My iPhone Can’t Find My Printer! Here’s The Real Fix.

You can’t connect your iPhone to your printer and you don’t know why. Your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and your printer is AirPrint-enabled, but you still can’t print photos and other documents. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone can’t find your printer and show you how to fix the problem for good!

What Is AirPrint?

AirPrint is technology created by Apple that makes it easier for Mac and iOS users to print photos and other documents directly from their device. With AirPrint, you don’t have to set up a driver to print your files from Macs and iOS devices. You can visit Apple’s website to see the full list of AirPrint-enabled printers.

Why Can’t My iPhone Find My Printer?

Right now, we can’t be certain why your iPhone can’t find your printer or which one of your devices is causing the problem. There are three components that work together to print something from your iPhone:

  1. Your iPhone.
  2. Your AirPrint-enabled printer or print server.
  3. Your wireless router.

An issue with any one of these components can prevent your iPhone from finding and connecting to your printer. Follow the troubleshooting steps below the diagnose and fix the real reason why your iPhone can’t find your printer!

Restart Your iPhone, Printer, And Wireless Router

Restarting your devices is a simple first step we can take to try and fix a minor software glitch. There are two different ways to restart your iPhone depending on which model you have:

  • iPhone 8 or earlier: Press and hold the power button until the “slide to power off” slider appears on the display. Swipe the power icon left-to-right to shut down your iPhone. Wait a few seconds, then press and hold the power button again until the Apple logo appears on the center of the screen.
  • iPhone X or newer: Simultaneously press and hold the side button and either volume button until “slide to power off” appears on the screen. Swipe the power icon from left-to-right to turn off your iPhone. To turn your iPhone on again, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

slide to power off iphone x

The process of restarting your printer and router are a little less complicated. Unplug them from the wall, then plug them back in. That’s it!

Turn Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Off And Back On

Turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and back on can sometimes fix a minor software glitch preventing your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.

First, open Settings and tap Wi-Fi. To turn Wi-Fi off, tap the switch next to Wi-Fi at the top of the screen. You’ll know Wi-Fi is off when the switch is white.

turn off iphone wifi ios 12

Tap the switch a second time to turn Wi-Fi back on. You’ll know Wi-Fi is on again when the switch is green.

how to toggle wifi off and on

Next, go back to Settings and tap Bluetooth. Just like before, tap the switch at the top of the screen next to Bluetooth to turn it off. Then, tap the switch a second time to turn Bluetooth on again.

turn on bluetooth in iphone settings app

Your internet connection is probably to blame if you’re still having trouble connecting your iPhone (or other devices) to your Wi-Fi network. Check out our other article to learn what to do when your iPhone won’t connect to Wi-Fi!

Update Your iPhone (And Printer If Possible)

It’s important to make sure that you always keep your iPhone and printer up to date with the latest versions their software. Using devices with outdated software can cause a variety of issues!

First, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update on your iPhone to see if a new version of iOS is available. Tap Download and Install if there’s a new iOS update.

update iphone to ios 12

Check your printer manufacturer’s website to see if an update is available, or if your printer can even be updated. Not every printer has software that can be updated.

Forget Your Printer As Bluetooth device

When your iPhone connects to a Bluetooth device for the first time, it saves data about the device and how to connect to the device. If that connection process has changed, it may be preventing your iPhone from connecting to your printer via Bluetooth. By forgetting your printer as a Bluetooth device, we can pair it to your iPhone again like it’s the very first time.

Open Settings and tap Bluetooth. Look for your printer in the list called My Devices and tap the information button (the blue i) to its right. Finally, tap Forget This Device to forget your printer on your iPhone.

forget bluetooth device on iphone ios 12

Go back to Settings -> Bluetooth to begin reconnecting your iPhone to your printer. The name of your printer will appear in the list below Other Devices. Tap on the name of your printer to pair it to your iPhone!

Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings on your iPhone erases all the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, VPN, and Cellular settings on your iPhone and restores them to factory defaults. Rather than tracking down a specific Bluetooth or Wi-Fi problem on your iPhone, we’ll attempt to completely erase it. After performing this reset, you’ll have to reenter your Wi-Fi passwords and reconnect your Bluetooth devices.

To reset network settings on your iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> Reset and tap Reset Network Settings. Then, tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm the reset. Your iPhone will turn off, reset its network settings, then turn back on.

reset then reset network settings iphone

Contact Apple Support

If your iPhone still can’t find your printer, it’s time to contact Apple support. A customer service representative will be able to address a more complex software issue or a hardware problem. Visit Apple’s support website to set up a phone call, online chat, or appointment at your local Apple Store.

Contact Your Printer Manufacturer

You may also want to consider calling the customer support number of the company that manufactured your printer. There could be a hardware problem with your printer that only the manufacturer will be able to help you with. To find the customer support number of your printer manufacturer, Google “customer support” and the manufacturer’s name.

Put It In Print!

Your iPhone has found and connected to your printer! Now you’ll know exactly what to do the next time your iPhone can’t find your printer. Feel free to leave any other questions you have for Payette Forward in the comments section down below.

Thanks for reading,
David L.

About Author

I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

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1 month ago

still not working

1 month ago

Thank you sooooo much!!
Such an easy fix!!!

2 months ago

Following the steps I was able to print but it’s in LTE. When I switched back to my WiFi network I can’t print. I need to reselect the printer network to print (again LTE) and then I can go back to my WiFi network. Not a very friendly feature.

3 months ago

I am unable to add my printer so that my phone is set up to the proper printer. I followed your steps, but can’t get it connected. I’ll keep trying.

7 months ago

Just trying to set up my new Canon printer with my new iPad. The iPad can see the printer but the print command is greyed out, any ideas?

8 months ago

Did everything in the article. Still can’t print from my iPhone XS.

Brenda Perry Harris
1 year ago

Thank you David L. You assistance is very adequate and covers most all situations. it’s the best I’ve read! My problem isn’t solved however, because I just discovered my iphone is installing an update I wasn’t going to get, and it’s doing it without my knowledge or approval. I didn’t want it because I’m going to trade it in right away as there isn’t much room left and all of a sudden it seems to be hung in the middle of installing an update I didn’t tell it to DL or install! I hate when they do that! My phone… Read more »