How to install a network printer

In my previous tutorial, I have shown you how to install a local printer in Windows. As promised, now I will show you how to install a network printer. As you can see, the procedure is very similar. The main difference consists in the fact that a network printer is not directly attached to your PC and you will need to know details such as: the name of the PC on which it is installed, the printer name and/or the IP address.

Click the Start button and go to Control Panel.

In Windows 10 click the windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your screen and go to “Settings”. Then click “Devices”.

Network Printer

In the Control Panel window, in the Hardware and Sound group, click Printer.

Network Printer

In the Printers window, click Add a printer.

Network Printer

A new window appears, where you have to select “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer”.

Network Printer

Windows Vista will now search through your network for printers and will list all the found items. Select the printer that you want to install and click Next. If Windows Vista hasn’t listed the printer that you want to install, but you still know it exists, skip all the next steps and read the ‘Network Printer not found’ section.

Network Printer

In this next window you will see the name of the printer that will be installed. If you want, you can rename it, so that you can identify it much easier. When done, click Next.

Network Printer

Windows Vista will now install your network printer. At the end you will receive a notification. Click Finish and you are done.

Network Printer

Network Printer not found

If Windows Vista hasn’t found the printer your were looking for, then click ‘The printer that I want isn’t listed’.

Network Printer

Here you have three options: browse for a printer, select a shared printer by name and add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname.

Network Printer

If you select the first option (browse for a printer) and click Next, Windows Vista will display all the computers that are currently running. Select the one that is connected to the printer you want to install and then select the printer. Then click Next until the end of the wizard.

When you select the second option (select a shared printer by name), type “\\”, then the name of the computer where the printer is installed followed by “\” and the printer name. The text you type should be like this: “\\PCName\PrinterName”. Alternatively, you can click the Browse button and select the computer and printer just like when choosing the first option described above. When finished, click Next and follow the remaining steps shown by the wizard.

The third option (add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname) is mostly used in large networks that have dedicated network printers. These printers are directly connected to a network and have their own IP address. To use this option you need to know the IP address of the printer. If you don’t know it, contact the network administrator.

If you have this information, select the third option and click Next. In the next window type the printer’s hostname or IP address and then the port (if needed). When done, click Next.

Network Printer

In the next window you can change the printer’s name and choose if you want it set as your default printer. After you click on Next, you will be told that your printer has been found. Click on Finish and you are done.

Related articles:
How to share a printer with other computers from your network
How to install a local printer

29 thoughts on “How to install a network printer”

  1. my IBM network 17 printer installs but I can’t print
    I receive an error in the document cue. Just says error printing.
    I was told to change the IP address to the default address which on the router page is: which is the modem IP address. The router addr. has a suffix of 2.1
    I’m clueless as to what to do. It is active in the wireless router…. the lite is lit. I’ll keep trying perhaps I’ll get lucky.M

  2. Command-Line to Add Network Printer
    If I know the name of the printer server and the name of the printer, is there a command-line bit I can run to add it and eliminate the clicks. It isn’t that setting them up is difficult; I just need to do it for about 160 computers. I would put it out over a policy, but my parent organization doesn’t allow us to create our own policies.

  3. deleting network printer
    I have just successfully installed the SAME network printer again. It seems that if I restart my computer or physically turn off the HP Deskjet, the printer goes offline and must be reinstalled.
    The problem with this is I cannot delete the previous copies. Each one says “Error-deleting-offline.” How do I get rid of them?

  4. response@TCallender
    1. Is it still in use? Do you still have documents in the queue. Control Panel -> Printer -> double click to see.
    Cancel them if any are present.
    2. Try to delete it like before.


  6. Network printer won’t install
    I’m having trouble installing a printer on our home network. The printer is attached to desktop #1 that is running Windows XP. I’m trying to add the printer to desktop #2 that is connected to the network via wireless and it runs Vista. Desktop #2 “sees” the printer but when the Next button is clicked, an error pops up saying something like: Cannot install printer, the print spooler service is not running.
    I have checked the system thoroughly and can’t seem to find any way of turning on this service. The Windows Help menus tell me nothing about this problem. I’d appreciate some help.

    • Services
      Go to: Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Services.
      In the list of Services you will find Print Spooler. Start the service and set it as Automatic and it will work.

    • Network Printer Won’t Install
      I also facing the same problem. Just the difference is that printer is connected to my server running Active Directory Services under Windows Server 2K3. I also do the same by running the service mannually. But I need to run this service mannually everytime I restart my other machine #2 after shutting down or hibernation.

      Is there any permanet solution of the same ?

    • Network Printer Using Vista and XP
      I had the same problem. Try turning off the firewall on desktop #1 and then add the printer to computer #2. Once the printer is added, turn the firewall on again. Then try a test print.

