How to Share Printer in Windows 7

How to Share Printer in Windows 7

Over the years, Windows has gotten much meliorate about how it handles networked printers. Only if you want to share a printer over the network, yous may still demand to do a little legwork to go information technology all up and running. Here’s how it all works.

Setting up a printer on your network involves two steps. The first step is getting the printer connected to the network, and there are 3 ways you can exercise that:

  • Connect the printer to the network direct. This is the easiest way to gear up upward a network printer.  Information technology doesn’t require that another PC be turned on to print (like the below methods practice), and you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting upwardly sharing. And, since almost printers made within the last few years accept networking built in, there’s a good chance your printer supports this selection.
  • Connect the printer to one of your PCs and share it with the network over Homegroup. If connecting a printer directly to the network isn’t an option, you can connect it to a PC on the network and share information technology with Windows Homegroup. It’s easy to set upwards, and is optimal for networks that are made up of generally Windows computers. This method, withal, requires that the computer its connected to be up and running in guild for y’all to utilize the printer.
  • Connect the printer to one of your PCs and share it without Homegroup. This is platonic if your network has other computers running unlike operating systems, if you want more command over file and printer sharing, or if Homegroup just isn’t working very well. Similar the Homegroup method, this requires that the computer its connected to be up and running in order for yous to apply the printer.

The second step, once you’ve hooked up your printer, will be connecting other PCs to the network printer…which depends a lot on how you hooked it upwards. Confused all the same? Don’t worry. We’re virtually to go over all of this.

Update: Microsoft
removed the HomeGroup characteristic from Windows 10 in the April 2018 update. You can still use HomeGroups if you’re using Windows 7 or viii, merely they won’t be accessible by computers running Windows ten (at least with the latest updates) unless you lot besides set up traditional file sharing.

Pace Ane: Connect Your Printer to the Network

First, allow’s talk about getting that printer connected to your network. As we mentioned in a higher place, you lot accept three options hither. Y’all can connect information technology directly to the network, you tin connect it to a PC and share information technology through a Homegroup, or y’all can connect it to a PC and share information technology without using Homegroup.

Connect Your Printer Directly to the Network

Most printers these days take networking built in. Some come equipped with Wi-Fi, some with Ethernet, and many have both options available. Unfortunately, we tin can’t give yous precise instructions for getting this done, since how yous exercise it depends on the type of printer y’all have. If your printer has an LCD display, chances are you can notice the network settings somewhere in the Settings or Tools portion of the menus. If your printer has no display, you’ll probably have to rely on some series of physical button presses to tell information technology whether it should use its Wi-Fi or Ethernet network adapter. Some printers even take a dedicated easy connect button that can gear up the Wi-Fi for you.

If you’re having trouble setting up a printer that connects straight to the network, the manufacturer should have instructions for making information technology happen. Check the manual that came with your printer or the manufacturer’s web site for information on hooking it up.

Share a Printer Continued to a PC past Using a Homegroup

Sharing a printer with Homegroup is super easy. First, of course, you’ll want to make certain that the printer is connected to one of the PCs on the network and gear up properly. If that PC can impress to the printer, and so y’all’re good to go.

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Start past firing up the Homegroup control panel app. Click Start, type “homegroup,” and so click the selection or striking Enter.

What y’all do next depends on what yous run into in the Homegroup window. If the PC you accept the printer connected to is already function of a Homegroup, you lot’ll see something like the following screen. If it shows that y’all’re already sharing printers, then you’re done. You tin can skip on to pace two, where y’all connect other PCs on the network. If you’re not already sharing printers, click the “Change what you’re sharing with the homegroup” link.

On the “Printers & Devices” drop-down menu, choose the “Shared” option. Click Next and then you can close the Homegroup options and move on to step ii.

If at that place is already a Homegroup created for other PCs on the network, but the PC y’all’ve got your printer connected to isn’t a fellow member, the master screen when yous start the Homegroup control panel app will await something like the one below. Click the “Join now” button and so click “Next” on the following screen that just tells you a fleck most Homegroups.

