How To Connect A Printer To Your Computer
Connecting your computer to a printer has become easier than ever as we progress into the age of innovative technology, but it seems as though the number, colors, sizes, and complexity of all the wiring can get lost in translation. Even when you think youve got the hang of connecting point A to point B, it takes a lot more than merely plugging in and out to deliver the right results.
In our digital age, printing comes in two forms – wired and wireless. Well walk you through how to connect a printer to your computer, laptop, or handheld device.
Add A Wireless Printer
The steps to install a wireless printer may vary by manufacturer. In general, however, modern printers today will detect your network and automate the installation.
1. Use the printer’s LCD or touchscreen panel to enter the wireless setup. On my Epson printer this is under Setup > Wireless LAN Settings.
2. Select your Wi-Fi network. You’ll need to know your home network’s SSID, which you can find by hovering your mouse over the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar.
3. Enter your network password.
In some cases, you might need to temporarily connect your printer to your computer via USB to install software. But otherwise, that’s it. You should find your printer automatically added in the Printers & scanners section under Settings > Devices.
If you run into trouble, make sure your printer is relatively close to your computer and not too far from your wireless router. If your printer has an Ethernet jack, you could also connect it directly to your router and manage it with a browser interface.
Can’t Find Your Printer
There’s a chance that Windows might be unable to locate your printer. It’s not the end of the world, and the issue could be easily rectified by attempting to connect the printer to Windows 10 manually. To do this, we’ll need to run through a wizard. Here’s how:
Hit Add a printer or scanner.
If you’re still unable to see your printer, ensure it’s switched on, and both the printer and your Windows 10 PC are on the same local network.
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Fixing A Printer Thats Not Working
Printers can be selective at times. Combine a printers unpredictability with Windows 11 bugs, and printer errors may still be a problem for some users. If you have a print problem using Windows 11, first double-check that your printer is plugged in correctly. Also, check that there are no loose cables and make sure it hasnt run out of ink or paper. Here are some common fixes worth trying:
How To Install A Local Printer On Windows 10
Windows 10 has made it very easy to set up a local printer. In almost every case, all you have to connect the printer with the computer using a USB printer cable. Should that not work, however, simply follow the steps listed below:
Assuming you have a Wi-Fi enabled printer, connect the printer to your PC with a USB cable to set up Wi-Fi printing. Dont worry, we will remove it in a minute.
After you have connected the printer to your PC using a USB printer cable, install the software that came with the printer using the printers setup assistant to connect the printer to your Wi-Fi network. After it finishes setting up, print a test page to ensure that the printer prints.
After printing a test page it ensure that it works, disconnect the printer cable from both your printer and your PC. The printer should now be recognized as a printer you can print from on the network.
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Add A Network Printer By Specifying Its Ip Address
If a network printer you want to use isnt in the list of available printers, you can add it as an IP printer. The printer must support one of these printing protocols: AirPrint, HP Jetdirect , Line Printer Daemon , or Internet Printing Protocol .
Note: Some printers connected using these generic protocols may offer limited functionality.
You must know the network printers IP address or host name, printing protocol, and model number or printer software name. If it uses a special queue, you also need to know the queue name. See the person who manages the printer or server for assistance.
On your Mac, update your software : Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Software Update , then install any software updates listed. Even if no updates appear, this ensures that macOS has the latest information about printer software it can download from Apple. If you dont do this, you may see a message that software isnt available when you connect your printer.
If you have an AirPrint printer, you dont need to check for software updates.
Prepare your printer: Use the instructions that came with your printer to unpack the printer, install ink or toner, and add paper. Turn on the printer and make sure its not displaying any errors.
Connect your printer: Follow the instructions that came with the printer to connect it to the network. See the Apple Support article Connect an AirPrint printer to a Wi-Fi network.
How To Add A Printer On Windows 11
Nick Lewis is a staff writer for How-To Geek. He has been using computers for 20 years — tinkering with everything from the UI to the Windows registry to device firmware. Before How-To Geek, he used Python and C++ as a freelance programmer. In college, Nick made extensive use of Fortran while pursuing a physics degree. Read more…
Whether you have a wired printer connected via USB, a wireless printer on your Wi-Fi network, or a Bluetooth printer, printer setup is easy on Windows 11. Windows can automatically install printer drivers, too.
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How To Add A Local Printer On Windows 10/11
Use The Wps Pairing Button
If your printer and router are both compatible with Wireless Protected Setup this should be an option in the printers network menu.
If so, when prompted, all you need to do is press the WPS pairing button on your router and the corresponding button on the printer to wirelessly connect the printer to the network.
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Installing A Printer Only Using The Drivers
If you only want the printer to be installed and none of the extra software programs, you can only install the printer driver by following the steps below.
A listing of printer drivers and software is on our page.
If you have installed the printer doing the above steps, these steps should not be necessary unless you encountered errors.
How To Add A Wireless Printer To Mac Via Wifi
- Press the WiFi button on your printer and press the WPS button on your router to connect your printer to the same WiFi network as your Mac computer.
- Next, click the Apple icon at the top-right corner of your computer screen and select System Preferences.
- Click Printers & Scanners.
- Click the + icon and select the target printer you want to add. Your Mac computer will list the detected printers in your network.
- Next to the Use option, choose the printer software/driver for your printer. If your printer is AirPrint-compatible, you can choose the AirPrint option, Apples native printing technology that lets you print from your printer. Alternatively, you can also select your own printer driver that you have installed. If you dont have a printer driver, you may choose Auto Select to have a try.
