How to connect to a network printer

Updated: 03/13/2021 by Computer Hope
Canon printer

Below are the steps required to connect to a working printer on a network, and use it to print.

Connect network printer in Windows 10

  1. Turn on your printer and make sure it is connected to the network.
  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Devices and Printers icon or View devices and printers link, depending on the view type you are using in the Control Panel.
  3. In the Devices and Printers window, click the Add a printer link in the menu bar at the top.

Add printer in Windows 10

  1. Let Windows scan for the printer. If detected, select the printer and click Next. If the printer is not listed, click The printer that I want isn't listed and skip to add the printer by name or TCP/IP address.

If you know the printer's name, choose Select a shared printer by name and enter the path to the printer. For example, with a network named hope and a printer named hp, the network path would be: \\hope\hp.

Add printer in Windows 10 by name or IP address

If you do not know the printer's path, but have the printer's IP address, select Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.

Click Next.

  1. If, during the installation, Windows asks for drivers, point to the location of your printer drivers. If you do not have drivers, visit our printer drivers section to find links to all printer drivers.

Connect network printer in Windows 8

  1. Turn on your printer and make sure it is connected to the network.
  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Double-click the Add a printer icon.
  4. Select Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer and click Next.
  5. Let Windows scan for the printer. If detected, select the printer and click Next. If the printer is not listed, click The printer that I want isn't listed and skip to add the printer by name or TCP/IP address.

If you know the printer's name, choose Select a shared printer by name and enter the path to the printer. For example, with a network named hope and a printer named hp, the network path would be: \\hope\hp.

Add printer in Windows 8 by name or IP address

If you do not know the printer's path, but have the printer's IP address, select Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.

Click Next.

  1. If, during the installation, Windows asks for printer drivers, point to the location of your drivers. If you do not have drivers, visit our printer drivers section to find links to all printer drivers.

Connect network printer in Windows Vista and 7

  1. Turn on your printer and make sure it is connected to the network.
  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Double-click the Add a printer icon.
  4. Select Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer and click Next.
  5. Let Windows scan for the printer. If detected, select the printer and click Next. If the printer is not listed, click The printer that I want isn't listed and skip to add the printer by name or TCP/IP address.

If you know the printer's name, choose Select a shared printer by name and enter the path to the printer. For example, with a network named hope and a printer named hp, the network path would be: \\hope\hp.

Add printer in Windows 7 by name or IP address

If you do not know the printer's path, but have the printer's IP address, select Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.

Click Next.

  1. If, during the installation, Windows asks for printer drivers, point to the location of your drivers. If you do not have drivers, visit our printer drivers section to find links to all printer drivers.

Connect network printer in Windows 2000 and XP

  1. Turn on your printer and make sure it is connected to the network.
  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Printers or Printers and Faxes icon.
  3. Double-click the Add a printer icon.
  4. Once in the printer wizard, click the Next button to get started.
  5. Select either A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer or Network Printer and click Next. The option depends on what version of Windows you are using.
  6. Type the name of the printer's network address. The address is the name of the computer and then the name of the printer. For example, with a network named hope and a printer named hp, the network path would be: \\hope\hp. If you are adding the printer on a Windows XP computer, click the Browse icon to browse your network and locate the printer. If you're unable to connect to the printer or browse and see the printer, make sure you have network rights and that any installed firewall is temporarily disabled.
  7. Once the network path to the printer is typed in, click Next.
  8. If the computer doesn't have the printer drivers, you need to install them from a driver's disc or a download on the Internet. If you no longer have the software or drivers for your printer, locate the drivers for your printer through our printer drivers section.

Connect printer in Windows 95, 98, or ME

  1. Turn on your printer and make sure it is connected to the network.
  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Printers icon.
  3. Double-click the Add a printer icon.
  4. Click Next to start the Add a printer wizard.
  5. Select Network Printer and click Next.
  6. Type the network path for the printer. For example, with a network named hope and a printer named hp, the network path would be: \\hope\hp.
  7. If the computer doesn't have the printer drivers, you need to install them from a driver's disc or a download on the Internet. If you no longer have the software or drivers for your printer, locate the drivers for your printer through our printer drivers section.

Connect printer in macOS

  1. In the menu bar, click the Apple icon to open the Apple menu.
  2. In the Apple menu, click System Preferences.

System Preferences selector in macOS.

  1. Click the Printers & Scanners shortcut icon.

Printers and Scanners

  1. Click the + symbol in the lower-left section of the window.

Add printer button

  1. In the next window, click the IP tab (A), type in the IP address for your printer (B), and then click Add (C).

IP configuration

  1. Once you've added the printer, you'll see it on the Printers & Scanners window.

Printer list