Connecting your printer for the first time on your Windows 11 PC? It’s very easy to get started
If you just bought a new printer or want to connect your old one to your new laptop, then you’re in luck. Windows 11 makes the installation process easy. Most printers are plug-and-play, so as soon as you plug it into your USB port (or USB dock) on your laptop, you’re good to go. But if this does not work as planned, or if you encounter problems, we will see how to add a printer to Windows 11.
How to add a printer in Windows 11 via USB
To add a Windows 11 printer to a USB network, you will need a few things. Yes, a printer is needed, but you’ll also need a USB cable, like the one included in the box. You should check to see if your laptop or PC has a powered USB port. Most printers connect to a PC with a USB-A connector, although some use the newer USB-C connector. If your PC doesn’t have a USB-A port, you should consider a USB port. All that said, here are the steps:
- Turn on and connect your printer to a USB port on your PC or to a docking station or dongle.
- Your PC should recognize and add your printer. If not, continue to the next step.
- Open Windows 11 settings with Windows Key + I. Next, select Bluetooth and devices.
- Select Tools > Printers and scanners.
- If your printer was successfully added, it should be listed. If not, you can select the Add Device button and try again.
- Double-click the downloaded driver to install it, and Windows should recognize your printer.
If you are still having trouble connecting your printer, you should go to the manufacturer’s support page, and enter your serial number or model number to find the driver.
Add a printer to Windows 11 on the network
If you are adding a network printer that is connected to a Wi-Fi or Ethernet port, the process is the same. Repeat steps 3-5 from the previous step, making sure your device appears in the list. If it doesn’t work, select Add Manually and follow the steps below.
- Click Select a shared printer by name and browse for the printer under your Network tab.
- If you know the IP address of the printer, select the second option and enter the IP address.
- If your printer is a Wi-Fi printer, select the Add Bluetooth, wireless, or network-enabled printer option. This method will search for the device on the Internet, and it should be added.
That’s all you need to know about adding a printer to Windows 11. Once your printer is added, you can click its name under the Printers and Scanners page to manage it. You can open a parent line, print a test page, run problems, and more.
A printer is just one accessory for your PC, though. If you are a student, we invite you to check out our guide to the best student supplements.