How to Connect a Printer to Wi-Fi

Print wirelessly via Wi-Fi

What to Know

  • Power on the printer and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. You'll need the Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password.
  • Your computer has to be on the same Wi-Fi network for wireless printing.
  • On iOS, you can use AirPrint to print wirelessly, and Android lets you choose a default printer.

This article explains how to set up wireless printing for computers, smartphones, and tablets and test a wireless printer.

How to Set up a Wireless Printer

The first step is to connect the printer to Wi-Fi, so any device on the network can print to it, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

  1. Place the printer within range of the wireless router.

  2. Power on the printer. Because you'll connect to the wireless network from the printer, you don't need to connect the printer to a computer.

  3. Connect the printer to the wireless network. The process for this varies depending on the printer make and model. You'll need to know the Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password for all methods.

    Specific directions to connect your printer to the network should be in the box. Usually, it's a simple process of powering on the system and connecting to the network through the printer interface or a companion app on your computer or mobile device.

  4. Your printer is now available for use as a wireless printer. However, you're not done. Make sure the printer is connected to the devices that will use the printer wirelessly.

How to Set up Your Mobile Devices to Print Wirelessly

Now that the printer is connected to the network, it's time to set up the device you want to print from.

How to Test Your Wireless Printer

The final step is to test your wireless printer setup to make sure it's correct.

  1. Open a document or file on your computer or mobile device.

  2. Select Print, as appropriate. 

  3. Select the wireless printer (or service, such as AirPrint) in the printer list.

    If the printer doesn't appear in the list, restart the printer or the mobile device. If you continue to experience issues, refer to the printer manufacturer's website for help.

  4. Select OK or Print, and the document or file prints after a short delay. 

The Advantages to Wireless Printing

Wireless printing is convenient, whether you're at home, work, or school. Here are a few of the benefits of wireless printing.

  • Printers for every budget: The major printer manufacturers include Wi-Fi in their printer models, often at all price points. You can buy a wireless printer for less than $50.
  • Print from anywhere: With cloud printing solutions like HP ePrint, you can print wirelessly to a printer in another physical location. (Typically, to print wirelessly, the device and the printer must be on the same network.) It makes it easier for people to print because it eliminates the need to install the printer and its drivers beforehand. You can also print from any device connected to the same network.
  • Eliminate extra cords and cables: A wireless printer only has a power cord attached to it, eliminating the extra wires. You can set it up in a suitable location, and it frees up a USB port on your computer that you can use for something else.
  • Save on energy and paper costs: Instead of having multiple printers set up wherever anyone needs to print, you can centralize printing to a single wireless printer. You could save on paper, toner, and ink costs because everyone might think twice before printing.

Most new printers connect to any wireless network. So you can print from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For most people, wireless printing refers to Bluetooth-enabled printing or Wi-Fi printing. Both allow you to print without connecting any cables between your device and the printer.

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