How to Add a Printer to a Laptop

By Catherine Johnson

Adding a printer to your laptop is a simple process. Printers come with unique driver and installation software that is particular to the printer brand and model number. Because printers are often used by multiple computers, most printer manufacturers have made it easy for users to access the software necessary for installation. You can also easily add a printer to a laptop by connecting with a shared printer on a network.

Step 1

If you have you have the installation CD that came with your printer, insert it into the CD-drive of your laptop and complete the installation process.

Step 2

If you do not have the installation CD, go to the printer manufacturer's website and find the support section for your printer model number. Download the driver for your printer and install it onto your laptop.

Step 3

Once you have installed the driver and software for your printer, plug the printer cable into your laptop's USB port, and the laptop should immediately recognize the printer.

Step 4

If the printer you want to add is attached to another computer on the same network as the laptop, you can share the printer without actually adding it. Go to the computer that the printer is attached to. Click the "Start" button, select "Control Panel," then select "Network and Internet" and click "Network and Sharing Center." Click the arrow next to "Printer Sharing." Select "Turn On Printer Sharing" and then click the "Apply" button. Make sure the shared printer is turned on.

Step 5

Go to your laptop and click the "Start" button. In the search box, type "\\" and the name of the computer with the attached shared printer (for example, enter "\\mydesktop"). Click "Enter."

Step 6

In the folder that opens on your screen, double-click "Printers." You should see the shared printer on your network. Double-click the shared printer. Windows automatically adds it to your laptop and installs the driver software. Click the "Next" button. The printer is successfully added to your laptop and should be visible in your "Printers" folder.