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

What to Know

  • Wi-Fi: Start > Settings > Windows Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners > + > Select device > Add device.
  • Wired: Connect the printer to your computer with a USB cable.

This article shows how to connect a printer to your Windows 10 computer. Unlike its predecessors, Windows 10 automatically downloads and sets up everything you need.

How to Connect a Wireless Printer to Windows 10

Setting your printer up to connect with Wi-Fi network makes the printer accessible wirelessly from anywhere within the network. Follow these steps:

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

    Follow the manufacturer's instructions to connect your printer 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
George Morgan / EyeEm / Getty Images

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.

Do I Need to Download Software or Drivers?

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

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