- Click Add button to add the printer to your Mac.
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How To Add A Printer To Windows 11 Automatically
If Windows can identify the printer automatically, installing it takes just a couple of minutes and there’s not really anything you have to do except click a few buttons.
Open Settings. One way to get there is by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Settings.
Navigate to Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners.
Select Add device, wait a few seconds for Windows to locate the printer, and then select Add device next to the one you want to install.
Have an older printer? It probably won’t show up in the list, so choose Add manually instead, and then My printer is a little older. Help me find it to search for it. For more help adding a printer that isn’t listed, see the manual instructions below.
Wait while the printer gets installed. It’ll show up in the list with any other printers and scanners you’re already using.
Looking For Password Managers
When following a printer’s set-up guide, you might run into the following terms.
A printer driver is a piece of background software that teaches your device how to use it. Without the driver, your PC, tablet or phone won’t know how to ‘drive’ the printer.
When first connecting to a printer, your computer, tablet or phone should automatically download and install or update the drivers, so an internet connection might be needed during set-up. However, Windows has some up-to-date printer drivers pre-installed, so you might be able to skip this step. And Apple’s AirPrint technology side-steps the need for drivers.
If the installation isn’t automatic, you can search for the drivers online. Make sure you only download them from the manufacturer’s website, wherever possible.
Your network key is your home network’s password, including your Wi-Fi. If you never changed your network key, it should be on the same sticker as the SSID. However, we strongly advise you create your own personal key or use a password manager.
Your Service Set Identifier is the name of your home network and Wi-Fi connection.
If you never changed your router’s SSID, it’ll be printed on a sticker, usually on the bottom of the route.
This is a vague term that can refer to any wire-free connection technology. For printers, it usually means Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or both.
Your Wireless Local Area Network is your Wi-Fi network.
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Set Up The Connection On Your Printer
Click the Start button on your Windows PC, then type printer in the search box. Then click Add a printer or scanner.
That launches the Printers & scanners page in the Settings app. Next, click Add a printer or scanner next to the + sign in the right-hand panel of the box that pops up: the wizard will look for your printer’s wi-fi signal and walk you through connecting it.
Connect A Shared Printer Using Settings
Select the Start button, then select Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners.
Under Add printers & scanners, select Add a printer or scanner.
Choose the printer you want, and then select Add Device.
If you dont see the printer you want, select The printer that I want isnt listed.
In the Add printer dialog box, select Select a shared printer by name, and then enter the computer or device name of the primary PC and the share name of the printer using one of these formats:
When prompted to install the printer driver, select Next to complete the installation.
For more info about the computer or device name, see the Find your PC name section in this topic. By default, you need the user name and password of the primary PC to access the printer.
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Connect Network Printer In Windows 8
If you know the printer’s name, choose Select a shared printer by name and enter the path to the printer. For example, with a network named hope and a printer named hp, the network path would be: \\hope\hp.
If you do not know the printer’s path, but have the printer’s IP address, select Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.
Maintaining Your Inkjet Printer
1) Clean the Print Head
This is probably the most important thing that you can do for your inkjet printer. You should do this regularly, . Put it on your calendar and stick to it. It will save you money in the long run. You simply remove each cartridge and use warm water on an old T-shirt . When you are finished wiping it clean, give it plenty of time to dry before putting it back into your printer.
2) Clean the Outside of the Printer
As with the laser printer, you want to wipe down the printer to free it from any dust. No need to go crazy here, just be thorough.
3) Clean the Inside of the Printer
You can use a can compressed air, , to blow out any dust lying around. You can wet the tips of a Q-tip to remove any junk residue.
3) Turn The Printer Off
If you are not going to be printing for a while, , turn the printer off. One of the biggest enemies of electronics is heat. If you leave the printer on, you generate heat, and that heat can cause your printer cartridge to dry and and heat can even clog the printer head.
4) Dont Skimp On Ink Cartridges
Admittedly, ink cartridges can be expensive, and depending on how often you print, you may need to replace them fairly often. You may even be tempted to buy inexpensive , cartridges online from China or from your local flea market. If you buy ink that was not designed for the printer in question, you take a great risk, as those ink cartridges could clog the jets in your printer and cause blotchy or faded printouts
Adding A Printer In Windows 10
Adding a printer Windows 10
Right click on the Start icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen
SelectDevices and Printers
SelectAdd a printer
You can wait for all of the printers campus wide to populate, but it will take a while and the list will be long. It will be quicker to
SelectThe printer I want isnt listed
SelectFind a printer in the directory, based on location or feature
Next to Nameenter the prefix of the building followed by the room number
NOTE: If you cant find the printer you are looking for, you may not have rights to it or you may have the name wrong. Contact for assistance.
Double click on the printer you want to add
The following screen appears
CheckSet as the default printer if desired
Print a test page if you like
How To Connect A Printer To A Windows 10 Computer
Youve got yourself a new computer with a Windows 10 OS, or perhaps you recently updated or reformatted your machine with Windows latest operating system. Whatever the case, you now find yourself at a loss on how to connect a printer to your computer. Dont worry. This guide will smooth out the whole process for you.
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How Do I Connect My Hp Printer To My Mac
Use the wireless setup tools in the HP Utility software to set up a LaserJet printer with a basic control panel on your Wi-Fi network.