Connecting a printer to wifi can improve your workflow as you don’t have to deal with pesky USB cables. It is worth the effort, especially if you are working from home.
Apart from convenient printing inside your home, you can also unlock remote access, enabling you to print from anywhere in the world with internet access.
But how can you set up and connect your printer to Wi-Fi with a windows laptop? The process is fairly easy in the Windows 10 operating system than in previous versions of Windows.
If possible, please ensure to install the latest Windows Updates for a smooth and quick installation.
This installation guide works for any wireless printer; although depending upon the manufacturer and printer model, there may be minor variations in the procedure to be followed.
Please note that this printer guide covers the installation of wifi printers through a direct connection to your windows laptop requiring Administrator access.
If you want to install a printer through the local network, you need to learn more about Homegroups and configure your printer sharing before installation.
Steps to Connect WIFI printer
1. Click on the search window or press Windows Key + Q key on your keyboard.
2. Type “Printer” in the window, and you will see the “Printer and Scanners” link in the Best Matches section. Please select the link to open it. Alternatively, you can also reach this window through the Start- Setting – Devices – Printer & Scanner route.
3. Here, you will see a list of already installed printers and scanners. At this point, you need to turn on your printer and refer to the printer manual to connect your printer to your wifi network.
Although it varies widely from manufacturer to manufacturer and printer to printer, you can follow the manual to link your wifi network to your printer using WPS or wifi credentials (same as your windows laptop wifi network).
4. Click on the Plus (‘+’) button beside the “Add a Printer or Scanner” label. It will start searching for new printers on your wifi network.
Select your printer from the list. You need not wait for the searching dialog to complete the search to save time. You can click on your printer name the moment it appears on the screen.
5. Click “Add Device.” Windows 10 will automatically install your plug-and-play wifi printer to your windows laptop. The process may take a few minutes depending upon your processor speed, RAM and wifi network.
6. You have to continue the installation process by clicking the next button many times until you reach the finish button.
The installation process will ask for an administrator password if you do not have Admin privileges to your user account.
Remember that the process is the same for wired printers, but you also need to plug in the printer unit to your laptop by USB.
7. After the printer is installed, it may ask you to print a test page to confirm it is working fine. In addition, some printer models may require you to restart Windows.
Note: Windows 10 supports most printers, and you may not need to install the separate printer software. Windows 10 is smart enough to find your plug-and-play printer. You can often start printing right away when you connect the printer to your wifi network.
However, some manufacturers may require installing the printer software to provide additional scanning functions, troubleshooting, a better interface and new functionality.
In that case, you need to install the application software of your printer and follow on-screen instructions. Sometimes, you need to install printer software first and then follow the steps mentioned above.
Read more: How to connect a printer to Mac laptop.
What If I Don’t See My Printer In The List
Sometimes, Windows may not locate your printer while searching for it due to network issues or previous installations or conflicting configurations. Don’t worry; you can still install the printer manually in windows 10.
You have to run the Windows installation wizard for this purpose. First, click on the link “The printer that I want isn’t listed” in step 4 above.
Next, select the “Add a Bluetooth, wireless or network discoverable printer” option in the wizard, choose your connected printer, and follow on-screen instructions.
Remember, it may ask to supply the printer drivers downloaded from the manufacturer’s site.
If you still do not see your printer, make sure it is powered on properly. Also, both your windows laptop and your printer should be on the same Wifi network.
If the problem persists, you may restart the wifi router, printer and your windows laptop to resolve the issue.