Wireless or WiFi printers are hassle-free and provide greater benefits than USB wired printers when it comes to printing documents. With Wireless printers, you can place the printer anywhere in your office and print documents or pictures not only from your PC but also from your Android devices wirelessly.
However, you don’t need to buy an expensive wireless printer or device to get these benefits. Instead, you can turn your old-school wired USB printer into a WiFi-enabled wireless printer using Raspberry Pi.
I had a Canon Pixma 2570 lying around that I bought 7 years ago. It still works perfectly fine but via USB cable. But now I have turned it into a WiFi-based wireless printer. It connects to my WiFi router and is available for everyone who is connected to my WiFi router at home.
Now I can print documents from any corner in my room directly from my Android phone, tablet, PC, or laptop. You can also achieve turn your wired printer into a true standalone WiFi printer, which can be placed in any corner of your house or office. All you need is a power source. No strings attached!
Steps to Turn Wired USB Printer into Wireless WiFi Printer
You can use this guide to turn your dumb wired printer into wireless and also fix your faulty wireless printer.
Step 1: Gather the Required Stuff
To convert a wired printer into wireless, you need a Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi 4 or you may also use a Raspberry Pie Zero with WiFi that will cost you just INR 1500 or $20 USD. You will also need an HDMI cable, a USB keyboard, and Mouse.
If you are going to use Raspberry Pi Zero, a Mini HDMI to HDMI converter and an OTG adapter will be required.
I will be using the Raspberry Pie 3 for this tutorial. However, all the steps will be the same for Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi Zero W.
Step 2: Prepare Raspberry Pi
Download Raspberry PI OS with Desktop image and extract the downloaded Raspberry Pi OS Image. Also, download and install the Balena Etcher on your Windows or Mac machine. You may also use Rufus on Windows. Then follow these steps,
- Connect an 8GB or larger Micro SD card to your Windows or Mac PC or laptop.
- Launch Balena Etcher. Choose the extracted Raspberry Pi OS Image file, SD Card and click ‘Flash.’
- Wait for it to complete. It may take a while to finish.
- After this, disconnect the SD card from your system and insert it into the Raspberry Pi SD card slot.
- Connect Raspberry Pi to the power source and use an HDMI cable to connect the Raspberry Pi with a monitor or TV.
- Turn on the Power and let raspberry Pi boot.
Step 3: Setup Raspberry Pi for Wireless Printing
Once you have logged into Raspberry Pi, close everything and connect to a wireless or WiFi network. Then follow these steps,
- Open Terminal and type
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
- Press Enter. This will check and update or upgrade software if required. Follow the prompts to finish this.
- Now turn on your Printer and connect the USB cable to the Raspberry Pi. If you have raspberry Pi Zero, use an OTG adapter.
- Then type and execute Lsusb in the terminal. It will display all the USB devices attached to Raspberry Pie, including your printer.
- Next, we will install SAMBA, which is an open source file sharing server. For this, run following command
sudo apt install samba
- Hit Enter when prompted.
- Once done, you need to add a default user, which is pi in our case, to admin group. For this, execute this command,
sudo usermod -a -G lpadmin pi
- Now enable CUPS to accept connections from remote devices by executing this command,
sudo cupsctl --remote-any
- Then restart the CUPS service.
sudo /etc/init.d/cups restart
Step 4: Add Your Wired Printer to Convert it to Wireless
Now type ifconfig in Terminal and note the IP address of Raspberry Pi. You can assign Static IP to the Raspberry Pi from your Router. Then follow these steps,
- Open Web browser on your Windows, Mac or Android/iPhone and enter the IP address of Raspberry pi followed by :631/admin. For instance, 192.168.1.53:631/admin
- This will take you to the admin page. Click ‘Add new printer.’
- Click the URL and then click ‘Advanced’ and click Proceed to this IP address.
- Enter your credentials that you use to log in to Raspberry Pi. By default, the username is pi and password is raspberry in lower characters.
- Click “Add Printer’ again and then select your printer from the Local Printers list. You can also choose a network printer to make it wireless.
- Then Click ‘Continue’
- Confirm the printer details and then click ‘Share this Printer.’ Click ‘Continue.’
- It will load the device models. Choose the printer model from the list and Click ‘Add Printer.’
- Set the default printing options. And now your printer is ready to print wirelessly.
Step 5: Start Printing Wirelessly on a Wired USb Printer
You can now send print requests from your Windows, Mac, or Android wirelessly. But for this, you need to first add the printer to your system.
Add Wireless Printer on Windows
- Open Settings and go to Devices
- Click Printers and Scanners and then click ‘Add a Printer or scanner’
- The converted wireless printer will be listed with @raspberrypi at the end. Click on it to add it.
Add Wireless Printer on your Android Phone,
- install the Cups Printing app from the play store.
- Then search and go to Printing.In Samsung Android devices, this option is under Settings>Connections>More Connection Settings in your Android and enable CUPS Printing.
- If you tap on Cups Printing, you will see the wireless printer listed here.
You can now open any document on your Android phone and print it by selecting the wireless printer from the list. Also, you can place your wired cum wireless printer in literally any corner of your house or office and print documents wirelessly from virtually any device.
Video Guide to Convert Wired Printer into Wireless
In case you are facing issues or errors while setting up or executing these steps, do let me know via the comments down below. I will be happy to help.