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How to Install a Network Printer in ten seconds

Updated on June 27, 2012

Local Vs. Network Installed Printers

There are two different types of installs when installing a printer in a Microsoft Windows Operating System (Windows XP, Windows 7, etc.) -- Local and Network.

A "locally" installed printer is directly connected to a computer with a cable (USB, LPT, Cat5). A "network" installed printer is connected to a printer that is shared from another server or computer on the network. Wireless and Bluetooth printers are local as well, because they are not shared from another device on the network. (think of the wireless or bluetooth signals as invisible cables).

This article will explain how to easily connect to a Network (shared) printer in ten seconds or less. NOTE - It is important that the server\computer sharing the printer is on the same network (workgroup or domain), and that shares are accessable (sharing is turned on, and you have access to the shares).

Installation Example

No Need to Use the "Add a Printer" wizard

If you have installed printers in the past you may be used to using the "add a printer wizard" found in the control panel under "printers". That method works, this method is faster. Note - You will need to know the name or ip address of the server\computer the printer is shared from.

First, from your Windows desktop, get to your run bar by either clicking "Start" then "Run" (Windows XP), or clicking the windows icon in the bottom left corner (Vista and 7). In Vista and Windows 7 the box that says "Search Programs and Files" will work or you may use the Run command if it has been turned on in the task bar properties.

Second, type \\name or ip address of the server\computer the printer is shared from, for example \\server1 or \\ and hit Enter. You should see all of the shares that are on that Server or Computer in a new window. Among those shares you should see the printer you wish to install.

Third, find the shared printer among the shares, right click it and select "connect". That's it!


To install a Network printer in ten seconds or less:

1. Click "Start" or the Windows Icon in the bottom left corner of the desktop to find the Run bar. (In Windows 7 where it says "Search Programs and Files"), or "RUN" if the run command option is on.

2. Type \\name or ip address of server

3. Find the printer in the window that appears, right click it and select "Connect".


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