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Computer Health Tips

How Do I Add a Printer?

First you must determine if you wish to add a local printer or a network printer. Local printers are directly connected to your computer (a cable runs from the printer to your computer.) Network printers utilize the network to share a printer resource.

In either case, you should first go to start->settings->printers. Once there, double-click the 'Add Printer' icon and chose 'next.'

If the printer is to be a local printer, select local and let the computer try to find the computer through automatic detection. Sometimes the Windows operating system will already have the appropriate driver for the printer, in which case it will automatically install the printer with minimal work from you. Other times, you must provide the computer with the appropriate driver. You can use the disks that came with the printer or you can go to the printer manufacturer's website and download the newest driver for the operating system you're using. In either case, you will have to browse to the location (either on a disk or downloaded to your hard drive) to let the computer know where the files are.

If you wish to add a networked printer then select network printer on the initial screen and leave the location blank and select 'next.' This will cause the computer to give you a list of shared network resources from which you can pick the appropriate printer. Some printers are on the network by themselves (not connected to any computer) and some are connected to a computer which acts as a printer server.

If the printer you wish to use is connected to a computer, find the computer name on the list of shared resources. Hopefully, the computer will be named for the primary user of the machine. Once you locate it, double-click the computer and select the printer from underneath it. The drivers should automatically be shared to your computer. Names in image have been screened for security purposes.

Screen shot of the 'Add Printer Wizard' window

Please note, that for the above process to work, the printer must be set as 'shared' by the computer it is connected to. To do this, go to the computer that the printer is connected to and go to start->settings->printers. You should see an icon that represents the direct connection to the printer. Right-click this icon and select 'Sharing...' to set the sharing property of the printer.