Section 51. Connect to a Shared Printer

51. Connect to a Shared Printer


Verify Workgroup Membership and Access Network Neighborhood

About Accessing Network Resources

You can take advantage of your WiFi workgroup by sharing printers on the network. Sharing a printer allows users on the network to use a single printer, negating the need to buy a printer for every computer on the network. After users on the workgroup connect to a shared printer, the printer can be configured on their computers and accessed as needed in the future from applications on the computer. Although the Windows XP Help system suggests that you install the new remote printer using the Printer and Faxes window (accessed from the Control Panel), it is easier to connect to a shared printer "visually" by opening your workgroup from the My Network Places window and accessing the shares for a particular computer, in this case the computer that is sharing the printer. You can then connect to the printer directly in the workgroup computer's window.

Connect to Shared Printer

Open My Network Places

To open the My Network Places window, click the Start button and then click My Network Places.

Access Workgroup Computers

Click the View workgroup computers link on the left side of the My Network Places window to view all the computers in your workgroup that are currently connected the network.

Access Shares on Workgroup Computer

After the icons for the workgroup computers appear in the workgroup window, double-click the computer that is sharing the printer to which you want to connect. The shared resources (the folders and printers) for that computer appear in the window.

Connect to Shared Printer

Right-click the shared printer icon and select Connect from the context menu. A message box appears, letting you know that a printer driver will be installed on your computer so that you can print to the shared, remote printer. Click the Yes button in the message box to install the printer driver. The driver is installed, and the printer is added to your Printers and Faxes configuration screen, which you can access from the Control Panel.

Print Using the Shared Printer

You can now print to the printer from any application on your computer. If this is the only printer configured for your computer, it will be designated as the default printer, and all your applications will print to the printer by default. If you have another local printer installed on the computer, you can print to either it or the newly connected (installed) workgroup printer. From most applications, select File, Print to open the Print dialog box. From the Printer Name drop-down list box at the top of the dialog box, select the printer you want to use (whether the local printer or the remote, shared printer) and click OK to print. If you want, you can designate the shared printer as your default printer in the Printers and Faxes window.


In some cases, the printer driver will not be downloaded to your computer automatically from the computer that provides the shared printer. A message might appear, explaining that the driver could not be copied and requesting the location of the CD or other media that contains the software driver for the printer. If this happens, you will need to install the driver on your computer using the original CD or floppy disk that came with the printer. After you have installed the driver, you can print to the remote printer. To test the printer, right-click the printer's icon in the Printers and Faxes window (open this window from the Control Panel) and select Properties from the context menu. On the General tab of the Properties dialog box, click the Print Test Page button. A test page should be printed on the printer. If you do not get a printout, make sure that the printer is online and connected to the computer that is sharing the printer. If you are still having trouble printing, delete the printer from your Printers and Faxes window and follow the steps provided in this task to reconnect to the printer.

Home Wireless Networking in a Snap
Home Wireless Networking in a Snap
ISBN: 0672327023
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 158
Authors: Joe Habraken © 2008-2017.
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