Printing From Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac, iPad and iPhone – How It Works

working on Windows Virtual Desktop with a Mac

Even though Apple users might prefer to work within the Apple ecosystem, the ability to quickly open up a Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac is quite attractive and certainly useful.

Yet, when it comes to printing to network printers or local printers, the virtualized Windows desktop on Apple devices still requires optimization. In general, direct printing to network printers is not possible, while support for locally connected printers is either impossible or reliant on redirecting print jobs to a virtual printer, which creates a PDF of the document to download. This is partly due to the fact that iPad and iPhone printing relies on AirPrint (check out this blog post if you want to print outside of AVD and without AirPrint).

However, working with Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac, iPhone and iPad can be done with full printer support and minus the clunky printing procedures.

Step 1: Launch Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac & Co.

The fastest and easiest way to do this on the Mac and iPad is via the HTML5 client.

User’s start their Azure Virtual Desktop session by opening the remote desktop web client in their web browser (on MacOS it’s recommended to use the new Microsoft Edge Browser):

After logging in to the Microsoft Entra ID, the desktop appears.

If you want to work longer with Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac, we recommend the Microsoft Remote Desktop App, which is also available for the iPhone and allows “non-windowed” Azure Virtual Desktop access for iPadOS and MacOS too.

Standard Apple Printing on Azure Virtual Desktop

Depending on how the Azure Virtual Desktop is accessed, the “built-in” print support varies considerably. The individual variants are shown in the following overview:

Default Printing Printing with ezeep Blue
HTML5 MacOS Convert and download document into PDF, open and printDirect printing to all network and local printers
HTML5 iPadOS Convert and download document into PDF, open and print via AirPrintDirect printing to all network printers
iPhone AppNot supportedDirect printing to all network printers
iPadOS AppNot supportedDirect printing to all network printers
MacOS AppDirect printing to all local printersDirect and faster* printing to all local and network printers
*When printing slightly more complex documents, ezeep is about 6x faster and the format accuracy is higher too

As the table shows, the default solution on a Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac or another Apple device is quite limited. The user is first left to consider which way he accessed the Azure Virtual Desktop and can then determine which type of printer support should be available. At the very least, it’s a guarantee for a high support volume.

Easier and More Efficient Printing With a Cloud Printing Solution

As a cloud printing solution, ezeep Blue can connect directly to the Azure Virtual Desktop in the cloud and independently control network printers via its own protocol or address locally connected printers via the connector on the MacOS.

Data transmission, in terms of the volume of data and printing speed, is highly optimized and allows ezeep’s users to print on average six times faster.

If the user regularly works in a standard corporate workplace, it is recommended to rely solely on the support of network printers with ezeep. Network printers can also be distributed worldwide across different locations. A VPN is not required. When the user works on the road or at their home office, printing to locally accessible printers is made possible via the ezeep MacOS connector.

Further Advantages with ezeep Blue

Besides the basic ability to print from a Azure Virtual Desktop on Mac to local printers, ezeep’s MacOS Connector also offers the following advantages:

  1. Very fast spooling means that the Azure Virtual Desktop is relieved of the print job within seconds
  2. Terminating the session or closing the MacBook will not cancel the printing process
  3. Unified printing for HTML5 client and MacOS Remote Desktop App
  4. High print speed and streaming, i.e. the printer starts print jobs almost immediately, resulting in high user satisfaction and preventing multiple print jobs from being sent out.

With ezeep for MacOS, iPadOS and iOS, you can ensure simple, fast AVD-printing at all times, reduced support costs and increased user satisfaction.

Free AVD E-Book

Azure Virtual Desktop: Everything You Need to Know

  • How is Azure Virtual Desktop licensed?
  • What are the requirements for Azure Virtual Desktop?
  • What needs to be considered when migrating existing desktops?
  • And more, at no cost.
Azure Virtual Desktop free whitepaper