Ready your sharing options, making sure that “Printers and devices” is fix to “Shared,” and then click “Next.”

Type the password for the Homegroup then click “Side by side.” If y’all don’t know the password, get to one of the other PCs on the network that is already a member of the Homegroup, launch the Homegroup control panel app, and you can wait it up in that location.

If you’re connecting from another PC that you’ve signed onto using the same Microsoft account as the PC that’s already a fellow member of the Homegroup, Windows 8 and 10 won’t ask for your password. Instead, Windows will qualify you automatically.

On the last screen, click the “Cease” button so yous can motion on to step two and get your other PCs on the network connected to the printer.

And finally, if in that location is no Homegroup at all on your network, you’ll see something like the following screen when you open up the Homegroup control panel window. To create a new homegroup, click the “Create a homegroup” push button.

The post-obit screen only tells you a little about Homegroups. Go ahead and click “Next.”

Cull whatever libraries and folders you desire to share with the network from the PC you’re on. But make certain that you select the “Shared” option for “Printers & Devices.” Click “Next” when you’re done making your selections.

The final screen shows the password yous’ll need for other PCs on your network to connect to the Homegroup. Write it downward and and so click the “Finish” button.

Now that you’ve got your Homegroup set up and your PC is sharing its printers with it, you lot can skip down to step ii and get those other PCs on the network connected to the printer.

Share a Printer Connected to a PC Without Using a Homegroup

If you lot have computers or mobile devices on your network that run an Bone other than Windows 7, 8, or ten–or you just don’t want to use Homegroup for some reason–you can always utilize the sharing tools that have always been a part of Windows to share a printer with the network. Once again, your first footstep is making sure the printer is connected to a PC and that you can print to it.

Click Start, blazon “devices and printers,” and then hit Enter or click the issue.

Right-click the printer you want to share with the network and then select “Printer backdrop”.

The “Printer Properties” window shows you all kinds of things you tin configure virtually the printer. For now, click the “Sharing” tab.


Customizing Your Network Sharing Settings

You are informed that the printer will not be bachelor when your computer sleeps or it is shut downwards. Also, if you are using password protected sharing, you are informed that but users on your network with a username and password for this computer tin print to information technology. Credentials are a one-time affair you lot’ll accept to enter the start fourth dimension you connect another PC to the shared printer; yous won’t have to do it each time you print. If you’d prefer, you tin can brand sharing available to guests so that passwords aren’t necessary, but that setting volition also apply to whatever files yous have shared. We propose you lot read upward on
customizing your network sharing settings
earlier making that decision.

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To proceed, enable the “Share this printer” selection and, if you lot want, requite the printer a friendlier name so that others on the network tin can more easily identify the printer.

The other option you tin set here is whether you would similar to return impress jobs on client computers. If this setting is enabled, all the documents that will be printed are rendered on the computers where people are doing the printing. When this setting is disabled, the documents are rendered on the estimator to which the printer is attached. If it’s a PC that someone uses actively, nosotros recommend enabling this setting and so that system performance is not impacted every time something gets printed.

When yous’re done setting things upward, go ahead and click “OK.”

At present that you’ve shared the printer, other PCs on your network should be able to connect to it. So, you’re fix to move on to step two.

Step Two: Connect to Your Printer from Any PC on the Network

Now that you’ve got your printer connected to the network using ane of the above methods, it’s fourth dimension to turn your attention to the 2nd office of the process: connecting other PCs on the network to that printer. How you practice that really but depends on whether yous’re using Homegroup or not.

Connect to a Printer That’due south Shared by a PC Using a Homegroup

This is probably the easiest step in this whole tutorial. If you’ve got the printer connected to a PC and that PC is sharing the printer as part of a Homegroup, all you have to exercise is make sure that other PCs on the network are also joined to the Homegroup. You can employ the same process we went over in Step I to go them joined. When PCs are role of the same Homegroup, Windows will automatically connect to any printers shared from other PCs. They’ll only evidence up in your Devices and Printers window automatically and any PC in the Homegroup can print to them. Super simple.

