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How to Share Any Printer on a Network (Windows Vista)

Many people are unaware that you do not require a wireless or network ready printer in order to share it with other people in your home/office. Literally any printer can be shared on a network as long as it is connected to a PC/laptop via USB cable and the computer itself is turned on. The process of sharing a printer is pretty easy and will only take a few minutes of your time.

Sharing the Printer from the Attached PC/Laptop

First of all we need to enable the sharing of the printer across your network, so other users can easily connect to it. Please take the following steps from the computer in question:

  1. Click the Start icon from the bottom left corner of your screen. Now click Control Panel, then Network and Internet (if applicable), and finally Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Printer Sharing. From this drop down menu select Turn on printer sharing and click Apply.
  3. From the same window click the down arrow next to Password protected sharing and make sure Turn off password protected sharing is selected. if not select it and click Apply.

Finding the Printer on Another PC/Laptop

Now that the printer is actively being shared, the next step is to find and add the printer on any computers that require access to it. Please take the following steps from the computer in question:

  1. Click the Start icon from the bottom left corner of your screen, then Control Panel, then System and Maintenance (if applicable), and lastly click System.
  2. Make note of the Computer name listed in this window. In the example below it is “StockPC”.
  3. Click the Start icon again and type \\ into the search bar followed by the name of your computer (eg. \\StockPC) and press enter.
  4. Your PC will then open a folder for the specific computer. Double-click Printers to open a list of available printers.
  5. Double-click the desired printer and your computer will install the printer and any available drivers.

Please Note: If your computer is unable to locate drivers for this printer we recommend downloading drivers from the manufacturers website.

The printer in question will now be available on this PC/laptop when you come to print.

I hope this guide has helped. If however you have any questions or anything to add please let me know in the comments below.

About the author

Matthew Stevenson

I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have been an employee of Refresh Cartridges since early 2009. I am a dedicated family man, gamer, music fan and friend to all. I write the majority of the content here on Igloo and am responsible for its upkeep.

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Copyright © 1999-2014 Refresh eCommerce Ltd, Company Registered in Cardiff Reg 3747805, VAT GB 819 3265 18
Refresh eCommerce Ltd, Unit 3, Longpark, 163 Newton Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 7AL
Phone: 01803 449 339, Fax: 01803 500056