I am using a Unibody MacBook Pro on Lion. I am trying to add a networked printer at work so I can print to it, but OS X is not cooperating with me.

Typically for adding networked printers on a Windows network, most instructions online suggest you open the Print & Fax preference pane, hit the + button to Add Printer, then use the Advanced tab to select the type of networked printer, and type in a specific URL to reach it.

I would like to follow these steps, but I am unable. As you can see in the screenshot below, everything under the Advanced tab in the Add Printer window is disabled.

Add Printer window, with the Advanced tab selected.

I don't understand how or why this is. My user definitely has full administrator privileges, and this tab of all the others in the dialog should be open-ended and allow you to type and search for printers to add regardless of environment, or perhaps what OS X may have already detected as plugged-in or over Bonjour.

I have searched the web for any indication of why this area of my Add Printer dialog is unusable, but have not been able to find any clues. Any tips to get this thing unstuck are appreciated.

P.S. My connection to the Windows network at work seems to be fine. I am able to mount and use several of the shared network drives over SMB.

4 Answers 4


Hey I ran into the same problem. If you turn off System Preferences -> Sharing -> Printer Sharing the advanced tab becomes enabled again.

  • Also fixed it for me, not only in advanced but even the "Use" entry under the "Default" tab. It's utter nonsense that a USB printer can't be added while Sharing is enabled. Dec 2, 2014 at 0:36
  • Great tip! "Printer sharing" was off, but I also turned off "File sharing", then turned "Printer sharing" on and back off... one of these somehow did it! Weird that (still, in 2015) it's just disabled with no warning about how to reverse it...
    – alexis
    Apr 21, 2015 at 14:15


smb://workgroup/server/sharename smb://server/sharename

  • Also if you need to authenticate you may have to do username:password@ after smb:// Jun 16, 2012 at 15:22

The 'Add' button on MacOS Big Sur is disabled if it doesn't like the url. Be sure the "Type" that matches your print server url is selected.

eg: The default "Type" is "Internet Printing Protocol", which expects a url starting with "ipp://". If your print server's url starts with "http://", the Add button will be greyed. If you select "Internet Printing Protocol (http)", you'll find it enabled and can add your printer.


just right click on the "add toolbar" and the go to customize toolbar" and add it from there..Done

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