How to connect WiFi printer to PC
You have finally decided to “retire” your old printer , for which you could not even find the cartridges anymore, and to replace it with a more modern one with wireless support; however there is no way you can get the wireless connection to work. To blame for a breakdown? It’s not for sure.
Although advertised as super easy to use, wireless printers are often not exactly easy to set up for those who are not very familiar with computer science. In fact, it may happen that you have to make several attempts to establish a correct connection between the computer and the latter. In any case, don’t worry: given your difficulty, I can help you connect the WiFi printer to the PC .
With today’s guide, I will in fact show you, step by step, everything you need to do to be able to connect a printer with wireless support to your computer and solve any problems directly during the configuration phase in no time at all. Just carry out some specific steps in the control panel of the devices involved, or through a special program and you’re done. Happy reading and good luck for everything!
- Preliminary information
- How to connect WiFi printer to PC without CD: router
- Printers with displays
- Printers without displays
- How to connect WiFi printer to PC: WiFi Direct
- In case of problems
Before getting to the heart of this guide and explaining, in practice, how to connect a WiFi printer to your PC , let me give you some more information on how this can happen.
Basically, you can choose to act in at least two different ways: by connecting the printer to the home / office Wi-Fi network , thus making it available for all computers (but also for smartphones and tablets) connected to the same network; or take advantage of the Wi-Fi Direct system , thus establishing the direct connection to a single PC (or other device) without the need for a router to act as an intermediary.
The subject of this guide will be to explain how to proceed in both ways: both with the help of a central Wi-Fi network and a router, and via Wi-Fi Direct .
How to connect WiFi printer to PC without CD: router
Having made the necessary clarifications, let’s see together how to connect the WiFi printer to the laptop without using the relative installation CD. Depending on the model of printer you have, you can follow at least two different paths: if your device has an integrated display , you can use the latter to connect to the Internet and later add the printer to your computer via the panel Windows or macOS configuration; or use a special software , to be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, to connect the devices together.
In any case, the steps that I am about to export are also valid for connecting the WiFi printer to the desktop PC , as the procedure to be followed is absolutely identical to that provided for notebooks (provided that the PC has a network card with support Wi-Fi, of course; if not, you may find my guide on the best Wi-Fi adapters for PCs useful ).
Printers with displays
If the printing device in your possession is equipped with an LCD screen or touch-screen display , use the latter (or the physical keys present in its correspondence) to open the Settings or Network menu of the printer, then choose the Network option and open the area dedicated to network configuration or the wireless installation wizard .
For convenience, once the connection to the Internet is established, I recommend that you write down the IP address that has been assigned to you, so that you can use it in case of need: you can find it in the section Settings> Network> About connection (or something of the type).
Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to give you more precise information on the exact menu items to select, as each printing device has a different panel. If necessary, consult the user manual that came with your printer, or Google phrases how to connect [printer make and model] to the internet .
In any case, once the printer is connected to the Internet, make sure that the computer on which you want to configure it is connected to the same Wi-Fi network in use by the printing device and follow the indications that best suit your operating system.
If you use Windows , right-click on the Start button of the operating system (the flag icon located on the left of the taskbar), choose the Settings item from the menu that appears and, when you reach the new window, click on the icon Devices and then on the item Printers and scanners (on the left). If you were using a version of Windows earlier than 10, open the Control Panel instead and click on the Hardware and Sound item , located inside it.
Now, click on the Add a printer or scanner button or on the Add device item , wait for the name of the connected printer to appear on the screen, click on it and complete the connection by clicking on the Add device button . Within a few minutes, Windows should complete the printer setup, installing the most suitable drivers for it.
If the name of your printing device does not appear among the detected devices, click on the link The desired printer is not in the list , select the box next to the item Add a printer using a host name or an IP address and click on the Next button .
