Everything You Need To Know To Add A Printer In Windows 10

Windows 10 has made it quite simple to add a printer to your computer. Windows 10 includes support for most printers out of the box. Your Windows 10 machine should detect a new printer as soon you connect it to the computer. Windows 10 also detects network printers automatically.

But there are times when you have to install a printer manually. This guide will tell you everything about adding a printer to your Windows computer, whether it’s a local USB connected printer or a network printer.

Let’s get started…

How to add local or network printers automatically

Even the automatic installation of printers need an initial action. Here are the steps you can perform to add a printer automatically.

Automatic installation means that Windows will take care of the configuration, printers software and driver installation.

  1. Make sure the printer is connected to your Windows 10 PC via a USB port or over a wired or wireless network.
  2. Go to Windows Settings from the Start menu.
  3. Open Devices –> Printer and Scanners. Then click ‘Add a printer or scanner’.

    Add printers and scanners Setting in Windows 10
    Add printers and scanners Setting in Windows 10
  4. Windows 10 should detect your printer whether connected to your PC or over the network.

    Searching for printers and scanners
    Searching for printers and scanners
  5. Wait for it to install.
  6. The printer will appear under printers

If you prefer the classic Control Panel over modern Settings panel, you can add a new printer from there too. The steps are more or less the same.

  1. Head over to Control Panel –> Devices and Printers window
  2. Click “Add a printer”

    Add a printer using Control Panel
    Add a printer using Control Panel
  3. Again, Windows 10 should detect the printer and install it.

The installed printer should appear under Devices and Printers

Adding a local printer manually

While Microsoft keeps updating Windows to support new and old printers, there are still some chances it won’t detect your printer model. This especially goes for older printers from the “dot matrix” and “inkjet” era connected over a serial port or USB 1.0. If that is the case, you need to follow additional instructions to install the printer.

  1. Click “The printer that I want isn’t listed” in the “Add a printer” wizard

    The printer that I want isnt listed
    The printer that I want isn’t listed
  2. Select “Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings” and click Next.
  3. Select “Use an existing port” and click Next
  4. Pick your printer manufacturer and model name from the list. Then click Next.
  5. Wait for Windows 10 to install the printer.
  6. The installed printer will appear under “Devices and Printers”

Adding network printers on Windows 10 manually

In home-office and small business setup, a single printer is often shared between a number of PCs in the local network or over the Internet. Fortunately, Windows 10 makes adding a network printer as approachable as adding a local printer. The steps are similar to adding a local printer we followed in the last section. However, the manual installation of a new printer is a little tricky.

  1. Make sure you’re connected to the same network as the printer.
  2. Click “The printer that I want isn’t listed” in the “Add a printer” wizard
  3. Pick the option that is relevant to your printer type and click Next.

    Add a network printer in Windows 10
    Add a network printer in Windows 10
  4. Finish the wizard to install the printer.

Share a printer without installing

With Windows 10, you can share files and printers on your PC to other PCs connected to your home network. This feature comes quite handy if one person has the printer installed. It is easy to set up on Windows 10.

  1. Go to “Printer and Scanners” in Settings
  2. Right-click the printer you wish to share and click manage
  3. Select Printer Properties, then choose the Sharing tab.
  4. On the Sharing tab, select Share this printer.

    Share a printer over the network
    Share a printer over the network

This is how you make the shared printer accessible to others in your home network

  1. Go to Printers and Scanners in Settings and click “Add a printer or …”
  2. Windows should detect the shared printer
  3. If it doesn’t, click “The printer that I want isn’t listed”.
  4. Choose “Select a shared printer by name” and click Next
  5. In the box, and then enter the host computer’s and printer’s name in the following format
    You can also use the IP address of the Windows computer instead of the name.
  6. Windows will prompt to install the driver. Click Next

If you want to print over the Internet, you can use services like Google Cloud Print or if you have an HP network printer, it also provides HP cloud printing capabilities as well as printing from the email.

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Usman Khurshid
Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT Pro with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. He has experience in everything from IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching. Reach him at Twitter @usmank11

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