January 4, 2024

Configure printers on macOS using a script: a quick and smart solution

Configure printers on macOS using a script: a quick and smart solution

So, you’ve got a brand new printer for your Mac and now its time to print! After meticulously comparing numerous models, scrutinizing their features, and making the perfect choice, you’ve finally brought your new printer home. Now comes the exciting part – configuring it on your macOS. Configuring printers on a Mac can sometimes seem complex, but fear not; in this article, we’ll explore how to simplify and streamline this task, ensuring that you make the most of your new printer while learning some valuable tips along the way.

Setting up a new printer on a Mac can be approached in various ways. Although we’ll delve into script-based configuration, let’s briefly touch on some common methods to accomplish this task.

Print customization options and benefits

The most straightforward option is manual configuration. Within “System Preferences” under “Printers & Scanners,” you can easily add a printer and tailor its settings to your liking through the graphical interface. Alternatively, you can opt for automatic configuration through AirPrint or Bonjour, where your Mac can seamlessly detect printers on the network, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

In addition to these methods, there is Apple script-based configuration. While it may cater more to advanced users, installing a new printer on a Mac using scripts presents several advantages:

  • Efficiency: It’s a highly efficient method, saving considerable time and effort during the installation process.
  • Consistency: Ideal for configuring printers on multiple devices, scripts ensure a uniform installation across all of them.
  • Customization: Scripts allow for extensive customization of printer settings, including access permissions, default print options, specific preferences, and more.
  • Extras: They enable keeping detailed records of installed printers, monitoring the entire printing process, incorporating security measures, and easily maintaining the setup.

What do you need to know?

While script-based configuration may be more suitable for advanced users, what essential information do you need to install a new printer using this method? First and foremost, you’ll need a foundation in Bash or AppleScript and an understanding of how the macOS interface and operating system function.

Moreover, it’s crucial to know the necessary drivers for your new printer to function seamlessly on your Mac. Above all, familiarity with the macOS Terminal is essential to execute the required commands successfully.

Script-Based Configuration

Now that we understand what we need to know and the advantages of configuring printers using a script, let’s delve into the steps required to carry out this task.


Start by gathering everything you need to configure your new printer, such as its IP address, the printer’s name, and a code editor like Visual Studio Code or a text editor like Apple’s Notepad.

Script Creation

To craft your installation script, utilize the Apple Script Editor found at (Applications/Utilities/Script Editor.app). Refer to this simple code designed to add a printer:
This code opens System Preferences, navigates to the “Print” section, and clicks the “Add Printer” button. Customize the code with your new printer’s details, such as its name and IP address.

Running the Script

Once you’ve created and customized your code, save it with the “.scpt” extension. Run it from the file itself in Finder or from your Mac’s Terminal using the “osascript” command with the script’s path.


To further streamline the installation and configuration of printers on macOS, consider scheduling script execution using macOS’s “Cron Utility” or “launchd.”

So, why choose the script?

While there are multiple ways to configure printers on macOS, opting for scripts can significantly save you time and effort. This flexible method not only facilitates installation but also automates printer setup and management across your devices. If you are dealing with a network of printers, scripts offer consistency in installation and settings across all devices. Script-based configuration proves to be a powerful tool for efficiently managing your print environment.

Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or an IT professional, mastering the art of script-based printer configuration provides a level of control and customization that other methods may not offer. Take advantage of the flexibility and efficiency scripts provide in setting up your printers on macOS. Embrace the power of scripting for a seamless and uniform printing experience across your Mac network.

Additional Printer Configurations

In this context, it’s crucial to explore other printer configurations to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the topic. For instance, configuring a USB printer or a Bluetooth printer on your Mac involves specific steps. Understanding how to add a printer on Windows and integrating a printer into a Windows network adds versatility to your knowledge base.

Configuring a USB Printer

If you have a USB printer, connecting it to your Mac is a straightforward process. Plug the USB cable into your Mac and the printer, and your Mac should automatically detect the new printer. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. This method is ideal for those who prefer a direct, wired connection between the computer and the printer.

Printer in Windows

For users navigating between macOS and Windows environments, knowing how to configure a printer in Windows is essential. Windows 10 provides a user-friendly interface for adding printers. Simply go to “Settings,” then “Devices,” and click on “Printers & scanners.” From there, select “Add a printer or scanner” and follow the prompts to install and configure the printer.

Wireless Printer Setup

Wireless printing is now possible. With the proliferation of wireless technology, setting up a wireless printer on your Mac has become increasingly common. This involves connecting the printer to your Wi-Fi network and configuring it to communicate wirelessly with your Mac. The steps may vary depending on the printer model, so consulting the printer’s manual is advisable.

Printer Device Settings

Understanding how to adjust printer device settings is crucial for optimizing your printing experience. Whether it’s modifying default print options, configuring access permissions, or setting specific preferences, being familiar with these settings enhances your ability to tailor the printing process to your needs.

Nearby Printers

Exploring nearby printers is another useful aspect of printer configuration. Your Mac can automatically detect printers on the network, making it convenient to add and configure them without manual intervention. This feature is particularly handy when working in shared spaces or offices with multiple printers.

Windows Compatibility

For users operating in mixed environments with both Mac and Windows systems, ensuring printer compatibility is vital. Understanding how to configure printers that are accessible to both macOS and Windows devices ensures seamless printing in a heterogeneous network.

Apple Support

When dealing with printer configuration on a Mac, don’t forget about Apple support resources. Apple provides comprehensive documentation and support forums to troubleshoot any issues you may encounter during the setup process. Leveraging these resources can save you time and provide solutions to potential challenges.

Basic Computer Skills

While configuring printers on macOS may seem technical, it doesn’t require advanced expertise. Basic computer skills, such as navigating system preferences, using code editors, and executing commands in the Terminal, are sufficient to master printer configuration through scripts.

In conclusion, configuring printers on macOS offers a myriad of options, each tailored to different user preferences. Whether you’re adding a new printer or scanner, configuring wireless printers on your network, or adjusting settings for a local printer, the versatility and efficiency of script-based configuration remain unparalleled.

Ready to print? Now you can embrace the power of scripting for a seamless and uniform printing experience across your Mac network!

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