Now, set the Device Type drop-down menu to the Automatic detection option , enter the IP address of the printer in the dedicated field, put the check mark next to the wording Query the printer and automatically select the driver to use and press the Next button , to have Windows connect to the printer and finish configuring it.
Regardless of the operating mode you have chosen to use, once the connection is established, type the name to be assigned to the printer in the appropriate text field, click on the Next button and choose whether or not to share the printing device with other network users; to finish, click again on the Next button and print a test page , if you wish, by pressing the dedicated button. To close the configuration window, click on the Finish button and that’s it.
If, on the other hand, yours is a Mac , do this: open System Preferences , by clicking on the resident gear symbol in the Dock bar ; in the window that opens, click on the icon relating to Printers and scanners and start the configuration of a new device by clicking on the [+] button located at the bottom left.
Now, click on the button depicting a printer (called Default ) visible at the top left and wait for the name of the wireless printer to appear in the list of available devices; when this happens, click on it and wait a few moments for the Mac to locate and install the correct print drivers. Finally, click on the Add button and that’s it.
If the printer is not automatically recognized, click instead on the button depicting the globe ( IP card ), enter the IP address of the printing device in the dedicated field and indicate the printing protocol to be adopted, using the drop-down menu of the same name ( leave the default option unchanged if you don’t know what to choose).
Next, assign a name to the printer by typing it in the appropriate field and make sure that the Use menu contains the correct printer driver; if not, click on this last menu and use the search field at the top to enter the model of your printer .
Finally, find the most suitable driver among those proposed, click on its name and then on the OK and Add buttons to install it and complete the printer configuration.
Printers without displays
If your printer does not have a screen, then you will have to do the entire configuration directly from your computer, using the printing device management software , which is almost always available on the manufacturer’s website (or on the Windows and macOS stores).
Before proceeding, make sure that the computer is connected to the Wi-Fi network to be used for the printer and that the printer is turned on, properly started and with wireless connectivity enabled and in a “listening” state. You can easily check this last condition by checking that the LED located in correspondence with the physical Wireless button (usually representing an antenna ) lights up intermittently.
If not, try pressing and holding the physical Wireless buttons and cancel (usually with a red X or a red triangle ), until the LED light starts blinking.
In any case, once you have enabled / reset the status of the Wi-Fi network, go back to your computer and connect to the website of the manufacturer of your printer ; then, access the section dedicated to driver support and download and, after entering the printer model in your possession, use the Driver / Utility section to obtain the dedicated program. In case of difficulty, it gives a look at my guides dedicated to downloading the Epson driver , the Samsung drivers , the Canon driver and HP driver , where you can find all the relevant details.
Once you have identified and downloaded the most suitable software for your device (and the operating system running on your computer), start it and follow the instructions that appear on the screen to finalize the installation of the print drivers.
At the end of this procedure, the program should ask you to carry out the first printer configuration wizard : answer affirmatively to this last request, select the name of your printer among those detected and, when necessary, indicate the Wi-Fi network to connect it to and proceed according to the instructions you receive, to finalize the connection and make the printer operational.
Again, I can’t be more detailed about the precise steps to take, as it all depends on the device manufacturer. What I can do, however, is to explain to you how to connect the HP WiFi printer to the PC , taking into consideration the model in my possession (belonging to the DeskJet 3520 family).
In this case, the printer configuration software is called HP Smart / HP Smart for desktop and can be downloaded from both the Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store : therefore, click on the links I indicated earlier, then on the button to open the computer store (if necessary) and, when the latter starts, press the Install , Download or Get button , in order to download and install the dedicated application.
Now, start the program you just obtained using the appropriate icon that, in the meantime, has been added to the Windows Start menu or to the macOS Launchpad , click on the Continue button and indicate whether or not to share the data on the use of the app with HP, by acting on the dedicated button.
Once this is done, click on the (+) button or on the Add a printer item that appears in the HP Smart window, wait for the device name to appear in the list of those detected (it is almost always identified by the word Configuration ) and press the corresponding box , in order to move on to the next step.
