How to Connect a Printer to Your Computer with Windows 10

You have a few ways to get your computer and printer to work together

Unlike previous versions of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 10 makes it extremely easy to install new printers and scanners to your computer with only a few clicks. While older versions of Windows required you to download the necessary drivers, Windows 10 will automatically download and setup everything you need to get your printer up and running.

Do I Need to Download Software or Drivers?

While some manufacturers do offer additional software that can be downloaded with to use with your printer, typically no extra software is needed to to get everything up and running. Additionally, while drivers used to be downloaded manually, Windows 10 will automatically download everything needed to get started.

Man using computer printer
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How to Connect a Wireless Printer to Windows 10

If your printer offers a wireless capability, you can set it up to connect with your home or office Wi-Fi — this makes the printer accessible wirelessly from anywhere within the network. Additionally, using a printer's wireless function typically means that only one cable that needs to be connected to your printer is its power cable.

To determine whether or not your printer has wireless connectivity, be sure to check your instruction manual. Additionally, your printer will need to be connected to your Wi-Fi network before the following setup steps begin. Be sure to first connect your printer using the instructions provided in the box with your printer.

Otherwise, visit the manufacturer's website for more information — see provided manufacturer links at the bottom of this article for assistance.

  1. Ensure that your printer is powered on and connected to your Wi-Fi network.

    Your printer must be connected to the same network as your Windows 10 computer.

  2. On your Windows 10 PC, open the Start Menu (Windows logo icon) from the lower left corner of your screen.

  3. Select the Settings (small gear icon) on the left side of the Start Menu.

    Start Menu Settings
  4. In the Windows Settings window, select the Devices option.

  5. On the left side of the window, select the Printers & Scanners option.

  6. On the right side of the window, select the (+) button to add a new printer.

  7. Windows 10 will now search for all printers and scanners on your network and then display them in a list. Once your printer is displayed by its model number, select it and press Add device.

    Add new printer
  8. Windows will now establish a connection to your printer and install all necessary drivers for it to function. When complete, the printer will say Ready.

How to Connect a Wired Printer to Windows 10

If your printer doesn't offer wireless connectivity, or you merely wish to use a wired USB connection, just plug it into your Windows 10 computer. Unlike a wireless printer, no setup is truly needed unlike in past versions of Windows. Once you plug in a USB printer, it will automatically be set up within Windows.

Close-up of hand plugging in USB drive
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Common Printer Resources

For more information on your particular printer, you will want to check with your device's manufacturer. A printer manufacturer's site will likely contain how-to manuals, manual drivers, and additional software that may aide your device. For your convenience, we have provided the support links for the most common printers below.

Troubleshooting Printer Problems

If you are having trouble with your printer, whether it is unable to connect to your Windows 10 PC or the software isn't working properly, we suggest you begin by checking our troubleshooting guide. Otherwise, reach out to your manufacturer using one of the links above for more support.

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