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How to Connect a Printer to a Windows 10 Computer

how to connect a printer

You’ve 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. Don’t worry. This guide will smooth out the whole process for you.

Ready Your Printer

Before adding any printer to Windows 10, make sure that it is in order. Double check if all of the parts and wires are in place. If this is a new printer we are talking about, it is best to unpack everything first before connecting it to your computer.

For those of you with a wireless printer, you might want to double check its manual for pertinent configuration settings. By doing all of these, you minimize potential complications. Now let’s learn how to connect a printer to your network

How to Connect a Printer to Your Network

First and foremost, know that with Windows’ most recent operating system, installing external devices has become super easy. If you just read the on-screen prompts carefully, adding a printer should not take more than fifteen minutes.

If you have a network printer, simply follow these steps:

  1. Connect the printer’s cable to your computer. Most printers these days use a USB connection.
  2. Turn on your printer.
  3. Open “Devices and Printers”. You can do this by going through the “Control Panel”, or you can simply search your machine via the magnifying glass icon near the Start button.
  4. Once inside the Devices and Printers menu, click on “Add a Printer”.
  5. The name of the printer you are trying to connect should show up. If you don’t know the exact name of your printer, check the device or the manual. The complete details, including the model number, should be easy to find.
  6. When you do find the printer’s name, click on it.
  7. Windows will then automatically handle the installation by processing the appropriate drivers.
  8. Wait for the installation to finish. You will know it is done when you see the “Finish” button activated.
  9. Before clicking Finish, you might want to do a test print first.
  10. To accomplish a printing test, make sure the paper and ink cartridges are ready. Then, simply click the “Print a test page” button you see on the installation window that you have been observing.
  11. If the print test turned out okay, click that Finish button and you’re done!

How to Connect a Printer Wirelessly

For wireless printers, referring to the manual on how to configure them is the best way. Generally, though, the steps will be more or less the same when it comes to opening “Devices and Printers” and adding the printer from there.

Potential Complications

If during the installation process, the name of your printer does not show up, or if the installation halted midway – don’t panic.

The most common reason why those problems occur is the printer’s driver. This is basically the program needed by your computer to communicate with the printer and operate it. Normally, this will be downloaded automatically. That is why it is important to check if the cables are properly connected. Ensure as well that your wireless network has no problems.

Now, if you have an older printer, perhaps a secondhand one, then it should come with a disk that holds the driver. Pop that into the CD drive and installing should then be a breeze.

But what if the disk is nowhere in sight? No worries because you can always download the needed driver from the internet. For this, you will need your printer’s full model name. For example, you can just do a Google search for “HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 2520hc driver”.

A word of caution, though – do not download a driver from unreliable sources. It is best to get it from the official manufacturer’s website. For extra protection, scan the newly downloaded file with your antivirus software. This is just to make sure there’s no surprise malware lurking around.

Once you have the driver file, double click on it or the .exe or application file to start the installation. Simply follow the instructions that pop up. Wait a few minutes and it should be done.

Managing Printers in Windows 10

Now that you’ve learned how to connect a printer, it’s time to learn how to manage them. Say you have multiple printers at home or in the office and you have connected them all to your computer. Whenever you need to see which printers are indeed added or if you want to manage them, all you have to do is open “Devices and Printers” again.

Alternatively, you can click on the Start button, then click “Settings” and find “Devices”. Open “Printers and Scanners” to find all of your connected printers. You can then check on their properties and choose which one to set as the default. You can also conveniently set your printing preferences or remove a printer from this interface.

Final Notes

As you can see, learning how to connect a printer to a Windows 10 computer is not hard at all. Instruction prompts will be provided and they are easy to understand. Simply read them carefully and if ever there is something confusing, you can always quickly refer to the internet for tips regarding the specific situation you are facing.

Aside from that, you can always seek advice from professional tech support if you come across an installation difficulty you cannot solve. Overall, adding a new printer will not be troublesome and won’t take too much of your time.