At this point, press the Continue and Yes buttons to authorize the printer to connect to the same wireless network in use on the computer and wait for the message of successful connection to appear: when this happens, press the Continue button , Skip the creation of an account HP by pressing on the appropriate item at the top right and refuses to subscribe to the HP Instant Ink service (which allows you to order consumables automatically, before the ink runs out), by pressing the Continue button , checking the box I am not interested and then clicking on the loot Continue eNo, I don’t want to sign up for Instant Ink .
Now, specify the place and location of use of the printer, press the Continue button again and wait a few seconds for the drivers to be correctly configured. Finally, click on Ignore send for this link and click on the Continue button , if you want to test the operation of the printer using a test page, or on Not now , to close the printer configuration program and access the main HP screen Smart. To learn more, you can check out my guide on how to connect HP printer to Wi-Fi .
Finally here we are! Now, you can finally print wirelessly from your computer , simply by selecting the device you just configured in the print window of any program that supports this latter function.
How to connect WiFi printer to PC: WiFi Direct
As mentioned in the opening words of this guide, you can connect a wireless printer to your PC (or other devices) also via Wi-Fi Direct technology , now supported by most printers with wireless connectivity and which allows you to establish a direct connection between the printer. and device from which to control printing without the need to use a router as an intermediary.
To activate Wi-Fi Direct on a printer equipped with an LCD or touch-screen, reach the menu dedicated to the network or network configuration , open the wireless settings and go to the menu dedicated to the Wireless Direct or Wi-Fi Direct system ; then press the button to activate the connection and note the network key to be used to establish the connection, available in the access, security or password section .
On printers without a screen, however, you can activate Wi-Fi Direct by pressing the appropriate physical button : for example, on HP printers, it depicts two sheets and a smartphone with waves . Once this is done, wait for the relative LED to light up and press the physical information button (often identified by the symbol (i) ) to print a status page, which indicates the Wi-Fi Direct password to use for the connection.
If you can’t activate Wi-Fi Direct by following the steps I’ve shown you so far, try consulting your printer’s user manual and looking there for information.
In any case, once Wi-Fi Direct technology is enabled on the printer, go to the computer and follow the procedure that best suits your operating system: for example, if you are using Windows , open the operating system Settings by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting the dedicated item from the menu that appears; then reach the section dedicated to Devices in the window that opens and click on the item Printers and scanners , available in the left sidebar.
Once this is done, click on the Add a printer or scanner button , then on the Show Wi-Fi Direct printers item (if necessary) and, subsequently, on the name of the printer to be configured, which is usually preceded by the DIRECT prefix ; finally, enter the previously recovered network PIN / key and press the Next button to establish the connection.
On Mac , on the other hand, you have to connect to the Wi-Fi network generated by the printer, exactly as you would for any other wireless network: then click on the multifunction icon (the two levers) in the Mac menu bar, then on the Wi-Fi items> Other networks (the latter only if necessary) and then select the network DIRECT_printer name .
When prompted, enter the network key you retrieved earlier to establish the connection between the devices. From this moment on, you will be able to use the printer configured in this way within any program, as long as the connection between the devices involved is active.
Note : Your computer cannot be connected to other Wi-Fi networks while it is connected to a printer via Wi-Fi Direct.
In case of problems
Although you have strictly followed my instructions, you have not been able to connect the WiFi printer to the PC ? In this case, you have at least a couple of ways to go.
The first is to visit your printer manufacturer ‘s website , access the support section, and take a look at the most common issues, available in the FAQ , Questions & Answers , Common Problems or similar sections . For convenience, use the search field , usually at the top, to specify one or more keywords that can direct you to the most suitable result for your case.
If, even in this way, you cannot solve the problem, you can try to restore the printer’s network status or, again, to restore the device to its factory conditions : I know, it is a rather drastic solution, but often able to solve very quickly all (or almost) the connection problems that could arise.