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How can I print to a printer connected to an Airport Base Station?

Answer: The Airport Extreme and Airport Express Base Stations both have a built-in USB port that allows you to connect a printer. Whatever printer you decide to connect to an Airport Base Station will be available to all computers connected to the Base Station.

In order to print to an Airport printer, you first need to make sure your computer is connected to the wireless router (the base station) either wirelessly, or directly with an Ethernet cable. If you are using a Mac, you can simply select the Base Station from the drop-down menu by clicking the Airport icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Windows should allow you to choose the Base Station if you click the wireless network icon in the systray, located in the lower-right part of the screen.

The second thing you need to do is make sure the printer drivers for the printer are installed on the computer. Your computer will not recognize the wireless printer if you have not installed the correct drivers. You should be able to use the disc(s) that came with the printer or download the drivers from the manufacturer's website. After installing the drivers, you may need to restart your computer.

Once you've installed the printer drivers and established a network connection with the Airport Base Station, you should be able to print to the wireless printer. Just select "Print..." in whatever program you want to print from and then choose the printer from the list in the dialog box that pops up. The computer should recognize the printer as if it was connected directly to the machine. Once you click "Print," the file will get sent to the Base Station and the printer connected to it will print the document.

Published: June 8, 2005 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center