~Say Bonjour to your Mac Printers in Windows


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Printer Sharing Settings

  4. Start Parallels and your Windows virtual machine.
  5. Using Internet Explorer from within Windows, download and install the current version of Bonjour for Windows available free from the Apple website.
  6. 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.
  7. Run the Bonjour Printer Wizard from within Windows by clicking on Start | All Programs | Bonjour | Bonjour Printer Wizard.
  8. Bonjour Printing Wizard

  9. 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.
  10. Select the desired printer and click Next.
  11. Select Generic/Postscript in the model list for the printer you selected.
  12. Bonjour Printer Driver

  13. 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!

25 thoughts on “~Say Bonjour to your Mac Printers in Windows

  1. Rosa Alves says:

    I installed Bonjour on a Windows XP computer to print with the old AppleLaserWriter12/640. First, I connected the printer to the computer with the cable. Then I added the local printer. I run the Bonjour Printer Wizard from within Windows and I could not find the printer on the list. Finally,I plugged the printer to the lan network and nothing happened either. Please help.. Thanks

  2. jbkendrick says:


    Did you share the printer? If not, look at step 2 in the post “Say Bonjour to your Mac printers in Windows”. Is the printer working from Mac applications? After you get it running from within OS X, then make sure it is shared, and then try Bonjour again. Hope this helps, John.

    Update 2/9/08 from Apple.com > Support > Discussions > Older Hardware Products > Apple Printers
    The LaserWriter 12/640 is capable of Printing via either AppleTalk-over-Ethernet or LPR/LPD. Some Brand-X Routers do not support bridging AppleTalk packets from Wireless to Wired networks.

    Your first step is to make sure every device has an IP Address, and that the IP addresses are on the same Subnet, based on the Subnet Mask being used by all parties.

  3. Kathryn says:

    I’ve been struggling for a few days to get a Windows XP computer to print to two printers that are hooked up to a Porwerbook G4. Bonjour to the rescue. I downloaded it to the windows computer and it instantly recognized both of the printers. There were no issues with IPs, host or queue names. Being an Apple person since 1984, and Windows literate when I have to be, it was great to see that Apple made it possible for the XP system to recognize the printers.

  4. Zach Hamada says:

    I have downloaded Bonjour for windows on my pc running xp. It sucessfully found my Canon printer residing on my iMac. The issue is the print quality from the pc to the printer is greatly reduced. Printing directly form the iMac is much better. Is there a way to clean this up?

  5. jbkendrick says:

    Zach – When you used the Bonjour wizard to select the printer and install the driver, did you select Generic/Postscript as the driver? If you selected the printer driver supplied by the manufacturer that is most likely the problem. Try going back through the wizard and select Generic/Postscript. Hope this helps. John

  6. Walter says:

    I have an iMac G5 (PowerPC) running 10.4.11. I am running XP on a MacBook (10.5.3). I have in the past successfully printed from XP to my iMac’s printer. Currently, I can still print from the MacBook (in OSX applications) to the iMac’s printer just fine. I cannot however, print from XP. When I run the Bonjour Printer Wizard, the 2nd window that opens fails to “see” my iMac’s printer. Any ideas?

    Thanks –

    – Walter

  7. Walter – I’m not sure what could be preventing the printing. I have heard of very old Apple printers not working with Bonjour. What is the printer and what is the printer physically plugged in to, which computer, or is it running straight off the network. Are you using Parallels, Boot Camp or VMware to run Windows on the macbook. Make sure that the printer is turned on and awake (not suspended) when sending the print job. And have you shared the printer in the printer preferences? John

  8. Walter says:

    Ya – the printer is shared etc. I can successfully print to my desktop’s printer, from Mac OS (laptop) – works fine. The wireless connection is via my DSL modem/router. There is a problem in XP – in the system tray, the Local Area Connection Status says, “Limited or no connectivity”. At the suggestion of my friend who is rather PC savvy (I am not at all) I went to command prompt and I cannot get a successful ping to my DSL modem/router or my desktop whereas I can ping them both from Mac OS (on my laptop)

  9. Walter says:

    I have the latest build of Fusion – 1.1.3. I’m not even sure how to determine if I am up to date with XP. I do not use XP but for one application for school – I do not have internet or any other activity on XP save for that one application.

