Tips for Adding Printers in Windows 7

I recently ran into a driver problem when attempting to install a printer in Windows 7. The printer had previously been installed in Windows XP (on the same machine) and was working fine, but after upgrading to 7, Windows would detect the printer on the network, but not print!

inkjet printer

The printer was an older HP inkjet printer, and with the install disc nowhere to be found, the next logical step was to attempt to download the drivers directly from the HP website. However, upon searching for the printer model from the website, HP recommended using their software diagnostic utility to auto search and install the latest printer drivers and utilities (there were no direct driver downloads located on the website).

Upon installing and running the HP utility, it was able to detect the printer and run it’s processes. However, even after using the utility and restarting, the printer still would not function, although it was still being recognized by the Windows 7 operating system.

Next, I tried using the Windows 7 built-in printer support function, which ended up solving the problem, while also turning out to be an ultra simple way to install printer drivers without having to use a disc or manually download specific drivers from the vendor’s website.

To install printer drivers the easy way within Windows 7, start by clicking the Start button and entering the search term print into the Search programs and files box. Windows will return several relevant results, but the listing to choose is the Add a printer selection, which will bring you to the following screen:

Windows 7 Add a Printer

The first step is quite simple, select Add a local printer if you are using a direct printer setup or select Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer if you are using a printer that is wireless or connected to the network.

If adding a wireless or network printer, the process is very simple and Windows does most of the work. Once selected, Windows will automatically scan the network for any connected printers, automatically list them, and guide you through the rest of the install process.

Add Printer

However, if adding a direct printer, there are a few less obvious steps that you’ll want to configure. So, if you chose the option Add a local printer, you should be presented with the following screen:

Choose a Printer Port

Select an according option, either Use an existing port: or Create a new port:

If adding a network printer with a specified IP address, you will want to click to select the option Create a new port: and select Standard TCP/IP Port from the context menu. The next page gives you the option to enter the IP address and setup the printer.

Type a printer IP address

Of course, if the printer is already configured and connected to a computer, then you can simply utilize the Use an existing port option, and select the port from the menu.

That’s basically all there is to it. This article lists several ways to get started with adding printers in Windows 7, and once you’ve selected the correct configuration for your printer setup, Windows pretty much takes care of the rest of the installation process.

Normally, it would be best to directly download the most recent printer drivers from the printer manufacturer’s website, but in some cases where the vendor doesn’t supply drivers, or their drivers aren’t working, or even if you’ve misplaced the install disc that came with the printer, you can often times use the built-in Windows 7 functions listed above to get your printer and drivers up and running.

Thank you for stopping by the site for today’s post. If any of our site visitors or subscribers are having trouble getting their printer setup in Windows 7, you can leave a comment and I will try to help. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *