Set Up Printers in MacOS

Details MacOS setup for thermal label printers like Zebra, Dymo, Citizen, Rollo, and basic steps for standard desktop inkjet or laser printers.

Before you start to print documents in ShipStation, you must ensure the printers are configured correctly for the documents you wish to print (labels, packing slips, etc).

Printer Setup for Windows instead?

If you need to set up printers for Windows, please see our Set Up Printers in Windows article.

The setup process for printers on your Mac includes four general steps:

  1. Connect the printer via USB to the Mac you want to use as your printer workstation

  2. Download the appropriate printer driver (not required for all printer models).

  3. Add the printer to your Printers & Scanners System Preferences.

  4. Configure the printer preferences in CUPS.

The exact steps to configure your printer will vary depending on the printer's make and model. This article provides setup instructions for the most common thermal label printer brands - Zebra, DYMO, Citizen, and Rollo - as well as the basic steps for a standard desktop printer like an inkjet or laser printer. 

You do not need to add your printers in ShipStation. Once your printer is added to your macOS device, the printer will be visible in ShipStation.

Connect & Configure Printers for MacOS

Click the tab for the type of printer you wish to configure.

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Enable CUPS

If CUPS is not yet enabled on your Mac, you'll receive a web interface error when you attempt to access it. Follow these steps to enable CUPS, then return to the Set Default Options instructions to complete your printer setup.

To enable CUPS on your Mac:

  1. Open the Terminal applications on your Mac.

    Terminal is located in Applications > Utilities, or you can use your Mac's Spotlight Search. 

    Mac desktop search icon highlighted with "terminal" typed in search bar. Terminal application highlighted in search results.
  2. Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window after the $ prompt:

    cupsctl WebInterface=yes
  3. Press Return on your keyboard. 

    As long as the next line that appears in your Terminal is another blank prompt, you are good to go! Quit Terminal and return to your browser.

  4. Reload the browser with the http://localhost:631/printers address in the URL.

Change Printer Driver in MacOS

In most cases, your MacOS will automatically select the correct driver for the printer you have connected to your workstation. When this is not the case, you'll need to select the driver manually. You can do this both in the MacOS System Preferences and in CUPS.

MacOS displays the printer driver selection in the Printers & Scanners System Preferences.

Zebra printer selected in Mac Printers and Scanners window. "Kind" field highlighted.

Change Printer Driver in System Preferences

  1. Open the Printers & Scanners System Preferences.

  2. Click the + (add) button.

  3. Select your printer from the list.

    Be sure to check the Kind column to ensure you are selecting the printer connected via USB.

  4. Click the Use drop-down menu and choose Select Software.

  5. Select your model printer from the list and click OK.

    If your model printer is not in the list, you must first install the driver.

  6. Click Add to complete.

Here is a short demo of the process:

Mac Printers and Scanners. Open Add Printer window, select printer, select driver from Use menu, and click Add button.

Change Driver CUPS

  1. Go to the CUPS Printers dashboard.

  2. Click your printer in the Printers list.

  3. Choose Modify Printer from the Administration drop-down menu.

  4. Click Continue in the following two screens.

  5. Select the driver that matches your model printer from the Model list.

    The currently selected driver will be at the top of the list.

  6. Click Modify Printer.

Here is a short demo of the process for a Zebra printer:

CUPS Modify Printer screen accessed from Administration dropdown menu. Click continue, click continue again, select Zebra model, then click Modify Printer.

Notes for MacOS Printer Setup

Review the following notes to ensure optimum printer configuration:

  • The options available in CUPS will depend on the printer model and driver installed. In addition to paper size, some printers have settings for graphics, darkness, offset, and speed. To address print quality issues, adjust these settings in CUPS using a trial and error method to find which settings produce the best results for your specific setup.


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