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How to Share and Add network Printers

Updated on June 5, 2010

All of us have to use a printer at one point, if you are at school or work then the work is done for you and if you are having trouble then check with your IT person.

If you are at home, you can follow the easy steps in the manual that came with your printer. However what if you have more than one computer at home and want to share the same printer.

Follow these easy steps and you can be printing in no time throughout the house in no time.

Note: I’m using Windows Vista Service Pack 2. While the look or wording might be a bit different these steps work just the same for Windows XP and Windows 7

Part 1: Done on the computer that has the printer connected to

1- First you have to share the printer, so go to the computer that has the printer installed and then click on Start and then point to printers and that should open up your printer’s folder.

(Picture 1)

If you can’t find printers after clicking on the Start menu then go to Control Panel and you can find the printers icon in there.

2- Then right click on the printer and click on “Sharing”. (Picture 2)

3- Click on “Share this printer” and then enter the share name, you can give it any name you like. (Picture 3)

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Part 2: Done on the computer that needs to connect to the shared printer

1- Click on the Start menu and then go to printers, once you are in the printer folder then click on “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer” (Picture 4)

2- Click on next and then wait for the printer that you shared to show up, if it does not then you can click on “The printer that I want isn’t listed” and you will have a chance to type the name of the printer. (Picture 5)

3- If you type the printer name then you need the name of the computer that the printer is connected to. \\computer name\printer name. (Picture 6)

Note: to find out the name of the computer, right click on the “Computer” icon – called “My Computer” in Windows XP – and then click on properties and then click on the computer name tab and you should be able to find out the name of the computer. (Picture 7)

4- Once you type the name then click on next and the compute will install the printer drivers for you. If you get prompted for the drivers then you can either US the supplied CD that came with your printer or download them from your printer’s manufacturer website

5- You will have an option to set the printer as the default printer. After that click on “Next” and then on “Finish”.

That is it, you are done. Enjoy printing to your shared printer.

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

Picture 7

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