Preferences' icon in the Dock.
  2. Click the 'Sharing' icon in the Internet & Network section of the System Preferences window.
  3. Place a check mark in the ‘Printer Sharing’ box to enable printer sharing.

How easy was that? Now all of the Mac users on your local network can use any of the printers and fax machines that are connected to your Mac. If you're using OS X 10.5 or later, you can select the printers or faxes you want to make available, rather than make them all available.

OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Printer Sharing

  1. Follow the same instructions for enabling printer sharing as listed above.
  2. After you turn Printer Sharing on, OS X 10.5 will display a list of connected printers and fax machines.
  3. Place a check mark next to each device you want to share.

Close the Sharing window and you're done. Other Mac users on your local network will be able to select any of the printers or faxes you designated as shared, as long as your computer is on.

OS X 10.6 ( Snow Leopard) or later Printer Sharing

Later versions of OS X added the ability to control which users are allowed to share your printers. After you select a printer to share, you can assign which users are allowed to make use of the selected printer. Use the Plus or Minus button to add or remove users. Use the drop down menu for each user to allow or disable access to the printer.