How to Connect a USB Printer to Your Laptop

Because most laptops lack a printer port, USB printers are the way to go. You can connect your USB printer by following a few easy steps:

  1. Plug in the printer, and ensure that it's turned off.

    Also, set up the printer with ink and paper and all that other good stuff, according to the directions that came with the printer.

  2. Connect a USB cable to the printer and to your laptop.

  3. Turn on the printer.

    Because you're using a USB printer, it knows the printer's name and brand, and it even completely installs software for you, setting everything up just so.

After the printer has been set up and recognized by Windows, you can either print or save some energy and turn the printer off. You can even disconnect it when you don't need it. Reconnecting the printer simply reactivates its support in Windows.

  • Leave your printer turned off when you're not using it.

  • You can unplug the printer's USB cable without having to use the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the system tray. Just unplug the cable, and Windows bids adieu to your printer.

  • No, it's not a good idea to unplug or turn off your printer while it's printing.

  • If you're having trouble adding your printer, open the Control Panel and double-click the Printers or Printers and Faxes icon to display the list of printers available to your computer. The Add a Printer or Add Printer task can be clicked to run the Add Printer Wizard, which helps you complete the printer setup task.

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