How to Add a Printer

By Techwalla Computers Editor

When you add a printer, you tell your operating system that you have a certain kind of printer attached to your computer or available over a network. Even if you've hooked up the printer correctly, you still need to add it in the operating system to use it. These instructions are for Windows 98. Instructions for other operating systems or versions may vary.

Things You'll Need

  • Printers
  • Printer Paper
  • Microsoft Windows

Step 1

To add a printer, first follow your printer's instruction manual to assemble your printer and connect it to your computer. When you are ready to install the software, have your printer's CD-ROM or floppy disk handy.

Step 2

Open the Start menu and choose Settings, then Printers.

Step 3

Double-click on Add Printers.

Step 4

Follow the instructions provided by the Print wizard. If you're adding a network printer, be sure to find out its name or network path. To make sure you're using the most recent printer driver, insert your printer CD-ROM or floppy disk when asked. You can also choose a preinstalled driver that matches the printer make and model you're trying to add, but it might be older than a driver that came with the printer. (If you're installing a networked printer, ask your system administrator if there are newer drivers available on the network.)

Step 5

When prompted, indicate whether you want to use this printer as the default. If you have only one printer, you will say yes. If you have two, you must choose which one is to be the default.

Step 6

When asked if you want to print a test page, it is a good idea to say yes.

Step 7

When satisfied, click Finish to complete the installation process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Windows 98 provides an excellent Troubleshooter that you can use if your printer doesn't work properly. Access it from the Start menu Help command.
  • From time to time, the company that made your printer may issue new software that your printer uses to communicate with the computer. This software is called a "printer driver." The easiest way to upgrade your printer driver is to download the new driver from the company's Web site when it is made available. Follow the installation instructions that will be provided.