Connect to a Printer Without Using Homegroup

If your printer is continued direct to a network, or is shared from a PC without using Homegroup, you’ll have to practice a little more than work to connect to it from other PCs on the network. Information technology’due south still pretty straightforward, though. Click Offset, blazon “devices and printers,” and then hit Enter or click the consequence.

The Devices and Printers window shows a collection of devices on your PC. Click the “Add together a printer” link to get started calculation your network printer.

Windows will perform a quick scan of your network for discoverable devices that are not all the same installed on your PC and display them in the “Add a device” window. Chances are loftier that y’all’ll see your printer on the list, whether it’due south directly connected to the network or shared from another PC. If you see the printer you’re looking for, so your chore just got super piece of cake. Click the printer yous want to install. Windows will handle the installation, download drivers if needed, and ask y’all to provide a proper noun for the printer. That’s all you have to do.

If you don’t run into the printer you want to install–and you lot’re sure yous’ve got it properly connected to the network–click the “The printer that I desire isn’t listed” link. The next window will present you with several options for helping y’all find it:

  • My printer is a little older. If you select this option, Windows volition perform a more thorough scan of your network looking for the printer. In our feel, though, it rarely finds anything that it didn’t already observe during its initial scan. Information technology’s an easy enough option to try, but information technology may take a few minutes.
  • Select a shared printer by name. If the network estimator is shared from another PC, this is the best option for finding it. If y’all know the verbal network name of the estimator and printer, you lot can type it hither. Or y’all tin click the “Browse” button to look through the PCs on your network that have sharing enabled and see if you tin can notice the printer that way.
  • Add a printer using a TCP/IP accost or hostname. If your printer is attached directly to the network and y’all know its IP address, this is probably the simplest and surest option. Most network printers have a office that lets yous determine their IP accost. If your printer has an LCD display, yous may exist able to find the IP address by scrolling through the printer settings. For printers without a display, y’all can usually perform some sequence of button presses that volition impress the settings for you. If all else fails, y’all can e’er apply an IP scanning app like
    Wireless Network Watcher
    to locate devices on your network. Cheque out
    the last section of this guide
    for more information on how to do that.
  • Add a Bluetooth, wireless, or network discoverable printer. If you choose this option, Windows will scan for those types of devices. Again, we’ve rarely seen it choice up a device that it didn’t notice during the initial scan. But, information technology withal may be worth a try.
  • Add a local printer or network printer with transmission settings. This option may help you get a printer added if nothing else works. It’s mostly for configuring a local printer past specifying exact port data, just there is i setting in particular that tin help with network printers if you know the model. When asked to specify a port, y’all tin choose a Windows Self Discovery choice, which is listed toward the lesser of the available ports as “WSD” followed by a string of numbers and letters. When you choose that, Windows volition ask you to specify a model then that information technology can install drivers. When you lot’re done, Windows will then monitor the network for that printer. It’s a longshot, but information technology’southward worth a try if all else fails.
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You’ll find all these options are pretty straightforward and feature short wizards for walking you through the process. Since TCP/IP is the surest mode to get a printer added, we’re going to go on with that as our instance.  Select “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname” and so click “Next.”

Type the IP address for the printer into the “Hostname or IP address” box. Make certain the “Query the printer and automatically select the driver to utilize” bank check box is selected and then click “Side by side.”

Type a new name for printer if the default proper name doesn’t adapt you then click “Next.”

Choose whether to set the new printer every bit the default, print a test page if you want to make sure everything’s working, so click “Finish” when yous’re done.

Hopefully, you never need to bother with most of this stuff. If your network printer is properly connected to the network, the chances are high that Windows volition pick it up and install it for you right off the bat. And if your network is generally Windows machines and you use Homegroup for sharing files and printers, things should as well happen mostly automatically. If it doesn’t–or if you accept a more complicated setup–at least y’all know y’all have some options.

How to Share Printer in Windows 7

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