How to add a printer to a laptop

Updated April 17, 2017

Laptops running Windows 8 can automatically detect printers and add their management software to the operating system. This will create a printer icon in your printer folder and will also make that printer available from the drop down list of printers in any Print option of Windows-compatible software. Some printers come with additional print centre software which creates an application on your desktop for managing the printer. However, as long as the printer is recognised by Windows, you don’t need these extra features in order to print.

Swipe to the right on your Desktop to get the charms bar to pop out from the right. Click on the magnifying glass at the end of the Apps search bar to get up a list of all the applications available on the computer. Click on “Control Panel.”

Click on “Devices and Printers” in the list of functions in the Control Panel. You will find it in the last column of functions if you have your display set to “Small icons.” This will open up a new panel.

Select “Add a printer” in the top border of the Devices and Printers panel. This action will bring up a pop-up window. You will see a message saying “Searching for available printers.” You will see a list of available printers in the main panel of the pop-up window.

Click on the printer you want to install. Click on the “Next” button. Windows 8 comes with a lot of printer drivers already bundled into it. If it already has the driver for your new printer, it will ask you whether you want to use the one of file or install a new driver. You can assume that the one Windows already has is the same as the one on your installation CD. Click on the “Use driver that is already installed” radio button.

Give the printer a meaningful name. For example, you could name it by its location. Click on the “Next” button.

Nominate “Do not share this printer” if you have the printer directly connected to the laptop. There is no point going through the extra steps to create a network printer definition if you do not have a network. If you want to share it over a network click on the second radio button in this screen and give the printer a shared printer name. Click the next button.

Elect to print out a test page in the final screen of the installation wizard. This will enable you to confirm that the printer has been correctly added to your laptop.

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About the Author

Stephen Byron Cooper began writing professionally in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computing from the University of Plymouth and a Master of Science in manufacturing systems from Kingston University. A career as a programmer gives him experience in technology. Cooper also has experience in hospitality management with knowledge in tourism.