Sharing the printer is an effective way to use the resource. Investing in one or a few good-quality printers can satisfy the printing needs of the group or department. You can connect laser printers, plotters, thermal printers, or inkjet printers and offer choices to network users.
To share printers in Windows over the network to other computers, you can allow remote permission to other users.
This can bring about considerable savings in systems administration. There are savings on cables, supplies, and paper when using a network-shared printer. This shared resource can be used by computers that are running on different platforms; Linux, Mac, Windows, and others.
With multiple printers being shared on the network, the cost of a new printer and its maintenance is reduced. The different computers on the network can send print jobs to the printer queue. The server manages the printing jobs. This is a very useful feature when some of the staff are traveling and want to send a document to the office. It becomes a useful resource during work-from-home times such as the COVID pandemic.
Learn how to share printers in Windows with other computers on the network. It is easy and quick to install a printer on Windows 10. Then, allowing the printer to be shared takes a few more changes to the settings.
Commonly, the printer is connected to your PC through a USB cable. Even a wireless printer can be connected to your computer and also the network. A printer can be connected to your laptop and then shared with the network too. The shared printer is available to other computers on the network only when the main computer is switched on.
How to Share Printer in Windows 10 with different Computers
The first step in sharing your printer is to enable it. To be able to enable printer sharing,
- You need to right-click on the Start Menu and select ‘Settings’.
- Select the ‘Network & Internet’ Tab.
- Now select ‘Sharing Options’.
- Click the Network Discovery tab to ‘On’.
- Press the radio button for ‘File and Printer Sharing.
- Select ‘Devices’ in the Network menu and locate the ‘Printers & Scanners’ section.
- Select the printer that is to be shared. If your printer is not listed, then add it.
- Click on ‘Printer Properties’ in the ‘Manage’ button and select the ‘Sharing’ option.
- Save the settings by clicking OK.
While the above steps help in allowing you to share printers in windows over the network, the printer settings on each computer differ accordingly and should be entered correctly.
Procedure to be followed by other computers when you share in windows
Each computer on the network must adjust the settings to use this printer. To do so;
- Right-click on the Start button and select ‘Settings’.
- Press the ‘Devices’ tab
- Navigate to the ‘Printers & Scanners’ option.
If the shared printer is located, you have to manually enable it to be shared. If the printer is not displayed, then you will need to add the printer name and its location by using the ‘Add Printers & Scanner’ button.
Share it in Windows through Control Panel
Another way to share printers in Windows is through the Control Panel.
- You need to open the Control Panel and select the ‘Devices and Printers’ option.
- Click and hold the printer name which you want to share.
- Select the ‘Printer Properties.
- Click on the ‘Sharing’ tab
- Press the‘ Share this printer option.
- You can create a Share Name for the printer as well.
This ‘Share Name’ will be used by the other computers when adding this one to their shared printer list.
How to share the printer via USB
Let us take a look at how to share the printer via USB using a software solution. You need to make use of a software application. Once you have bought the licensed version of the requisite software, install it for your OS. Launch the app and locate your printer on the ‘Devices’ window. Click on ‘Settings’ and set up the printer port and other details. You can then connect it to the network.
If you want to share the printer in windows with another computer via USB, you can do it by adding a common wireless router such as ‘USB Printer Auto Sharing Switch’. With this device, you can connect to another computer to use the printer too. But for this kind of printer sharing, the printers must be in the vicinity and connected via cables.
The USB connector detects a printing job that has been assigned and then connects to that computer that gave the printing order. You can go in for a 2 port or 4 port USB wireless router. Ensure that the drivers are updated. Select the ‘Network and Sharing’ option in the Control Panel. Click on ‘File and Printer Sharing. Once you locate the printer, select it, and select ‘Share this printer.
How to share a printer over the laptop
To share a printer over the laptop, use the Control Panel.
- Select Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change Advanced Share Settings.
- Go to ‘Turn on Network Discovery.
- After saving these changes, again use the Control Panel to navigate to the ‘Hardware and Sound’ option.
- Select ‘Devices and Printers’ and ‘Add a Printer’.
- Once you have run the Add Printer Wizard, Enter the ‘Add a Network or Bluetooth Printer’ option.
- Select the ‘Select a Shared Printer by Name’ tab and press the connected printer.
- Create a Name for the printer and now you can share a printer in Windows.
How to share a wireless printer?
Set up the printer for the wireless network. While setting up the wireless printer to be shared on the network, place your printer and computer close to the wireless router. Typically it will be able to detect your network and the installation happens on its own. If it does not automatically detect it, look for your Wi-Fi network and select it. Enter your Wi-Fi password and enable it.