How to Fix Two Printers on a Network Registering With the Same IP Address
By Jeff Grundy
Shared printers enable your business to reduce costs and save space in the office. Nevertheless, one printer may not be enough if users often print many documents. Connecting a second printer to your network shouldn’t cause issues if using a router. However, if you have no router, or if you assign permanent IP addresses on the network, conflicts between printers can occur because many models share the same or similar default IP settings. When network conflicts between printers occur, you must change the IP address of one of the printers.
Retrieve IP Range Information
Open a Web browser on one of the network computers and navigate to the control panel login page for the router. If you don’t know the IP address of the router, or its default login credentials, refer the user guide or manual for the device.
Log in to the router control panel with the username and password.
Click the "Status," "Connected Devices," "Network Devices" or other similarly named tab or menu option in the router control panel. Note the IP address range for devices connected to the router. In most cases, the address range should begin with "192.168.0" or "192.168.1," but the range could differ for your router.
Determine the highest IP address value used on the network. For instance, if the router is connected to six computer and two printers, and uses a prefix of "192.168.0," the IP address for the devices should range between "192.168.0.2" and "192.168.0.1" – assuming that "192.168.0.1" is the IP address of the router itself. Using the sample network and router, the highest IP address in the range would be "192.168.0.9." Consequently, you will need to configure a static IP address for one of the printers with a higher value. To avoid potential conflicts on the network, you could use "192.168.0.50" as the static IP address for the printer. Using an IP address with a significantly higher value enables you to add more computers to the network.
Resolving the IP Address Conflict
Go to the printer for which you want to change the IP address – it does not matter which one you choose.
Press the "Menu," "Settings" or other similar button on the printer control panel. Use the arrow keys to navigate or "+" and "-" keys to navigate to the network settings menu option. Depending on the type of printer you use, the menu option may be "Network Settings," ""TCP/IP," "Network Utilities," "IP Configuration" or something similar.
Press the "OK," "Continue" or "Enter" key on the control panel to enter the network settings sub-menu. Scroll down to the "Static IP" or "Reserved IP" option, and then press the appropriate "OK" or "Enter" key.
Select the "IP Address" option and press "OK" or "Enter." Use the keypad on the printer to enter the IP address you selected to use when determining the IP address range from the router. If the printer does not have a numeric keypad, use the arrow keys to select numbers to enter in the field. Press the "OK" or "Enter" key to save the IP address for the printer.
Press the "OK," "Enter" or "Save" key to save the changes to the network configuration. Power off the printer and then turn it back on again. The printer should now be accessible on the network and should no longer conflict with the other printer.
Items you will need
Router user guide
Printer owner's manual
If both of the printers use permanent, or static, IP addresses change the settings on one of them to receive an IP address dynamically via DHCP from the router. Using the DHCP feature enables the printer to receive a new IP address every time you power on the printer or restart the router. Alternatively, set both printers to receive IP address automatically via DHCP, if you want them both to have temporary IP addresses that change when you restart the devices. To set up the printers to receive IP addresses automatically, simply disable the static IP address option in the menu settings and reset it to "DHCP," "Automatic" or "Dynamic."
Most small office and workgroup networks use "255.255.255.0" as the value for the default Subnet Mask address setting. This seldom changes in most applications, so you should not have to change the default Subnet Mask setting for the printer. Nevertheless, if your router displays an alternate Subnet Mask value for the IP range for some reason, you must change the setting on the printer as well. The Subnet Mask value setting for the printer should be in the same sub-menu as the one used to change the IP address value. To change the Subnet Mask value for the printer, use the number or arrow keys to change it just as you would for the IP address.
Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.