Connecting to a Shared Printer from Another Computer

Once you have set the printer to be shared on your home network, you’re half-way done.

Leave the host computer (the one to which the printer is connected) turned on. This is necessary because no other computer can see the printer nor print to it, unless the host computer is turned on.

Now, go to one of the other computers.

On that computer, go to the Printers and Faxes window (Start, Control Panel, Printers and Other Hardware, Printers and Faxes).

Under the Printer Tasks list, click on Add a printer, which will start the Add Printer Wizard. This is the same wizard that you’d use to install a parallel printer. Most USB printers have their own install routines that do not use this wizard.

Tech Tip
When you install a USB printer, read its installation manual very carefully. Many USB printers (and other USB devices) require you to install a program from their CDROM first, before you connect the printer to your computer.

Since we’re looking for a network printer, select "A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer" and click on the Next button.

The easiest step at this point is to Browse for a printer. Select Browse and then click Next.

The next window will list the computers on your network and the printers that Windows XP has already found. If you don’t see the printer listed, double-click on the name of the computer to which you connected the printer. Select the printer and click Next.

Now, you’ll get a warning message that Windows is geting ready to set up the printer — and that it will get any necessary printer driver from the other computer. Click “Yes” to continue with the installation of the remote printer.

You’ll get a chance to make this printer your default printer. Pick Yes or No. Click Next.

Then, click the Finish button to finish the installation process.

I have seen some combination printer/fax/scanner models that required installing all the regular software on each computer that wanted to share the printer. I had to install the software, connect the all-in-one using a USB cable, and then complete the installation. At that point, I could disconnect the computer from the printer and access it remotely via a wireless or wired network connection.

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