Why can't a computer find a printer

"Resolving printer problems in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Connect the printer

If you're running Windows 10, see Fix printer problems in Windows 10 for more information.

When you connect a printer to your PC or add a new printer to your home network, you can usually start printing right away. Windows supports most printers and you usually don't need to install special printer software. If you are using Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, additional printer support and drivers are available through Windows Update.

How to install a printer

Most of the time, all you have to do is connect a printer to your PC to set it up. Simply plug your printer's USB cable into an available USB port on your PC and turn on the printer.

For wireless printers running Windows 8.1:

Note:If you have a new wireless printer and have not yet added it to your home network, see the printer's instructions for information on how to add it. Visit the printer manufacturer's website for more information and to get the latest software for your printer.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings and then on Change PC settings. (If you are using the mouse, move the pointer to the lower right corner of the screen and then up. Click Settings, then click Change PC Settings.)

  2. Tap or click PC and devices and then on equipment. If your printer is installed, it will be found under printer displayed.

  3. If the printer is not listed, tap or click add device, and then select your printer to install it.

How to install (add) a local printer

  1. click on the Start button and then in the start menu devices and printer.

  2. click on add Printer.

  3. In the Add Printer Wizard, click Add a local printer.

  4. Set on the side Select a printer port sure the button Use existing connection and the recommended printer port are selected, and then click Further.

  5. Select on the side Install the printer driver select the printer manufacturer and model, and then click Further.

    • If your printer is not listed, click Windows Updateand wait while Windows searches for additional drivers.

    • If none are available and you have the installation CD, click Diskand go to the folder where the printer driver is located. (See the printer manual for more help.)

  6. Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Complete.

Tip:You can print a test page to make sure the printer is working. If you installed the printer but it doesn't work, check the manufacturer's website for troubleshooting information or driver updates.

How to install a network, wireless, or bluetooth printer

When adding a network printer in the office, you usually need the name of the printer. Contact the network administrator if you cannot find it.

  1. click begin the Start button, and then click on the Start menu devices and printer.

  2. click on add Printer.

  3. In the Add Printer Wizard, click Add a network, wireless, or bluetooth printer.

  4. From the list of available printers, select the printer that you want to use, and then click Further. (If your computer is connected to a network, only printers listed in Active Directory for your domain will appear in the list.)

  5. When prompted, install the printer driver on your computer by clicking install driversclick.If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  6. Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Complete.

Tip:The printers available can include any printer on a network; B. Bluetooth and WLAN printers or printers that are connected to another computer and shared in the network. You may need permission to install some printers. You can check that the printer is working by printing a test page.

Note:After you've installed your printer, you can use Windows 7 automatic driver updates to keep it up to date.

Troubleshoot printer problems

Checking the hardware status (first action)

Make sure that the printer's power cord is plugged into an electrical outlet and that the printer is turned on. If you are printing to a shared printer or a printer on a network, make sure all required computers and routers are also turned on. If a printer or other device is plugged into a surge protector or alternative power supply, make sure that hardware is also plugged in and turned on.

If you are using a wired printer, make sure the printer cable is securely connected to the printer and the PC.

For wireless printers, check the radio link. Verify that the printer's wireless option is enabled and available. Many printers have a button that shows a blue radio icon when radio connections are available.

Next, test the printer's wireless connectivity. For information, see the instructions that came with your printer or the printer manufacturer's website.

Use a troubleshooter

A troubleshooter is an automated tool that can automatically find and fix PC problems. Use the printer troubleshooter to troubleshoot problems installing or connecting to a printer.

Update drivers

Most printers will only function properly if driver software is used. If you recently upgraded from one version of Windows to another version, the current printer driver may be for the previous version of Windows. If you have recently had a power failure, a virus or other computer problem, your drivers may have been corrupted. These problems can be resolved by downloading and installing the latest drivers for the printer.

There are three ways to deploy and install a driver:

  • Use Windows Update. A more recent version of your printer driver may be available in Windows Update.

  • Install software from the device manufacturer. For example, if you came with media with your printer, that media might contain software that installs a driver for your printer.

  • Download and install the driver yourself. You can search for a driver on the manufacturer's website. Use this procedure if Windows Update cannot find a driver for your printer and the printer did not come with software to install a driver.

For Windows 8.1

To print web pages using Internet Explorer, click the button Extras, choose To press off and then again To press. You can also see how the page will look when printed by selecting Print Preview. Alternatively, print pages using CTRL + P.

If you only want to print an image on a page (rather than the entire page), right-click the image, then select To press out. In the Print dialog box, choose again To press out.

For Windows 7

To print web pages in Internet Explorer, press Crtl + Pand select one of the installed printers to print.