  10. I have a MAC Mini, Airport Base Station, and a Dell PC laptop. Everything had been working just fine, could print off the PC and the MAC to my HP printer connect to the Base Station. Last week I got an ” update ” notice from Apple about the Apple software on my PC. I agreed to the update….and now I can’t print from my PC. I’ve done everything I know how to do. The printer registers and is being shared by the MAC. I’ve download and run Bonjour for Windows but when it gets to the section where it’s browsing for Bonjour Printers, it can’t find my printer. I’ve uninstalled Bonjour and started over from scratch more than once. Nothing seems to work, the Dell PC can’t ” find ” the shared printer. What’s most frustrating is that ALL of this was working just fine before I updated the Apple software on my PC.

    What should I try next?

  11. Steve G. says:

    I have a Windows desktop where i have a Samsung printer connected via USB. No matter what i do i can’t get my MacBook Pro to print wirelessly to the printer. I can’t even get Bonjour on the Windows PC to see the printer. Please help, i’m out of ideas.

  12. Kevin says:

    I have a Lexmark x2650 attached to my iMac. I’m running osx 10.5.5. I have a laptop running xp that connects to the same network. I ran bonjour and get to the point of selecting the postscript option of bonjour. The drivers then are installed then I get an error of “You do not have sufficient access to your computer to connect to the selected printer” Please advise as I’ve been trying many methods to get this working.

  13. Kevin in Calgary says:

    I’m getting the same problem as the previous post “You do not have sufficient access to your computer to connect to the selected printer” .

    I’ve deleted the old printer (and by association it’s queue) from the PC, re-booted .. but still get the access problem.

    Any ideas?

  14. Frank P says:

    I am running an HP Laserjet 5000N and an HP Photosmart C7280 printer, both of which my MBP 15″ can see in the mac OS.

    I am running Parallels 5 and windows XP and Bonjour printer wizard. Trouible is that the Bonjour can see the HP Laserjet, but cannot see the Photosmart. The Photosmart is connected to a fileserver which I can see in the mac OS but which I cannot see in parallels.

    I would like to be able to see the fileserver in parallels and print the photosmart in parallels.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Frank – I have not tried to connect to a fileserver as I had one since switching to macs years ago. I can tell you that I have had great difficulty getting HP wireless printers to work in Parallels. The only way I can get printers to work is to have them directly connected (usb) to a computer. I know that doesn’t help, wish I could offer some advice. Thanks for reading, John.

  15. Using Parallels with iMac to run Windows xp. Found the Bonjour patch to make the printer work on both sides but still have problems with just about every Windows application not printing stuff where it should go on the page. It’s as if something wants to stretch each document to fit on the page. Tried printing to a PDF and then printing from the Mac side with same results. Printing from apple applications seems to be ok. Using HP Photosmart 309a Premium right now but have tried 3 other printers with same results. Very frustrating especially when printing flyers and mailing labels and things that need to stay right where they are placed in docs from the Windows side. Any suggestions please?

  16. Awesome, I been looking for this information like from days. I been through lots of them to get my knowledge pool upgraded, well I must say, thi9s has really been awesome. Well I must say it will make my information really double. Good information like this is worth bookmarking and reading like 10 times! Thanks.

  17. Having trouble finding troubleshooting info for Bonjour and Windows 7 Home Pro.

    I have an HP Deskjet 932C running via USB to an old Mac G4 Quicksilver running OS X 10.4.11. The printer has been working fine and has been shared with a G4 ibook wirelessly via an ethernet connected Westell Model 327W Router which I use for our DSL internet sharing.

    I recently purchased a Gateway NV Series laptop with Core i5 running Windows 7 Home Pro for my wife and kids. They would like to share the printer also via wireless connection. I saw online that Bonjour was the way to go. I first downloaded and set up Bonjour Printer Services 2.0.2. It sees the printer and appears to successfully load, including placing an alias on the desktop. I can set the printer as the default and appear to print to it, but the file disappears and never goes to the queue.

    I uninstalled and reinstalled several times and ended up with three different versions of the printer available to print to in the menu. But none worked. I uninstalled all and deleted queues.

    I then read about the full version of Bonjour and downloaded the Bonjour64Setup Installer. I ran the Setup. It again saw the printer and appeared to set it up as the default for me, but still will not print.

    Windows and printers are excepted in the firewall settings on the host Mac and Bonjour is permitted in the Firewall settings on the PC.

    Don’t know what else to try. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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