Have a new wireless or network printer for your home or office and need to install it in Windows 10? Compared to the old days, adding printers to Windows is now usually a fairly straightforward process, unless the printer is old.
I actually talked about setting up printers before, but my previous article was about manually adding a network printer using an IP address. This is actually a last resort in case you cannot install the printer automatically in Windows 10 first.
Before we get started, let’s talk about how to manage printers in Windows 10 because this has gotten a little confusing. In Windows 10, you can add / remove printers and manage them from Control Panel or the Settings app.
Managing printers in Windows 10
To go to Printer Manager in Control Panel, click Devices and Printers. I still find this interface more familiar since it has been around since the days of Windows XP.
You will see a list of all your printers and other devices that may be on the network. Another way is to click Start, then Settings, and then Devices.
There’s really no reason to use two ways to do it, but that’s the way it is now in Windows 10. You can choose any method and you get the same options, so it doesn’t really matter.
Adding a printer in Windows 10
Now let’s move on to the actual steps to add a printer in Windows 10. For this article, we will assume that you have connected your printer to a wireless or wired network. As long as your router automatically issues IP addresses using DHCP, connecting your printer to your network should be easy.
For wireless printers, just refer to the instructions on how to set up the printer with wireless settings. Most newer wireless printers allow you to do this on the printer’s on-screen display, but some older wireless printers require you to connect the printer directly to your computer, configure the wireless settings, and then turn it off.
After connecting the printer, click Add Printer in the Devices and Printers dialog box on your PC.
Now, if the printers are turned on and connected, a miracle should happen and all printers on the network that have not yet been added to your computer should appear in the list. If they do not appear, you should click on the “The printer I want is not listed” link at the bottom to troubleshoot. Go to Troubleshoot printer setup problems in Windows 10 for more information on how to solve common problems.
If everything is in order, click the printer you want to install and then click the Next button.
Windows will automatically configure the printer by installing the appropriate printer drivers on the system. If possible, drivers will be loaded from the printer itself.
After a few seconds, the printer should be successfully added and you should be able to print a test page. Note that this procedure will locate wireless or wired printers on the network.
Troubleshoot printer installation errors in Windows 10
If everything went as well as shown above, you probably wouldn’t be on this site, so let’s talk about some of the issues that might arise. First, what if nothing appears in the printer list?
The first thing to do is to click on the link “The printer I need is not listed.” The Find Printer dialog box appears.
You should start with the first option (My printer is a little older. Help me find it) as it will perform a different scan, but with different methods to detect different types of printers.
If you are working in some kind of office environment with a shared printer, you can go ahead and enter the full path to the printer, which you will need to get from your administrator. The Add Printer Using TCP / IP Address or Hostname option is basically a previous post I wrote about printers that I linked to at the top of this article.
The last option, Add a local or network printer with manual settings, is mainly used if you have a printer that still uses a serial or parallel port. Adding a Bluetooth, Wireless, or Network Discovery Printer is the main dialog that appears when you click Add Printer and it just performs another conventional scan.
If none of the above options work for you, there might be a problem with the printing system on your Windows 10 computer. The next option is to run the Printer Troubleshooter. You can click Start, type Printer Troubleshoot, and then click Find and Fix Printing Problems.
You can also download another printer troubleshooter from Microsoft and run it to see if it can fix any issues. Finally, if you have an old printer that doesn’t have a Windows 10 driver, you might just have to upgrade to a new printer. You can always try installing a driver for Windows 8 or Windows 7, but that may not work due to the higher security settings in Windows 10. If you have questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!