How to Add a Printer to Windows 10

Install any printer quickly and easily

Add printer: Windows 10

Panos Sakalakis / Unsplash

Adding a printer to Windows 10 is straightforward, although the process differs for wired versus wireless devices.

Since Windows 10 supports most printers, you probably won't need to install special software for your device.

How to Add a Printer to Windows 10: Network

A network printer connects through your local network, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Before you connect to your printer, turn it on and join it to the network.

You might need permission from an administrator to install a shared printer, such as one on your company's intranet.

  1. Go to Start > Settings.

  2. Select Devices.

    Screenshot of Windows 10 Devices
  3. Select Printers & Scanners.

  4. Select Add Printer or Scanner.

    Screenshot of Printers & Scanners in Windows 10
  5. Wait while Windows 10 searches for nearby printers.

  6. Select the name of the printer you want to add, then follow the on-screen instructions to install the printer onto your computer.

  7. If the printer you want to use doesn't appear in the list of available printers, choose The printer that I want isn't listed.

    Screenshot of The printer that I want isn't listed
  8. Choose the option that corresponds with your printer and select Next.

    Screenshot of Add Printer dialog
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to install your printer.

How to Add a Printer to Windows 10: Local

When you set up a new local printer, connect the power cord as well as a USB cord, with which you connect it to your computer. Cable connections often automatically initiate driver installation. If prompted, you will need to download and install specialized printer software and driver. Then you can add it to your computer.

  1. Type printers into the Windows Search box.

  2. Select Printers & Scanners under System Settings in the search results list.

    Screenshot of Printers & Scanners Windows 10
  3. Select Add printers or scanners. Wait while Windows 10 searches for nearby printers.

    Screenshot of Searching for printers & scanners
  4. Select the name of the printer. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the printer onto your computer.

Windows 10 Can't Find Local Printer

If Windows 10 is unable to recognize a printer connected by a USB cord, try the following troubleshooting steps.

Connect the USB cable directly to the computer. Using a hub or docking station could prevent a solid connection.

  1. Shut down the computer.

  2. Turn off the printer.

  3. Restart the computer.

  4. After the computer is reboots, log back into Windows then turn on the printer.

  5. Attempt to install the printer. If Windows still does not recognize the printer, continue troubleshooting.

  6. Disconnect the USB cable from both the printer and the computer.

  7. Reconnect the cable, ensuring that it is securely connected to both devices.

  8. Attempt to install the printer. If Windows still does not recognize the printer, continue troubleshooting.

  9. Plug the USB cord into a different USB port on the computer.

  10. If Windows still does not recognize the printer, try using a different USB cable, as a damaged cord will prevent you from securely connecting the printer to your computer.