Printer Sharing: Across Windows 7 Machines

So I don’t want to buy a wireless print server just so I can print from my laptop or PC in another part of the house. How to enable printer sharing in Windows is pretty basic stuff. But I did it so might as well write about it. Got some screenshots this time too. Makes the posts a little less bland. Remember, I’m working with Windows 7 PC’s. If you have XP or Vista, you will see something different.

I used to have to bring my laptop to where the printer is and plug in the usb. I know, such a drag. Sometimes I bring the printer over to my other PC, obviously because the printer weighs less and only has two wires. Finally, I said to no one in particular, “Screw this, I can share the printer over the network”.

There are really only two steps. First, you enable the sharing on the computer that is always connected to the printer. Second, you add the network printer to the computer that you’re on most of the time. Important Note: The computer connected to the printer must be on when you print. I don’t need to explain why, do I? Because that computer basically acts as the print server. Without it, you can hit print on your other computers and watch paint dry. Not fun.

Alright. So how did I enable printer sharing on the computer plugged into the printer?

Devices and Printers

Step 1: Navigate to the Devices and Printers window. You can reach that via the Control Panel or press/click on the Home button and choose from the list. It’s not hard to find at all. You should see something like the image I have to the right.

I own an HP Deskjet D2600 and it is on and plugged into the computer I’m working with. You should have that same check mark outlined by a green circle on your printer.

Step 2: Right click on your printer’s icon and select Printer Properties. Click on the Sharing tab and check the box labeled ‘Share this printer’. The share name can be anything you want as long as you’ll be able to recognize it easily. Check, type, check then hit Apply and OK. The printer and this computer are set.

Printer Properties

Now go to your other machine, be it laptop or desktop. You’re not limited to just one. You can share this printer with as many devices as you can. But for this post, I’ll just tackle Windows 7.

Step 3: On your second computer, make your way to the Devices and Printers window again. Click on the ‘Add a printer’ option right at the top. Another window will pop up.

Add Printer

Step 4: The Add Printer Wizard will start. Choose the second option for the network printer. Remember the Share Name that you went with in Step 2? The Wizard will give you a list of available network printers for you to add. Select the Share Name of the printer you set up on your other computer. At the end of it, it will ask you if you want to print a test page.

Network Printer

I did. You probably should too. When you hear that familiar printing noise from a few meters away, you’ll know that your work is done. Rinse and repeat steps 3 and 4 if you want to share the printer to other Windows 7 devices.

These steps worked for me. It should for you. If not, pull up your favorite search engine and start looking. That’s not to say I don’t welcome comments and questions. I do. If I know the answer, I certainly will share.

Ciao for now!


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