How to Add a Printer to Windows 11

You can do this manually or have Windows do it automatically

What to Know

  • Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners > Add device.
  • Select Add device to install the printer automatically.
  • Choose Add manually for manual installation options.

This article explains how to add a printer to Windows 11. A printer can be added manually or automatically, so both sets of directions are provided.

How to Add a Printer to Windows 11 Automatically

If Windows can identify the printer automatically, installing it takes just a couple of minutes and there's not really anything you have to do except click a few buttons.

  1. Open Settings. One way to get there is by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Settings.

  2. Navigate to Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners.

  3. Select Add device, wait a few seconds for Windows to locate the printer, and then select Add device next to the one you want to install.

    Add device button for printers and scanners highlighted

    Have an older printer? It probably won't show up in the list, so choose Add manually instead, and then My printer is a little older. Help me find it to search for it. For more help adding a printer that isn't listed, see the manual instructions below.

  4. Wait while the printer gets installed. It'll show up in the list with any other printers and scanners you're already using.

How to Manually Add a Printer to Windows 11

If your computer isn't recognizing the printer automatically, you can try to add it manually.

  1. Open Settings, and go to Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners > Add device.

  2. Wait a few seconds while Windows attempts to locate the printer automatically. When you see the Add manually link, select it.

    Add manually link for printers in Windows 11 highlighted
  3. There are several options here, depending on your situation and how you plan to connect to the printer.

    All five options work for wireless or network-attached printers. If your printer is attached locally/directly to your computer, choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings, and then Next.

    Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings message highlighted, and Next highlighted
  4. Choose the port the printer is attached to, and then select Next.

    If it's connected via USB, select it from the list. There are also options for parallel (LPT) and serial (COM) ports.

    Choose printer port drop-down menu with printer port and Next highlighted
  5. Next are your options for installing the printer driver. If the printer came with a disc that includes the driver, select Have Disk to browse for it. Otherwise, choose Windows Update.

    Install the printer driver Windows Update button with Have Disk and Windows Update highlighted
  6. Wait while Windows populates a list of options. You'll see a screen with the message Windows is updating the list of printers. This might take a few minutes.

  7. Choose the printer's manufacturer from the left column, and then the model from the right column. Select Next.

    Printer manufacturer and model lists highlighted along with Next
  8. Name the printer, and then select Next. This can be anything you want, since it's just for your reference.

    Printer name text box highlighted along with Next

    If you see a screen asking which version of the driver to use, select Replace the current driver. However, if you're confident the installed driver is correct, choose Use the driver that is currently installed.

  9. Wait while the printer is installed in Windows 11.

  10. Choose Do not share this printer, and then select Next. Unless, of course, you do want to share it with other devices on your network, in which case select Share this printer and fill out those details.

    Windows 11 Printer Sharing options with Do not share this printer and Next highlighted
  11. You should now see a success page. Select Print a test page if you want to test the printer, otherwise choose Finish to see the printer in your list of devices.

FAQ
  • How do I add a wireless printer to Windows 11?

    To add a wireless printer to a Windows 11 PC, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners > Add device, then select Add a printer or scanner. Select your printer and click Add Device. If Windows 11 doesn't find your printer, select The printer that I want isn’t listed, then choose the option for Add a Bluetooth, wireless, or network discoverable printer.

  • How do I add a network printer in Windows 10?

    To add a network printer to Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners and select Add Printer or Scanner. Windows 10 will display nearby printers; select your printer and follow the on-screen prompts. If your printer isn't listed, click The printer that I want isn't listed, choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings, and follow the prompts.

  • How do I add a wireless printer in Windows 10?

    To add a wireless printer to Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners and select Add Printer or Scanner. Wait for Windows 10 to find your wireless printer. If it doesn't, select The printer that I want isn't listed, choose Add a Bluetooth, wireless, or network discoverable printer, and follow the prompts.

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