There is a variety of reasons why you might prefer to use a wireless printer over a wired one. It is easier to set up, you won’t need to clutter your desk with extra cables and, as the printer doesn’t need to be physically attached to your PC, you get more freedom as to where you want to place it. Wireless printers also tend to be more compact — and, with the devices becoming more and more affordable, they are a popular choice for both offices and home desks.
While you won’t need to use cables to connect a wireless printer to your PC, there is still a set-up process to go through.
Not sure how to add a wireless or network printer in Windows 10? In this article, we go over the specific steps you will need to follow to successfully install a wireless printer on Windows 10.
How to add a wireless or network printer in Windows 10?
Once you have selected and purchased a wireless printer, you will need to connect it to your PC. The process does not differ significantly from connecting a wired printer — but you will be saving time by skipping right through all the cable work.
Here’s how you can install a wireless printer on your Windows 10 PC:
- Use the Win+Q key combo to bring up Windows Search.
- Type “printer.”
- From the list of results, select Printers & Scanners.
- Now, turn on your wireless printer.
- Follow the instructions in your wireless printer’s manual to connect the device to your local Wi-Fi network.
Note that the specific steps for connecting your printer to a wireless network differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, and it is recommended that you follow the directions in the manual exactly.
- Go back to your PC and click Add a printer or scanner.
- Select “printer” from the results.
- Finally, click Add device.
Your wireless printer should now be successfully connected to your Windows 10 PC, and you can start using it.
However, occasionally, problems may arise. One of the most frequently occurring errors is that, for some reason, Windows may not be able to locate your printer. To fix the problem, you can try to connect your wireless printer to your Windows 10 PC manually.
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Here’s how to do that:
- Open Windows Search by pressing the Win+Q key combo.
- Look for “printer.”
- Click Printers & Scanners in the list of results.
- Choose Add a printer or scanner.
- Now, click The printer that I want isn’t listed.
- Choose Add a Bluetooth, wireless or network discoverable printer.
- Click on the connected printer.
If you still can’t see your wireless printer, double-check that it is turned on and make sure that your printer and computer are on the same local network.
Note that there is a feature in Windows 10 that will try to set the wireless printer that you have most recently connected to the network as default. This means that the system will remember that printer you have connected when on a specific network and use it automatically. If you want this feature turned off, you will need to do the following:
- Go to Windows Search (press Win+Q ).
- Enter the word “printer” and select Printers & Scanners from the results.
- Find Let Windows manage my default printer and toggle it to the off position.
- Now, choose the printer you want to set as default from the list of available devices.
- Click Manage and press Set as default.
You should now be good to go: your wireless printer is connected to your PC and set as your default printer
If more errors arise during the process, the problem may lie in outdated system drivers and you will need to address that issue first.
In order to keep your system running smoothly and prevent any potential errors, we recommend keeping your drivers up-to-date. You can always do that manually, but the process would take quite a bit of time and, when done incorrectly, can lead to more system errors. Auslogics Driver Updater can take on this task by regularly scanning your computer for potential driver issues and updating your system drivers in just one click.
Do you prefer using wired or wireless printers? Share in the comments below.