I’ve received several questions recently from Parallels users about how to access Mac printers from within Windows, so this post will provide some guidance from my own experiences in that area.
This is a common issue in that Parallels does not automatically install Windows printer drivers or make the connections to those printers available within the Windows virtual machine. While there are a variety of ways printers can be installed, by far the easiest method is to use Bonjour for Windows. Bonjour is a free Apple application that uses industry standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically discover each other without the need to configure complicated IP addresses and DNS servers.
Here are the steps to install Bonjour and make your Mac printers available to Windows.
- Make sure that the printers you want accessible in Windows are working from OS X. If not, install and test them in OS X first.
- Make sure that Printer Sharing is setup in OS X. Open System Preferences in OS X, select Sharing in the Internet and Network section. Check the box next to Printer Sharing and make sure the printer desired is checked. If you want to access printers that are connected to other OS X machines in your network, you will need to do this on each Mac with a printer connected to it.
- Start Parallels and your Windows virtual machine.
- Using Internet Explorer from within Windows, download and install the current version of Bonjour for Windows available free from the Apple website.
- After Bonjour for Windows is installed, go to each printer that you want to make accessible in Windows and make sure it is turned on and connected.
- Run the Bonjour Printer Wizard from within Windows by clicking on Start | All Programs | Bonjour | Bonjour Printer Wizard.
- Follow the steps in the wizard until it displays a list of your shared printers. All local and networked printers that are setup as shared printers in OS X will be displayed.
- Select the desired printer and click Next.
- Select Generic/Postscript in the model list for the printer you selected.
- Repeat steps 5 through 8 for any additional printers desired for the Windows environment.
Note: If you select a printer from the list of available printers and get a message that it is not accessible, it is probably turned off or has gone into sleep mode. Just turn it on, or wake it, and go through the steps again and it should be accessible.
That’s it. Saying hello to all your networked and local printers is easy with Bonjour!