All printers don’t have network capability and if your printer also doesn’t have a network connection at its back, don’t worry. It can still be put on your network to be used by any computer present on the same network.
You don’t need to connect a network capable printer to each and every computer that will be giving out print commands. Just plug a network cable and every computer that’s connected to the same network can see and use it.
But if it has only a USB port to directly connect to a computer, it is not provided with means to be put on a network, from where any computer could communicate with it. Interestingly a hidden solution in Windows device settings allows you to do that.
All you need is a computer-connected to a printer (via USB) and connected to a network (via wireless or LAN) and printer drivers. Using the Windows sharing feature you will need to first put the printer on the network. For that open Control Panel and select Devices and Printers.
Select the printer you want to make available on the network and right click to select Printer Properties. Be it any printer, you will have similar set of tabs in a dialog box that opens next- as show below in the picture. Click on sharing tab and tick the ‘Share this printer’ checkbox. Now click on apply and close the window. As soon as you do this, two heads appear beside the printer icon denoting the printer is now being shared.
This works when File and Printer Sharing is turned on in the Network and Sharing center. For this just type ‘Advanced sharing settings’ in the start menu search and scroll to turn on printer sharing.
Next you need to find this printer on other computers connected to the same network. But first you would need to install the printer drivers on this computer. Once done type add printer in start menu search and click on Add a Printer. Select the second option- Add a ‘Network Wireless or Bluetooth printer and look for the printer’. Once the printer appears in the list, select it and click ‘Next’.
If the printer drivers are properly installed the printer will get connected to this computer through the network and through the computer it is connected to physically.
If the printer is not found automatically, click on the option ‘the printer…isn’t listed’ and type its network location. That would be \\pc name\printer name.
If you are having any problems connecting your printer this way just leave a comment below. We will be happy to take the bug out.