If you have a printer attached to your computer, you can share it with anyone on the same network. It doesn't matter what type of printer you have, as long it's installed on your computer and is directly attached with a USB cable or other type of printer cable. The people you choose to share the printer with will be able to use it to print, as long as they first locate your computer on the network.
Printers that are directly connected to a network rather than attached to a computer are available to anyone on the same network. Such printers must have a network port or wireless connection that allows them to connect directly to the network.
Sharing a printer requires a few steps. First, on the computer that the printer is plugged in to, follow these steps.
Open Advanced sharing settings by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type network, click Network and Sharing Center, and then, in the left pane, click Change advanced sharing settings.
If printer sharing is off, under File and printer sharing, select Turn on file and printer sharing, and then click Save changes.
If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Now you need to share the printer itself.
Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button , and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.
Right-click the printer you want to share, and then click Printer properties.
Click the Sharing tab, and select the Share this printer check box.
Other people on your network can now connect to this printer. All they need to do is add a network printer (your printer) to their computers.
Click Add a printer.
Click Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer, click the shared printer, click Next, and follow the instructions on the screen.
For more information about sharing, see File sharing essentials.
If you have a printer attached to your computer, you can share it with anyone on the same network. It doesn't matter what type of printer it is, as long as the printer is installed on your computer and directly attached with a universal serial bus (USB) cable or other type of printer cable. Whoever you choose to share the printer with will be able to use it to print, provided they can locate your computer on the network.
Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.
Anyone using this computer can already use any printer attached to the computer. Printer sharing allows you to share your printer with people using other computers on the network.
Follow these steps to connect to a shared printer over the network. You must know the name of the computer that has the printer attached to it. If you don't know this name, ask someone who uses that computer, or go to the other computer yourself and look it up. For information on how to find this name, see Find your computer name.
Click the Start button , and then, in the Search box, type \\ followed by the name of the computer with the shared printer you want to use (for example, \\mylaptop).
If Windows can find the computer on the network, a folder will open for the computer. Double-click Printers. If any shared printers are connected to this computer, they will appear here. If you don't see the shared printer you want to use, ask a person who uses that computer if the printer is connected, turned on, and shared with other users on the network.
Double-click the printer. Windows will automatically add the printer to your computer and install the printer driver. When the process is complete, click Next.
The printer should appear in your Printers folder. You can select this printer when you want to print a document or other type of file.
If Windows can't automatically find and install the printer driver that allows this shared printer to work with your computer, you need to install the driver before you will be able to print. For more information, see Find and install printer drivers.
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See which devices are compatible with Windows 7 at the Compatibility Center.