How to Assign USB Printers to LPT Ports

by Jedadiah Casey

Many older DOS and command-line programs were designed before the USB standard was invented. Before USB, most printers used a parallel port to connect to the computer. Older programs are unaware of USB and can only use parallel port printers. Microsoft Windows features a workaround for this situation by allowing a shared printer to be mapped to an internal virtual LPT port through the command line. You can assign USB printers to virtual LPT ports with the "NET USE" command.

Step 1

Click the Windows "Start" button.

Step 2

Right-click "Computer" and then click "Properties." Make a note of the computer name.

Step 3

Click the "Start" button, and then click "Device and printers."

Step 4

Right-click the USB printer, and then click "Printer properties."

Step 5

Click the "Sharing" tab, and then click "Change Sharing Options."

Step 6

Click to check "Share this printer," and then type in a share name. Click "OK" to save the setting.

Step 7

Click the "Start" button, and then type "cmd" (without quotes). Press "Enter."

Type "net use lpt1: "\\computername\sharedprinter" /persistent:yes" (without quotes around the outside). Replace "computername" with the computer name noted earlier, and replace "sharedprinter" with the shared printer name set previously. Press "Enter."


About the Author

Jedadiah Casey started writing professionally in 2007, with articles published in "The Flagler Times" newspaper. He has more than 20 years of experience with computers and networking. Casey holds a Bachelor of Science in information systems from the University of Central Florida, as well as professional industry certifications.

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