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How to Set Up a Printer for Your Laptop

To use a printer with your laptop, you must first set it up. A few laptops still feature a printer port, but most use a regular USB port.

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

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

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

    Or, you can plug a standard printer cable into the printer’s I/O panel or into your laptop’s port replicator or docking station.

  3. Turn on the printer.

Windows should instantly recognize the printer. Then, because you’re using a USB printer, it knows the printer’s name and brand, and it even installs software for you, setting everything up just so.

When you’re using the older printer-port type of printer, you’ll probably have to use some kind of software installation disc.

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.

Printers work by using a driver, which is a software program that controls the printer.

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