How to add a printer to a Windows 10 computer, whether it’s wired or wireless

How to add a printer to a Windows 10 computer, whether it’s wired or wireless


man printing

While pretty much everything is digital these days, sometimes you just can’t beat having paper copies of certain documents. From work contracts to college essays, it’s handy to have a printer attached to your home computer in case you need a hard copy of something.

If you recently purchased a printer and need to set it up in Windows 10, or you simply want to add a printer that’s already set up, doing so is simple and straightforward.

Many printers have wireless capabilities, and you can set them up through this method, but connecting them with a USB cable will work as well. Here’s how to set up both.

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How to add a wired printer in Windows 10

1. Connect the printer to your PC by attaching the USB cord to both devices, and ensure the printer is turned on.

2. Open the Settings app by clicking the Windows icon in your toolbar, and beginning to type Settings until the app appears.

3. Open the Settings app and click on “Devices.”

screen 1Navigate to the Devices menu.Jennifer Still/Business Insider

4. In the Devices menu, click the “Printers & scanners” option on the left-hand side of your screen.

5. Click “Add a Printer or Scanner.” This will prompt Windows to begin searching for available devices to set up.

6. Click on the name of the printer you wish to set up and follow the instructions to finish installation. Note that if your selected printer does not show up in the list, click “The printer I want isn’t listed.” This will launch Windows’ troubleshooting feature, which should help you locate the printer you want to set up.

screen 2In the Printers & scanners menu, you’ll see a list of all your connected printers, and have the option to add new ones.Jennifer Still/Business Insider

How to add a wireless printer in Windows 10

Wireless printers are often advanced enough to automate the installation process. However, you’ll still have to start that process, generally through the printer’s LCD screen.

Check your printer’s instruction manual to determine the exact settings you’ll need.

The one piece of information you’ll definitely need to set up your wireless printer is your Wi-Fi network name and password. You should make a note of this before beginning the setup, so that you can enter it when prompted by your printer.

Once the printer is set up, you should automatically see it installed in the Windows 10 Settings app, under the Devices menu.