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Windows 7 - How to Install a Printer

Windows 7 provides a number of ways to connect a printer. In the home, most printers are connected directly to the computer using a USB cable. Older printers and computers usually use the parallel or serial port and, while Windows 7 still supports this, few newer computers and printers use such a connection. Another way of connecting a printer is over a network. This is particularly popular in offices, although there are also network-enabled printers for home use. Installing a network printer is useful if you have more than one computer in your home, since you can print from any computer connected to your home network. Follow the steps below to learn how to install either a local or a network printer on your computer.

1 – Installing a Local Printer
If you have a newer printer, you'll likely have one which connects to your computer via a USB port. Installing a USB printer is quick and easy. All you need to do is connect it and Windows will detect it automatically. Windows will also install the drivers for your printer if they are available. If they are not available, you should insert the driver CD which came with your printer and go through the installation wizard provided.
Connecting a printer to a parallel or serial port needs to be done manually. Ensure that the printer is connected to your computer and turned on before continuing.
Open the start menu and click "Devices and Printers." At the top of the window, click on "Add a Printer." Click "Add a local printer." Ensure that "Use an existing port" is selected and choose the port which your printer is connected to. If it is a parallel port printer, choose the LPT1 printer port. If it's connected to the computer via a serial connection, you'll usually be using the COM1 port. Click "Next" to continue.
In the next page, choose your printer model from the list and click "Next." If you can't find your printer in the list, you may need to provide an installation CD and click "Have Disk." Alternatively, you can click on "Windows Update" to search for a driver online. Continue through the installation steps and click "Finish" once the drivers have been installed.

2 – Install a Network Printer
Open the start menu and click "Devices and Printers." At the top of the window, click on "Add a Printer." Choose "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer." Wait for Windows to scan your network for available printers. If your printer is properly connected to the network, it should appear in the list. Select it and click "Next."
Windows will attempt to automatically install the driver if they are available. If, however, there are no drivers available, you will be prompted to install one yourself. You'll need to have the driver CD which came with the printer or, alternatively, you can download the latest drivers from the manufacturer's website. Once the driver is installed, click "Finish."


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