If you are using an iPhone or an iPad that runs on iOS 4.2 or above, then you will know about the indigenous printing service in the iOS system, known as the AirPrint. AirPrint is a very neat feature of the iOS operating system that offers printing services directly from the mobile device over Wi-Fi. That means that you can print you documents and photos using printers that are connected over Wi-Fi. The feature works best if you have HP’s ePrint printers that can connect directly via Wi-Fi, or you can also use printers that are connected to your Windows or Mac desktop. Macs have a built in feature that allows AirPrint to be easily used.
However, while using on Windows, you will need to Activate AirPrint manually, or by using another application.
First of all, you need to make sure that you have the latest version on iTunes installed on your Windows system. It is recommended that you have Windows 7 or above installed. However, this tutorial is also applicable for Windows XP. First you will need to download the AirPrint ZIP package that is available at the Apple website.
Setting it up manually
Next you will have to extract the AirPrint ZIP package and put the AirPrint files into C: or D: drive root directory (so you can access it easily).
Next you will have to open command prompt (Windows Start Menu – All programs – Accessories – Command Prompt). You can open the run dialogue box and type in ‘cmd’ and press Enter to open it.
Type D: or C: on the command prompt (depends on the location where you extract the zip file)
Once opened, execute the ‘airprint.exe’ file from the Program Files directory via command prompt along with these arguments: “depend= “Bonjour Service” start= auto”. After this command, run the command “sc.exe start AirPrint”. Then, with the Windows Firewall configured, you are good to go.
For Windows 32-bit version, run this command:
sc.exe create AirPrint binPath= “C:\Program Files (x86)\AirPrint\airprint.exe -s” depend= “Bonjour Service” start= auto
sc.exe start AirPrint
For Windows 64-bit version, run this command:
sc.exe create AirPrint binPath= “C:\Program Files\AirPrint\airprint.exe -s” depend= “Bonjour Service” start= auto
sc.exe start AirPrint
Replace the ” (quotation mark) from the command above with your own quotation mark on keyboard.
Now you can directly print from your iOS device
Using an AirPrint Activator for Windows
Don’t forget to enable printer sharing option from Control Panel → right-click on the printer and choose Printer Properties → click Sharing tab.
This is an easier way, but this will require installation of additional software on your system. The O’print application allows you to use any PC to print documents via AirPrint. Also, it supports any printer you want. Even models that are no longer sold works with this. In addition, you get some smart features like directly saving the document to Dropbox and more. Also, shared printers can be password protected so that you have peace of mind.
O’Print is actually a print server for Windows. It gets the print data from your iOS device via the AirPrint service and then transfers the data to your printer that does the printing job. So, basically, O’print works like a translator that translates the AirPrint requests to Windows’ printing requests.
O’Print works on any Windows PCs having Windows XP or above. Windows 8 PCs are supported too. Any working printer will do. A local network with Bonjour pass is needed. O’Print is available for free for 30 days. After the evaluation period, you have to buy it for $19.80.
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