There are a few options to connecting a printer to your computer. Three ways stand out ; Network, wireless or directly to your computer. The one you select will depend on how your office at home or work is set up. Limited space means utilizing a book shelf or end table. Of course, it will depend on the environment. Studio apartments, a home office set up in the kitchen, RV or small trailer does not offer a lot of options to set up a printer.
Placement of your printer is important. Where you place the printer will depend on the size, space of your office or home and how far you want to walk to pick up the printed sheets. Another factor in placement is the length of your plugs and USB cable. Though the USB cable will not matter if your printer is wireless. Stability should also be considered. A wireless set up allows you to be in the other room on your laptop computer and printing documents.
The printer can be installed via a network set up. Using a wireless network router provides the ability to connect to the printer without connecting directly to your computer. If your desktop computer has wireless capabilities, the printer does not have to sit close. A wireless network router works when there are two (or) more computers in a household or office and only one printer.
Once you decide on which installation will work best for your situation you should be ready to install your printer on your computer. First, set the printer up according to the manufacturer's directions. Ensure the ink cartridges and printer head, if required are installed properly. Place the printer on a stable table or shelf. Do not plug in the power cord, yet.
You have two choices to make and your decision depends on the Windows operating system on your computer. Pre-Windows 7 it is wise to turn of the plug-and-play option. Not all printer drivers were packaged with Windows 98, XP or Vista. You can install the software, plug in the printer, and Windows would begin trying to install the “unknown” driver. After installing the printer, you can choose to turn on the plug-and-play feature again.
To let Windows install your printer, power it up, plug the USB cable into the printer. Windows will begin seeking a driver best suited to your printer. This works best when the driver is older than the version of Windows. This happens frequently with the newer versions of Windows. This will not work if your printer is connected via a network router, wireless or not.
To install your printer via a network, ensure the printer is connected to the network router. Check the connection to your computer. Using “Devices & Printers” select “Add Device” at the top of the window. Windows 7 will search for the device. You may want to get a cup of coffee, sometimes it can take a few minutes to search. If Windows cannot find the printer, another dialogue window should open asking you want device you wish to connect. Check to see if the printer is listed. If not, use the disk to install the printer.
The wireless printer requires a place free from electronic interference. Set up the printer following the directions and plug in the power cord. Following the previous tips, allow Windows 7 to find your printer and install it to your computer. Again, if your computer cannot find the printer, use the software disk or visit the website to download the correct drivers and software.
Printers may sit for a few months prior to your purchase. In this case the drivers and software available with your printer may be out of date. This happens frequently with Windows 7. Visiting the printer manufacturer's website is beneficial in two ways. First you register your new printer and set up an account. Second, you download the updated version of the drivers and software from the site. Follow the directions for installation.
Installing the printer to your computer is fairly straightforward.However, there are times you run into complications. In this case the troubleshooter provided by many manufacturers on their websites is invaluable.
Sources and Citations
Windows: Install a Printer
PC World: Install a Printer
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