How to Share a Printer on a Homegroup Network in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

If you’ve created a Homegroup, Windows 10 makes sharing a printer extraordinarily easy. After you plug a USB printer — the kind with the connector shown in the margin — into one of your Windows PCs, you’re set: Windows automatically recognizes the newly plugged-in printer as soon as it’s turned on.

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Plus, your Windows PC quickly spreads the news to all the PC in your Homegroup. Within minutes, that printer’s name and icon appear on all those PCs and in all their programs’ print menus.

Here’s how to see that printer on your other networked Windows PCs:

  • Windows 10: Click the Start button and click Settings. When the Settings app appears, click the Devices icon (shown here). When the Devices page appears, click the word Printers along the left edge to see all of the printers available to your computer, including the shared printer.

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  • Windows 8 or 8.1: Right-click in the screen’s bottom-left corner and choose Control Panel from the pop-up menu. From the Control Panel’s Hardware and Sound category, click View Devices and Printers. The networked printer appears in the Printers section.

  • Windows 7: Click the Start button and choose Devices and Printers. The networked printer appears in the Printers and Faxes section.

Depending on the printer model, it might also work with networked Windows Vista and Windows XP PCs. Here’s how to see whether it’s available:

  • Windows Vista: Click the Start button, choose Control Panel, and open the Hardware and Sound category. Click Printers to see the printer’s icon.

  • Windows XP: Click the Start button, choose Control Panel, and open the Printers and Hardware category. Click Printers and Faxes to see the new printer’s icon.