How to Connect a Printer to a Computer

How to Connect a Printer to a Computer. These instructions apply to connecting parallel port printers to PCs. The process for Macintosh serial printers and Mac and PC universal serial bus (USB) printers is very similar.

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Position your printer. If you have a laser printer, allow a few inches of space on all sides for ventilation. Ink-jet printers don't require ventilation.

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Buy a bidirectional, IEEE 1284-compliant parallel printer cable. (Printers rarely come with cables. See "How to Buy a Printer Cable," under Related eHows, for more information.)

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Shut down the computer, but leave it plugged into the surge suppressor.

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Compare the connectors at the opposite ends of the cable.

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Attach the 25-pin end of the cable to the parallel, or printer, port on the computer. (The plug will go in only one way.)

Step

Tighten the hand screws securely.

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Connect the other end of the cable into the printer's socket.

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Latch the retaining clips (on most printer ports).

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Plug the power cord into the printer and into the surge suppressor.

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Turn on the printer.

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Install cartridges according to the printer manufacturer's instructions.

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Turn on the computer.

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Install printer driver software according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Add the printer to the list of printers your computer recognizes (see "How to Add a Printer," under Related eHows). On a Macintosh, just select the new printer in the Chooser.