Windows 10: Microsoft Quick Start, Connect to a Network Printer

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Quick start guide for info workers  Quick Start guide for info workers

Where’s the !#%@&? printer?!

Here it is: Start > Settings > Devices > Printers and scanners.


The printers your PC knows about

Know where the files go

If you’re always in the same office using the same printer, this is a helpful feature to turn on.

If you move around a lot, avoid surprises by turning this feature off so you don’t try to send files to a printer somewhere else.


What if the printer you want isn’t listed?What if the printer isnt listed 1

Let’s walk through the options.

  1. Select this Plus Sign Icon
  • We’ll search your network for more printers.
  1. If the search comes back empty, select thisWhat if the printer isnt listed 2
  • You’ll see some choices we’ll discuss for the next few pages.





You’ve got a lot of options here

Which ones are the best for you can depend on the size of the business you’re working for. If you work for a large corporation with thousands of people, it’s likely that the printers are joined to the corporate network and, under normal conditions, you should‘ve been able to find the one you want. So before trying anything else with the software, go check the physical printer to see if the power is on, it’s warmed up, and ready to go by making a quick copy of something. If you’re in a small or medium-sized business, you’ve probably already checked all that because it’s not as far to walk. 😉

When you’re at the printer, see if its name (or maybe its IP address) is taped to it or pinned above it. Jot that down before you go back to your PC. When at your PC, do this:

Try the default optionYouve got a lot of options here

Even when the printer doesn’t seem that old, it can pay to try this.


If the default option came up empty and you’re in a medium or large organization, you might be able to search for a printer based on your location. If you’re in a small business in a single location, you probably won’t see this option listed.

  1. Search by location, if availableYouve got a lot of options here 2

Select Next to see a way to browse by building.


To connect, double-click

Or press and hold the name of the printer that appears in this list.


  1. Browse to see locationsYouve got a lot of options here 3

If you’ve got multiple floors, buildings, or cities, this can help narrow your choices and show you the name of the printer you’re trying to connect to.


If the default search didn’t find the printer and you don’t have the option to search by location, try searching for it by name.

In large companies, the “computername” shown in the examples is likely the name of the server that many of the printers in your location are connected to. If you’re not sure what this is but you know the name of another printer in the organization, you can try that server name here. But if you don’t know the name, you’re probably not going to be able to guess and you’re going to need ask someone, such as a coworker who has connected to the printer or your IT folks.

In a small business, the name might be the name of a PC that’s in a room with the printer. As it goes with a large business, if you don’t know, you’re going to have to ask.


Type the nameYouve got a lot of options here 4

Take a careful look at the examples given because the direction of the slashes matters.

Select Next.


If you’re in a medium or large business and nothing has worked so far, it’s likely that you’re going to have to contact your IT department and ask for help. If their response is to give you only the printer’s IP address (or hostname) to go on, that’s OK—they’re actually being really helpful—because you’ll just need to paste it into a box and you’re done.

Select this and then NextYouve got a lot of options here 5






Enter the address and then select Next.Youve got a lot of options here 6






A small- or medium-size business might have a Bluetooth wireless network printer. If you know that your office has a wireless printer, do this:


Select this and then NextSelect this and then next youll kick off a search for..

You’ll kick off a search for wireless printers that you can then select and try to connect to.


One thing a small business (which in this case means fewer than 100 devices on the network) can try is to manually add a network printer. Here’s how:



Select this and then NextSelect this and then next






Select Use exisiting port and then…Select use existing port and then

Expand the list, pick a printer that begins with “WSD-” (and then a long number), and then select Next.

If there are a lot of “WSD-” entries in the list, you’ll have to ask someone in your organization which one to choose.


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