If you work in a corporate environment, you can probably only print to network printers, unless you are one of the lucky few to have a personal desktop printer. The rest of us need to manually connect to a network printer in one of two ways.
If you are on a domain, then you are in luck, because all you have to do is search and a list of all the printers on the network will appear! If you need to connect to a network printer via an IP address, things are different. In this article, I’ll show you how to do it!
Connect to a network printer on a Windows domain
Whichever method you use, you always have to click Printers and Faxes from the Start menu or Control Panel.
Now click on Add Printer from the menu on the left under Printer Tasks.
On the welcome screen, click Next. Select a network printer or a printer attached to another computer and click Next.
Now, if you are on a domain, you want to select “Find a printer in the directory” and click “Next”. This will search for all printers in Active Directory.
Click the Find button and you should get a list of all network printers available in Active Directory.
Just double-click your printer and it will install automatically.
Connect to network printer via IP address
If you are not part of an Active Directory domain, you will have to connect to a network printer via its IP address. To do this, you first need to find out the IP address of the printer. You can do this by printing a configuration page for the printer. It will list all settings including network configuration.
To connect in this way, instead of selecting a network printer, you will select a Local printer attached to this computer, and be sure to uncheck the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer box.
Click Next, select Create New Port and select Standard TCP / IP Port.
On the welcome screen, click Next and enter the printer’s IP address in the Printer Name or IP Address field.
If the network card for the printer cannot be identified, you can get a dialog box indicating the type of device. Just leave the default “Standard NIC” option and click “Next”.
Now you will need to select the driver for the printer you want to install. If it is not in the default list provided by Windows XP, you will need to download it, click Have Disk, and specify the location of the printer driver. When finished, click Next.
Give your printer a name and choose whether you want to use it as your default printer or not. Click Next and choose if you want to share the printer with others on the network. Finally, click Next and you will be prompted to print a test page.
This is it! The printer should now appear in the list of printers when you go to the Printers and Faxes dialog box. If you’re having trouble connecting to your network printer, please leave a comment and I’ll try to help! Enjoy!