Computers Printers

How to Add a Printer Icon to Desktop for Mac and Windows

Adding a printer icon to the desktop can be a convenient shortcut for quick access to your printer settings or to initiate printing tasks. Here’s how you can add a printer icon to your desktop in both macOS and Windows:

For macOS:

On a Mac, creating an alias (shortcut) of the printer setup is the closest equivalent to having a printer icon on the desktop.

  1. Open System Preferences:
    • Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Printers & Scanners:
    • Click on “Printers & Scanners.”
  3. Create an Alias:
    • Find your printer in the list on the left-hand side.
    • Click and hold on the printer name, then drag it to the desktop. When you release the mouse button, an alias to the printer will be created on the desktop.

Alternatively, if you want a shortcut for the “Printers & Scanners” window itself:

  1. Open the Applications Folder:
    • Go to the Finder, click on “Go” in the menu bar, and select “Applications.”
  2. Find System Preferences:
    • Locate “System” in the Applications folder.
  3. Create an Alias for System Preferences:
    • Right-click on “System” and select “Make Alias.”
    • Drag this alias to the desktop for easier access.

Now, you can double-click this alias to open System Preferences directly and navigate to “Printers & Scanners.”

For Windows:

To add a printer icon to the desktop in Windows, you can create a shortcut to the printer.

  1. Open Control Panel:
    • Press Win + S to open the search bar, type “Control Panel,” and hit Enter.
  2. View Devices and Printers:
    • In the Control Panel, set the view to “Large icons” or “Small icons” and click on “Devices and Printers.”
  3. Create a Shortcut:
    • In the “Devices and Printers” window, find your printer.
    • Right-click on your printer and choose “Create shortcut.” Windows will prompt that it can’t create a shortcut in the current location and offer to place it on the desktop instead.
    • Click “Yes” to create the shortcut on the desktop.

Quick Access on Windows 10/11:

On Windows 10 and 11, you can also pin the printer to the Start menu or Taskbar for quick access:

  1. Search for the Printer:
    • Click the Start button and start typing the name of your printer or just “printers.”
  2. Pin to Start or Taskbar:
    • When you see the Printers & Scanners system settings result, right-click on it.
    • Select “Pin to Start” to add it to the Start menu or “More” > “Pin to taskbar” for the taskbar.

By following these steps, you should be able to create a shortcut for your printer on your desktop for both Mac and Windows, providing you with quick and easy access to your printer settings and functions.

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