How to Connect a Laptop to a Shared Printer

By Ruri Ranbe

You can share a printer through Devices and Printers, accessible from the Start Menu.
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Businesses can use homegroups -- a collection of one or more computers connected to the same network -- to share files and devices across workstations in the office. Once a printer is connected and installed to a particular computer, it can be shared with other PCs within range. Windows 7 includes a wizard that automates the installation of a shared printer on a laptop; all you need to know is the name of the printer and name of the workstation to which the printer is connected.

Click "Start | Control Panel | Network and Internet | Network and Sharing Center." Select "Change Advanced Sharing Settings" from the left pane.

Click "Home or Work." Select "Turn on Network Discovery" and then click "Save Changes."

Select "Control Panel Home" from the left pane. Click "Hardware and Sound," then "Devices and Printers." Choose "Add a Printer" from the toolbar to run the Add Printer wizard.

Click "Add a Network, Wireless or Bluetooth Printer." Select "The Printer That I Want Isn't Listed."

Choose "Select a Shared Printer by Name." Click "Browse." Double-click the computer to which the printer is connected.

Click the target printer and then click "Select." Click "Next." Create a name for the printer, or use the default name. Click "Next."

Deselect "Set as the Default Printer," if preferred. Click "Finish" to install the printer to the laptop.


The computer must be connected to the homegroup to detect and connect to the shared printer. Click "Start," type "homegroup" and then press "Enter." Select "Join Now," if available, and follow the on-screen prompts to add the laptop to the homegroup.