How to Install a Printer on a Laptop

By Maya Walker

Installing a printer on a laptop is similar to doing a printer installation on a desktop. The drivers for printers are unique and vary by manufacturer and model. If you purchase a new printer or want to replace a printer that is already installed, you must go through installation before the printer can be used on your laptop. By following the installation prompts carefully and connecting the cables correctly, you can install a printer on a laptop in a few steps.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable
  • Printer power adapter
  • Printer installation disc

Step 1

Connect the printer to your laptop with a USB cable. Depending on the printer you purchased, the USB cable may or may not be included. If you have to purchase a cable, the most commonly used USB cable is the A to B.

Step 2

Connect the printer's power adapter to the printer. Plug the other end of the power adapter into a wall outlet. The printer should automatically power on once the power adapter is connected. If not, power the device on.

Step 3

Insert the installation disc into the laptop's CD-ROM. The installation disc contains the drivers necessary for the printer to operate with your computer.

Step 4

Follow the installation prompts. Read each prompt before proceeding to the next. During the installation, you will be guided to set up a folder for the printer's drivers and to set your preferences for the printer.

Step 5

Set the printer as the default printer. Go to the Control Panel from the Start menu on your laptop. Double-click the Printers icon. Right-click the icon for the printer you installed and select "Set as default."

Step 6

Register the printer. Most printers prompt its users to register the printer with the manufacturer. For warranty purposes, it is a good idea to register the printer.

Tips & Warnings

  • In most cases, the drivers for the printer can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website if the installation disc is lost.
  • The USB cable and power adapter for the printer can be purchased at an electronics store. Check which cord you need before making a purchase. Some printers use a 4 pin USB cable instead of an A to B USB cable.
  • Some installation programs do not require that the printer is plugged in before installing the drivers. Refer to the instruction manual for the printer to determine if you should plug it in before or after the installation of the drivers.

References & Resources