How can I share a HP printer connected to my iMAC with my PC laptop?

Donna Tirella January 11, 2012
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The iMAC is already connected to the printer. I don’t need to share info between the PC and iMAC. The iMAC has Word 2004 and the PC has Word 2010. My research thus far shows that the HP Printer needs to be compatible with Windows 2007. Also, the iMAC only is connected to the internet.

1. If I upgrade (through the HP website) will my iMAC printing be incapacitated?

2. I have another printer, but I would have to do the same — upgrade online, but I do not have an internet connection. In this instance, is there a CD that can be purchased to upgrade the second printer to the PC without using the internet?

  1. James Bruce
    January 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Donna, I'm a bit confused here. You say you want to share the printer, yet you havent connected the second machine to the network? So that's impossible. The better question would be "how do I connect my windows machine to the network (and therefore able to access the printer easily?"

    As for 'upgrading' the printer, I suspect that means you are only upgrading the drivers rather than firmware. So no, that wont break anything. 

    If you download the updated windows drivers and get them onto the windows machine somehow, then you can literally hsare the machine by unplugging USB cable each time, but really the best option would be to just connect both machines to the same network and follow the other instrutions posted for sharing the printer on the network. 

  2. Mulder
    January 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    First of all, you don't have an iMAC; you have an iMac. Terminology is important, since MAC means something completely different than Mac.

    Secondly, if you have a perfectly good printer that works with your iMac, it's relatively simple to setup printer sharing (though it sounds difficult to explain):

    1. On the Mac (the one that the USB printer that you want to share is connected to), go to the Sharing preferences pane and ensure Printer Sharing and Windows Sharing are both turned on.2. Fire up your browser and go to – this is the web interface to CUPS. When asked to enter a password, login with your Mac OS X user account (it has to be an administrator account).3. Go to the Printers tab and add a new printer (yes, in addition
    to any existing printer configuration that already exist for the same
    printer). Choose a name that’s short and descriptive (no spaces). For
    the purposes of this guide, let’s call it ‘uberprinter’. Best to keep it
    under 12 characters since Windows is finicky.4. When asked to select a device, select USB printer.5. You’ll be asked for a Device URI. To find out, open up a terminal and type lpinfo -v.
    You should see your USB printer coming up. Mine came up as ‘direct
    usb://HP/Deskjet%201280?serial=CN516851RPUN’. Copy and paste this (without the ‘direct’ part – i.e., I’d have copied ‘usb://HP/Deskjet%201280?serial=CN516851RPUN’) into the ‘Device URI’ field.6. Select a ‘Make’ of ‘Raw‘. Keep going until the printer is added.7. You’re done configuring from the Mac. But before
    you go, determine your Mac’s IP address (do a ‘ifconfig’ in a shell or
    fire up System Profiler and check out the ‘Network’ item) – note it down
    somewhere. Now it’s time to hook up your Windows machine to use the
    shared printer.8. Now go to your Windows machine and add a new printer (Control
    Panel -> Printers and Faxes). Select ‘A network printer… ’.
    Don’t browse for the printer, you will enter its IP address directly in
    the ‘URL’ field. Enter
    ‘http://your.macs.ip.address:631/printers/uberprinter’ (replacing
    ‘your.macs.ip.address’ with your Mac’s IP address and ‘uberprinter’ with
    the short name you gave your printer). If you can’t remember your
    printer’s name, just go back to the Mac and browse to You should be able to see the printer you added listed there.9. Now, all that’s left is to install the correct Windows printer
    driver on the Windows machine. If you’re lucky Windows already has your
    driver, if not do whatever you need to get the proper driver – after
    all, the purpose of jumping through all these hoops is to get full
    printer driver functionality off the shared Mac printer.

    • Mike
      January 12, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Usually you don't really have to go the way through the CUPS configuration.

      Enabling Printer Sharing for the desired printer within the System Preferences should be enough.


      • James Bruce
        January 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

        Donna said the windows machine isnt connected to the internet though, which would imply it isnt even on the same network. So printer sharing probably wont work.