Demo: Sharing printers in Windows Vista

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You don't have to buy everyone a printer! Watch this demo to learn how to share a printer with all the people on your network.

Read the transcript

If you have a home network, you can share a printer connected to your Windows Vista computer with all the people on your network. Sharing a printer means that anyone on your network can access the printer from their computer and the document will be printed by your printer. Let’s look at how you can use Windows to share a printer with other people on your network.

You can share any printer that’s connected to your computer. If there are printers attached to more than one computer on your network, you can share just one printer or all of them.

To share your printer with other people on your home network, you should first check your network settings. In Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel, turn on printer sharing. Then make sure the network location type is set to Private, which means that your computer can see and access other network computers. If you need to change this, click Customize.

Now you need to set the individual printer so it can be shared. To do that, you open the Printer folder in Control Panel. Right-click the printer you want to share, and then click Sharing. The Sharing tab is where you set up your printer so that other people can find and use it from their own computers. You’ll want to share the printer and type a name for the printer that other people will recognize.

Now other people on your network can connect to this printer. To get started, they’ll need to go to the Printers folder in Control Panel on their computers. There, they can choose to Add a printer, then click Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer, and then select the shared printer. They can set this printer as the default printer, which means they will print to it automatically without having to select it every time. Now, each time they print, your shared printer will be available in the program they’re using.

That’s it! Now you know how to share a printer with people who use your network.