IT Tips

Add a Printer to Windows 11 Automatically or Manually

How to Automatically Add a Printer to Windows 11

If Windows can identify the printer automatically, installing it takes just a few of minutes and there’s not really anything you have to do except click a few buttons. A printer can be added manually or automatically, so both sets of directions are provided.

  • Open Settings. One way to get there is by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Settings.
  • Navigate to Bluetooth & devices Printers & scanners.
  • Select Add device, wait a few seconds for Windows to locate the printer, and then select Add device next to the one you want to install.
  • Wait while the printer gets installed. It’ll show up in the list with any other printers and scanners you’re already using.

    Add a Printer to Windows 11 Automatically
    Photo: Pixabay

How to Manually Add a Printer to Windows 11

If your computer isn’t recognizing the printer automatically, you can try to add it manually.

  • Open Settings, and go to Bluetooth & devices Printers & scanners > Add device.

  • Wait a few seconds while Windows attempts to locate the printer automatically. When you see the Add manually link, select it.

  • There are several options here, depending on your situation and how you plan to connect to the printer.

    All five options work for wireless or network-attached printers. If your printer is attached locally/directly to your computer, choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings, and then Next.

  • Choose the port the printer is attached to, and then select Next.

    If it’s connected via USB, select it from the list. There are also options for parallel (LPT) and serial (COM) ports.

  • Next are your options for installing the printer driver. If the printer came with a disc that includes the driver, select Have Disk to browse for it. Otherwise, choose Windows Update.

  • Wait while Windows populates a list of options. You’ll see a screen with the message Windows is updating the list of printers. This might take a few minutes.

    Choose the printer’s manufacturer from the left column, and then the model from the right column. Select Next.
  • Name the printer, and then select Next. This can be anything you want, since it’s just for your reference.
  • Wait while the printer is installed in Windows 11.

    Choose Do not share this printer, and then select Next. Unless, of course, you do want to share it with other devices on your network, in which case select Share this printer and fill out those details.
  • You should now see a success page. Select Print a test page if you want to test the printer, otherwise choose Finish to see the printer in your list of devices.

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