Need some help setting up your wireless printer? Follow our easy steps to get started
Plenty of printers have wi-fi, which means you can print easily without wires from your laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone.
You don't have to be in the same room, or in some cases the same building, to print from a wireless printer. Most modern models have wi-fi built-in, but if yours doesn’t, there are still ways of making it work wirelessly by connecting it to a router.
But before you can start printing, you must first connect the printer to your home network - all you'll need is a wireless router and a wi-fi printer.
Connect to a wireless network
Printers with colour screens display step-by-step instructions for setting up the wireless connection when you first turn on the printer. They're easy to follow, even if the screen is quite small and you're not overwhelmed with information - you can only progress one step at a time.
If you don’t set up the wireless connection during the start-up process you can set it up later. Look for the wireless set-up 'wizard' within ‘wireless settings’ or ‘networking’ in the printer’s menu.
There’s more that one way of connecting to a wireless network, and you may be offered a few different options for setting up the connection.
Use the WPS pairing button
If your printer and router are both compatible with Wireless Protected Setup (WPS) this should be an option in the printer’s network menu.
If so, when prompted, all you need to do is press the WPS pairing button on your router and the corresponding button on the printer to wirelessly connect the printer to the network.
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This feature is mostly available on most printers and is very easy to use. You can use it if computer is already set up on your wi-fi network.
Select Wi-fi Auto-connect (it may have a different, but similar, name, depending on your model) and the printer looks at the network your computer is on and then uses this information to connect itself to the wi-fi network. It may take a minute to connect, but it quick and done with a press of a button.
Connecting using a network key or PIN
If your printer doesn’t have WPS, you’ll probably have to enter a ‘network key’ – a series of numbers and letters – into the printer using the function buttons and screen on the printer in order to establish the connection between your printer and router.
Provided you haven't changed the password since, the network key will be in your router’s documentation, or on a label on the router.
Set up the connection on your printer
Click the Start button on your Windows PC, then type printer in the search box. Then click Add a printer or scanner.
That launches the Printers & scanners page in the Settings app. Next, click Add a printer or scanner next to the + sign in the right-hand panel of the box that pops up: the wizard will look for your printer's wi-fi signal and walk you through connecting it.
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