Printer Sharing for Windows XP
Printer sharing is a great tool when you have several computers but only one printer. With printer sharing, you can have your printer connected to only one computer, and allow all computers on the network (computers connected to the router) the ability to print to the printer. Not only will computers that are hardwired into the network be able to print, but also if you have a wireless router, those computers with wireless cards both desktops, and laptops can print “wirelessly” to the printer as well. Your Windows XP based computer has everything you need to do this already built in.
Share the Printer
You will need to get onto the computer that has the printer connected to it. On that computer, simply go to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes.(You may have to enable classic view in order to view this icon) Here you will see a listed of installed printer imaging devices attached to your computer. If you have more than one printer attached to the computer, such as an inkjet printer and a laser printer, you will see a black circle with a white checkmark; this indicates which printer is set as the default.
Right click on the printer that you want to share, then click on properties. When the new window appears, you want to click on the “Sharing” tab at the top of the window.
You will notice two radio buttons, you will want to click the radio button that says “Share this printer”. Once that button is pressed, the “Share name” box will automatically appear with a name that will refer to your printers shared name. I would recommend changing this to your printer brand with a space and then its model number, for example BROTHER 7820. Once your printer has been shared, and given a shared name, click apply at the bottom of the window.
Connect to the shared printer.
Once the printer has been shared, you can now get onto your other computer that you want to be able to print from. Now we need to install the printer on the computer that it is not connected to.
On the computer that is not connected to the printer, go to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes. In the blue pan to the left, you will see a box that the top that says Printer Tasks, and below that is Add a printer. Click on Add a printer, and this will show the Add Printer Wizard, and click next at the bottom of that screen.
On the next screen, you want to select the option “A network printer or printer attached to another computer”, and click next.
The next screen asks, what printer do you want to connect to, and keep the option selected on Browse for a printer, and click next. Now, if you properly shared your printer in step 1, it should appear with the name that you gave it, and the printer that it is connected to. Simply select the printer, and click next. The computer will now attempt to install the drivers for your printer, if it does not have the drivers available, you will need to download them, or insert your installation cd, and point the installer were to find the printer drivers. Once the drivers have installed, you will see a screen asking if you want this new installed printer to be the default printer, it more than likely will be.
Test the printer
Since you have now connected to the shared printer, you should test the connection and make sure everything is installed correctly.
Go again to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes and right click on the shared printer you just installed, and click on properties. You will see a button just above the Ok and Cancel buttons, which says Print Test Page. Go ahead and click on that, and it as long as everything is setup properly, you will have a test page laying in your printers output tray.
This tutorial is meant for Windows XP, Windows Vista is slightly different, and requires the user to add a local port, and manually type in the path to the shared printer. The Windows Vista printer sharing guide will be added soon.