How to Hook Up a Wireless Printer to a Wireless Laptop

By Aubrey Kerr

Wireless printers have become popular options for homes and small businesses, and it only takes a few minutes to set up the connection between your wireless laptop and wireless printer. Your wireless printer will be either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In some cases printers have both capabilities. If you have a home wireless network you can print over Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you'll be printing with Bluetooth. Check the system requirements for your wireless printer to make sure your laptop can connect before you begin.

Step 1

Verify the printer is turned on. A wireless network printer is already connected to the Wi-Fi network. If it's a Bluetooth printer, make sure the printer is discoverable. Follow the instructions in your printer's user manual to check these settings.

Step 2

Insert the printer installation CD into your laptop and install the software provided. This tells your laptop how to communicate with the printer.

Step 3

Open a document to print and click on the "File" menu. Open "Print," which opens a print dialog box. Choose "Add Printer" from the drop-down list under "Printer."

Step 4

Go through the "Add Printer" dialog boxes. You may be prompted to enter a wireless network password if your printer is on a Wi-Fi network. You may also be prompted to locate and install the printer software you downloaded earlier.

Step 5

Pair the laptop and the printer if you're printing over a Bluetooth connection. The "Add Printer" wizard will walk you through this. You may need the printer's default pass key from your user's manual to complete the process.

Step 6

Print the test document you opened. Make sure your laptop is within range of the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal when you print.

Tips & Warnings

  • Set up your connection over either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but not both.
  • According to HP, Bluetooth range is only 30 feet compared with Wi-Fi's range of 300 feet. Keep physical distance in mind when printing wirelessly. Move your laptop closer to the printer when printing via Bluetooth.