How to Connect a Laptop to a Wireless HP Printer

Updated April 17, 2017

A laptop computer is great if you want to break free from your desk and use your computer anywhere in the house. With a home wireless network, you can browse the Internet from anywhere in the house. A wireless printer lets you cut the final tether from your desk. Once you have connected your laptop and your Hewlett-Packard wireless printer, you'll be ready to truly compute without wires.

Ensure that your wireless card and router are on and that your laptop is plugged in. If your computer runs OS X, skip to Step 3. Insert the HP installation CD. When the CD menu appears, click "Install Network/Wireless Device" and follow the on-screen prompts.

Let the computer search for the printer on the network, then click "Next." Connect the USB cable to the computer and printer when the computer prompts you. Follow on-screen prompts. Skip to Step 4.

Connect the USB cable. Open the HP installation CD, then double-click on the "HP Installer" icon. Follow the on-screen prompts.

Disconnect the USB cable when the computer prompts you, then open a document and print a test page.

Make sure your computer's wireless signal and your printer are on. An ad hoc network is a direct connection between your computer and the printer, using the printer's built-in wireless transmitter, so no wireless router is required when using this method.

Open your computer's list of available wireless networks. On a laptop running Windows 7, this list is available by clicking on the "bars" on the righthand side of the taskbar.

Select and connect to the network named "hpsetup." Open a document and print a test page.


If you bought your printer used and it is still configured for the previous owner's network, you can reset it to its factory default settings by one of the following methods. Hold down the printer's "radio tower" button while pressing the "resume" button three times; or open the printer's control panel, press the "set-up" button (a wrench icon), then select "Network Setup" and then "Restore Network Defaults."


If using a Windows laptop, do not connect the USB installation cable to your computer until prompted. Connecting the cable too early can cause the printer software to install improperly.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop running Windows or OS X
  • Wireless router (not required if printing via an ad hoc connection)
  • Installation CD (included with your printer)
  • USB cable (included with your printer)
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About the Author

Andrew Cockerham is a world traveler and perpetual student with He has been writing since 1999. His work has appeared in "The Gadfly," an annual literary journal, and "Spectrum." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Walla Walla University.