There are several ways to connect a printer to your computer. Which option you choose depends on the device itself, and whether you're at home or at the office.

Always consult the information that came with your model for specific instructions.

Watch this video to learn how to install a printer (1:40)

Local printers

The most common way to install a printer is to connect it directly to your computer. This is known as a local printer.

If your printer is a universal serial bus (USB) model, Windows should automatically detect it and begin installation when you plug it in.

If you're installing a wireless printer that connects to your computer over a wireless network (Wi‑Fi), you can use the Add a device wizard to install the printer. For instructions, see Connect to Bluetooth and other wireless or network devices.

If it's an older model that connects using the serial or parallel port, you might have to install it manually.

To install (add) a local printer

  1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

  2. Click Add a printer.

  3. In the Add Printer wizard, click Add a local printer.

  4. On the Choose a printer port page, make sure that the Use an existing port button and the recommended printer port are selected, and then click Next.

  5. On the Install the printer driver page, select the printer manufacturer and model, and then click Next.

    • If your printer isn't listed, click Windows Update, and then wait while Windows checks for additional drivers.

    • If none are available and you have the installation CD, click Have Disk, and then browse to the folder where the printer driver is located. (For additional help, consult the printer manual.)

  6. Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Finish.

Tips

Network printers

In the workplace, many printers are network printers. These connect directly to a network as stand-alone devices. Inexpensive network printers are also made for the home. To learn more, see Install a printer on a home network.

To install a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer

If you're trying to add a network printer at the office, you'll usually need the name of the printer. If you can't find it, contact your network administrator.

  1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

  2. Click Add a printer.

  3. In the Add Printer wizard, click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.

  4. In the list of available printers, select the one you want to use, and then click Next. (If your computer is connected to a network, only printers listed in Active Directory for your domain are displayed in the list.)

  5. If prompted, install the printer driver on your computer by clicking Install driver. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  6. Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Finish.

Tips

  • Available printers can include all printers on a network, such as Bluetooth and wireless printers or printers that are plugged into another computer and shared on the network. You might need permission to install some printers.

  • You can confirm the printer is working by printing a test page. For more information, see Print a test page.

Note

Removing a printer

If you no longer use a printer, you can remove it from Devices and Printers.

To delete a printer

  1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

  2. Right-click the printer that you want to remove, click Remove device, and then click Yes.

    If you can't delete the printer, right-click it again, click Run as administrator, click Remove device, and then click Yes. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Notes

  • If you have a multi-function or all-in-one printer, you can often remove the printer from Devices and Printers without affecting other device functions. So, for example, you might continue to see a scanner or fax icon for the device.

  • You can't uninstall a printer if you have files in your print queue. Either cancel printing, or wait until Windows has finished printing them. Once the queue is clear, Windows will remove the printer.

  • To learn more about how to cancel printing, see View, pause, or cancel printing.

For more information about printing, see Getting started with printing.