How to Hook Up a Scanner to a Laptop

by G.K. Bayne

You can hook up a scanner to a laptop in the same way that you do with a desktop computer. Most modern scanners are connected through an available USB port; older scanners are hooked up through the parallel, or printer, port. A scanner will allow you to take a printed document or a photo and make an image file on your computer that can then be edited or transmitted electronically. Some scanners come with OCR software so that a printed document can be imported into a word processing file to be edited. Almost all scanners come with image-editing software.

Plug in the connecting cord to the scanner and the laptop. Plug in the power cord to an electrical outlet.

Boot up the laptop if it is not already running. Watch the screen for the "New Hardware Found" prompt. If this is shown, follow the directions given to install the necessary drivers.

Insert the scanner installation software disk into the CD or DVD drive. The setup installation should begin automatically.

Follow any on-screen instructions you are given. This will load the drivers and any additional software in the proper directories.

Reboot your laptop, if prompted.


  • check If you do not have the installation disk, the drivers for the scanner can be downloaded from the manufacturer or from Some versions of Windows will not require the driver disk, as the drivers for the scanner may already be in the driver database that comes with Windows. If you have a docking station for your laptop, the scanner can be left plugged into the station for use at any time. Not all scanners will operate under all versions of Windows. Older scanners may not operate under Windows XP or Vista, while newer versions may have problems with Windows 2000 or Windows 98.

Items you will need

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