How to share a printer from OS X to Windows XP


To lodge my e-tax I have to run windows XP on my mac (using Virtual box) but needed to print it via a printer shared from my mac. I assume this will work sharing from any OS X mac to any Windows XP.
Here’s how to do it.

The Overview:

Basically you need to find two settings (Name: and Location:), they are here under printer setup in OSX:
Screen shot 2009-09-14 at 9.33.19 PM

and then you put them in here under windows XP:
Screen shot 2009-09-14 at 9.37.44 PM

It’s not exactly intuitive is it!!!

Here’s the more detailed instructions:

preferences sharing

2. Click the box that says Printer Sharing to turn on printer sharing.
Screen shot 2009-09-14 at 9.31.38 PM

3. Now go into printer preferences:
printer sharing

4. Click on the printer you want to share and click on ‘Open Print Queue’
Screen shot 2009-09-14 at 9.32.28 PM

5. Click on the little button that says ‘printer setup’
Screen shot 2009-09-14 at 10.26.00 PM

6. Here you find the magic settings – take not of the Name: and the Location:
HINT: you may wish to change them to something short and easy like I have if they are long. You can change them – it doesn’t matter what they are.
Print Queue OSX

Now go into Windows XP.

1. Select Add a printer under Printers:
XP add a printer

2. Select add a network printer:
add a network printer

3. The important bit – select ‘connect to this printer’ and type in slash slash location slash inkjet. (Ooh yes don’t you love windows!) like this:
connect to printer dialog

It may ask for your password, but then the printer will appear!
This is windows though, even though the printer appeared, I had to reboot windows for it to actually but it did!


8 responses to “How to share a printer from OS X to Windows XP”

  1. Henrik

    Actually, I found you should not click on ‘Open Print Queue’ in step 4, but on ‘Options & Supplies’. Clicking on ‘Open Print Queue’ just gives me an empty print que, nothing else.

  2. Rob Woof

    Another option is to install a PDF printer on Windows to print to PDF and use the “folder sharing” in VirtualBox/Parallels/VMWare to copy the PDF file to the Mac. I use CutePDF Writer (free) – search for it on Google.

  3. J Scott

    Thank you Rob! I have not been able to access my wireless printer from VirtualBox WinXP, just downloaded CutePDF Writer and all is well. Thank you so much for solving this frustrating problem!

  4. eiri789

    hi, thanks for this info. it really helps :)

  5. alex osborne

    does not work for me.

  6. Jo

    Same here.. I am running 10.5.8 and WinXP. WinXP prompts me for login credentials…which I provide and I cannot connect.

  7. Bobby Morphy

    I can not get this to work. I’ve gone through it step by step four times and I just can’t get it to work.

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