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Adding and sharing a printer in Windows


“I have a printer that I want to share with other users in my organization. How do I go about setting up this printer in a way that will work with PaperCut?”

So you’ve got a printer at your office, school, or home. You know you want to share this printer with other users and devices, but how? Consider this article an introduction to the topic of sharing printers.

To share this printer with other users, you will need to set a Windows computer to act as a “print server”. Then follow the instructions below to set up the print queue and share it with your users. Once you’ve got this in place, you can install PaperCut products like PaperCut NG for tracking print jobs or Mobility Print for simple BYOD printing.

You’ve got this!

Set up a print queue in Windows

Oftentimes you can set up a print queue on a Windows computer by running an installer from your printer manufacturer, but we like the following method.

  1. Designate a Windows computer that will be on most of the time that can share the printer.
  2. On that computer, click Start → Settings → Printers and then double-click on the Add Printer wizard.
  3. Select Local Printer and click Next.
  4. Click Create new port and select Standard TCP/IP Port.
  5. Follow the setup wizard entering in printer details such as its IP address and name.
  6. Test the printer by printing a test page.

Share the printer with other Windows devices

Now to share out your print queue with other Windows users on the network, follow these steps:

  1. After the printer is set up and the printer’s icon appears on the server’s printer list, right-click on the printer and select Sharing…
  2. Share the printer under an appropriate name. We recommend using a naming convention based on physical location.
  3. Now move to another Windows computer where you want to get connected to the printer and do the following…
    1. Click Start → Settings → Printers and then double-click the Add Printer wizard.
    2. Select Network Printer and click Next.
    3. As the printer’s name, enter \\servername\printername where servername is the network name of the server, and printername is the name given to the printer in step 2. above.
  4. Test by printing documents on the workstation. If you have PaperCut NG installed, you should now see these print jobs recorded in the Job Log.

What about non-Windows devices?

The above method works great for printing from a Windows client to your Windows print server. But what if you need to share printers with other types of devices like Macs, Chromebooks, Android tablets, or iPads?

In that situation, we recommend installing PaperCut Mobility Print (which is 100% free by the way) to make your printer accessible to all those other device types.

Video demonstration

The video below demonstrates how to add a PaperCut managed Network Printer in Windows.

On the topic of “network printers”

When it comes to setting up printers for use with PaperCut, we like networked printers. A “network printer” is any printer with an Ethernet port or that can connect to WiFi, as opposed to just USB.

When this article was originally written, many printers had USB or serial ports (D-shaped 9 pin connectors!). Back then it wasn’t a given that a printer had a network connection, although just about any printer you buy nowadays will have an ethernet connection or even WiFi.

Network printers offer more flexibility than direct-connect printers such as USB printers. For example, a network printer can quickly be moved to a new location without any need to reinstall the printer on a new system.

For more information on the printers that are supported by PaperCut, have a look at our article Supported Print Drivers for NG and MF.

Categories: How-to Articles , Print Queues

Keywords: network printer , networked printer , ethernet printer , jet direct


Last updated February 15, 2024