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Connecting a printer to Windows 10: Tips and troubleshooting

Microsoft tried to make setup processes much easier with Windows 10 — including the infamous printer setup. Now that it’s automated, hooking up a printer in Windows shouldn’t pose a problem – especially with our guide. However, since this is the real world, we’ll also talk about what to do if your printer connection fails. After all, it happens to the best of us.

Connecting your printer automatically

For the average user, connecting a printer in Windows should be a snap, especially since the streamlined process relies mostly on auto-detection and printer identification. When it works right, the setup should only take a minute or two. Remember to start with the basics, however. Make sure that both the printer and your computer are turned on, and that you’ve activated their wireless capabilities. Most printers have an LED logo that lights up when the system is looking for or connected to Wi-Fi. Once the printer successfully connects to your network, head over to Windows 10.

  • First, head to the Start menu and select Settings. Then, look for a logo labeled Devices and select it.
  • Devices will take you to a window with a drop-down menu that allows you to manage a variety of computer accessories. The first option should be Printers & scanners. Select this.
Add Printers & Scanners
  • In the Printers & scanners menu, look for the first option, which says Add a printer or scanner. Select this option and Windows 10 will start looking for any printers or scanners that are connected to your network.
  • After the search is done, Windows 10 will show you a list of the available printers. Double-check your name and model number if necessary, and then select your printer from the list.
  • Windows 10 does most of the work from here. You will be prompted by a few instructions when it comes time to name your printer and set it up, but most of the hard work automatic. You should be able to print a test page within a minute or two.Searching for devices

However, you might be thinking, “what if I don’t have a wireless printer?” That’s okay! Find the right cable connection to hook up your printer to your computer — it’s usually a USB connection. Connect your printer directly to your Windows 10 computer… and then sit back. Windows 10 should then connect to your printer, download the latest drivers, and get you ready to print a test page without you needing to lift a finger.

Related: The best 3D printers under $1,000 let you get creative without going broke

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