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How To Add a Network Printer As a Local Device in Windows

Updated on June 19, 2011

Adding a networked printer as a local device

This walkthrough assumes that you are using Windows 2000/XP/Vista and that the printer itself is already configured and on the network.

Why add the printer as a local device rather than simply adding it from the directory? A local device (added by an administrator account) will be available to any other user that logs into the PC. This method is faster than searching the directory and adding the printer for each user who logs into the PC.

To begin, log into the PC as a user with administrator rights. You can user either a local or domain administrator account. Navigate to the Control Panel, and then go into the Printers option. Double-click the "Add Printer" option. From here, you are prompted to select either a network or local printer. Select "Add a local printer."

After making the selection, you will be prompted to provide a port, which is simply how the printer is connected to your PC. Normally, a local printer would be connected via a USB or LPT port. In this case, however, we will want to "Create a New Port." There will be an option to create a new TCP/IP port. Select it.

From here, you'll need to add the IP address of the printer you're trying to connect to. Simply enter the IP address in standard format (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX) and click "next." From here you can select the driver as normal (either the driver provided by the manufacturer or a generic driver will work fine.) Select whether this new printer will be the default printer, as well as whether you'd like to print a test page (always a good idea -- make sure it works!) and click "finish." Congratulations, your network printer will now be available to anyone who logs on to your PC!

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