  7. Adding a Network Printer
    I have an HP Laptop computer running Windows VISTA. I also have an EPSON R300 Printer connected to my Desktop XP machine. The Epson Printer is shared. When I try to install the EPSON printer on my HP Laptop via the Network, I get a message that the “Printer Server does not have the correct Driver” and prompts me to install a driver for the EPSON. However, when the EPSON is connected locally to the HP VISTA Laptop via USB port, VISTA installs a driver automatically and the printer works fine.

    How can I get VISTA to recognize the driver for the EPSON printer when it is selected as a Network printer? EPSON does not supply separate VISTA drivers on a CD.

  8. Networked HP Printer auto-uninstalling
    I have a networked HP Printer (HP Photosmart 3210xi) Vista automatically uninstalls the driver every 2-3 days.
    This requires a re-load of the software. Any ideas on how to stop this wonderfull cleanup feature 🙂

  9. Idle Printer Goes and Stays Offline
    Similar to posted above: my network printer goes to “offline” status and I must delete it and then reinstall to be able to print.

  10. I can’t install my network printer with window vista.
    I am having problem to install the printer in my home network with window vista. I connected my printer with usb into my router. My old computer with window xp just took me 1 min to connected the network printer. But the two new computer with window vista, no matter which ways I tried, still not working. I even call the printer computer to help, they didn’t do it. So I followed the step that you showed on this site. When I got to seraching the available printer, my network print came up, but when I clicked NEXT……the ADD Printer page went to NOT RESPONES. I tired a lot of time, same thing happened again. Please help.

  11. desk#1 XP and desk #2 Vista laptop
    trying to network the printer connect to desk top#1. It is set up as above, however when I hit print nothing happens, not even an error. Laptop (#2) see’s the printer, but it doesn’t printer. The printer is turned on. I checked under the printer at desk one and it is set-up for sharing…however under additional drivers it doesn’t have a choice for a Vista driver. do I need that?

  12. Win7 x86 and Vista x64 sharing printer…
    Hi, I have a Canon IP4500 connected to my Windows7 x86 machine, and the printer is shared.
    On my laptop, that is connected by Wlan to the router, I have Vista x64 OS.
    When I try to install the printer in Vista, I find the printer on the network and Vista starts to install, but then it says that the print server has the wrong driver for the printer.
    I’ve tried to install Canon’s Vista64 driver for IP4500 on the laptop, and tried to install “Additonal driver” under “Share” on the Win7 system.
    Both computers says that it can’t find driver information.
    I’ve turned off “PW protected sharing” as mentioned above.
    The printer works fine on the Win7 since it’s connected by usb.
    Any suggestions anyone?

  13. HP 2840 all-in-one no go Vista
    Installing with the HP Vista DvD seems to go fine, up untill the finish. Then the install program hangs at 96% ready. Evtentually it seems to finish, however no printer is installed, also the HP toolkit is not installed. Only HP desktopprograms are installed but won’t start because there is no printer. Opening printers results in a hung printer config window.

    Help ….

  14. printer probelm
    I have printer installed in my machine
    Initially we have used 15mts lenght cable from machine to printer and able to print the data. but later we need to move the printer aroung 50 mts distance far from the machine so we have changed the cable length to 50 mts. but now the printer is not recongnised in my machine.

    Could you please tell me is there any restriction on the lenght of the printer cable or wire
    but at other places i have seen it is working for 100mts lenght cable also. and printer in one floor and machine in another floor and are connected with internal cable.

    Please anyone , shed some light on this !!!!!!!!!

  15. Installing a netwprk printer on Vista
    I have kodak printer connected to a pc by USB working fine. I have two laptops connected wireless which can both print off on the printer, one running XP, one running on Windows 7. A third laptop running Vista finds the printer, all installed ok. When i send anything to print i get the rror message “Windows cannot print. Access is denied”

    Can anyone help?
    I’ve checked the firewall, i’ve enabled printer sharing. I’m stuck!!

  16. networking a printer between windors7, and windors vista home pr
    I have two gateway computers, one running windows7 and the other running windows vista home prem. Both computers are attached to awireless router. My hp all-in-one printer is attached to the windows7 unit. How do I network this printer?

  17. having problem installing network on window vista home primiuem
    i am trying to install a network printer on my system from to window xp to window vista home primieum but the system keep on showing me Administrating password. what can i do to bar-pass dis password?

  18. Have to add printer every time I reboot
    I am using several shared network printers. There are a few that are always there, always an option when I go to print something. However, there is one that disappears every time I shut down or reboot my computer. All I have to do is go to printers, add a printer, add a network printer, select the right one, etc… But, it would be nice if it were simply always there like the other ones are… How do I do that?

  19. can’t install network printer on my win xp
    I have an win xp and a wireless printer (Canon PIXMA MX922). The Laptop that the wireless is hook to says Pixma MX920 series printer. Everytime I boot up the XP, I get a message that win has detacted a new network device which is the printer. I’ve tried to add the printer but with no luck!! can you help ? The laptop os is win7 home version 64 bit.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.