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For Seniors: Connect a Wireless Printer to Your Laptop

A wireless printer connects to your laptop either through a technology called Bluetooth, which requires devices to be next to each other or, if you have access to a wireless network, using Wi-Fi (available to devices within 50 to 100 feet or so). Here’s a rundown of things you should be aware of when setting up your laptop to connect to a wireless printer:

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are short-range wireless connections (meaning you have to be near the printer to connect to it).

  • To use a Bluetooth-based wireless printer, you may have to connect a Bluetooth transmitter to a USB port on your laptop. This transmitter is a small device about the size of a stick of gum that transmits a signal to your printer. If you have a Wi-Fi–enabled laptop, you can skip this step.

  • You should run through the procedure in the previous task to set up the printer in Windows Control Panel and install any required drivers. After you click Advanced Printer Setup in the Hardware and Sound window, click the The Printer That I Want Isn’t Listed link, and then choose Add a Bluetooth, Wireless, or Network Printer in the first dialog box that appears and follow the instructions.

  • The Add a Printer wizard walks you through the process of pairing your laptop and printer; you may need a passcode (provided with your printer) for this.

  • After you’ve installed the printer, you should be able to print just as you would with any other kind of printer, but without the hassle of extra wires littering your desk.

If you run into a problem, check your wireless printer’s instructions for help.

If you own a printer with Air-Print capability, you can print directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device. See your printer’s user manual to find out whether your model has this capability and how to use it.

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