In general, both Windows 7 and Windows 10 (Windows 10 more than Windows 7) come pre-installed with a number of common print driver brands so that when you plug in a printer, the OS can automatically install it with generic drivers or drivers already installed on the machine. However, sometimes plugging a printer in will cause the install to fail, and for printers needing to be added over IP, the process becomes a bit more involved than plug-and-play.
To properly install a printer on Windows, always follow the installation procedure lined out in the instructions that come with your machine as not following the suggested installation procedure could cause the computer to fail a proper installation. Use the manufacturer's installation software where possible, and your printers should install without hassle.
The following guide will assist you in manually mapping a network printer to your machine when the manufacturer's software is either not available or not needed.
- Determine your networked printer's IP address either by printing a network configuration page or by pulling the IP address from the print menu if it is set to show.
- Once you have your IP Address in hand, navigate to Control Panel, and under Hardware and Sound, choose Devices and Printers.
- Under Devices and Printers, select “Add a printer” from the top navigation menu.
- This prompts a dialog requesting the type of printer you wish to install.
- Select “Add a local printer”, and then hit “Next”.
- The next screen prompts a selection on how the computer shall interact with the printer. There are three options: Adobe, Local, and Standard TCP/IP Port. For networked printers, we shall select the Standard TCP/IP option as the printer driver shall be installed from the file server.
- Select Standard TCP/IP and then hit “Next”.
- On the next dialogue box, you shall be prompted to input the location of the printer. This location could either be the IP Address, which is semi-static, or the Hostname, which is static. It is recommended to us IP over Hostname.
- After inputting either the IP Address or the Hostname, the computer shall search for the printer over the network based on the provided address. (Make sure that the printer is on and connected via Ethernet to the network, and make sure that your computer is also wired to the network). After searching, for the printer, you should be prompted for a driver installation if it is not already installed on your computer. Drivers may be retrieved from the manufacturer’s website online or by disk.
- If you have downloaded the driver package from online, select “Have Disk” and then locate the folder in which the driver files are stored on your disk.
- If you have pointed the computer to the correct file location, it should indicate this by asking you to move to the next screen. Hit “Next”. The driver shall begin installing.
- Upon installation of the driver, the following screen should appear, prompting for a printer name (In this example’s case, it is a Dell Laser Printer):
- Next, you shall be prompted whether or not you wish to share the printer. For the sake of this example, we just say “No.”
- The final step is to print a test page to the printer:
- If your installation was successful, a test page should immediately be printed, and your new printer should appear in the list of “Devices and Printers”.
- If not, run through the installation again and insure that the correct IP Address or Hostname was used and that the correct drivers were installed.