Share a Printer in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 - dummies

Share a Printer in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8

By Doug Lowe

One of the great advantages to working on a network is that several users, operating with different version of Windows, can share one printer. To share a printer in Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

    • Windows 7 or earlier: Choose Start→Control Panel.

    • Windows 8: Press the Windows key, type Control, and then click the Control Panel icon.

  2. Click Devices and Printers.

  3. Right-click the printer that you want to share and choose Printer Properties.

    The Properties dialog box for the printer appears.

  4. Click the Sharing tab.

    The Sharing tab appears. Notice that the options for sharing the printer are disabled.


  5. Select the Share This Printer option.

  6. (Optional) Change the share name if you don’t like the name suggested by Windows.

    Because other computers will use the share name to identify the shared printer, pick a descriptive name.

  7. Click OK.

    You return to the Printers folder. The icon for the printer is modified to indicate that it has been shared.

To take your shared printer off the network so that other network users can’t access it, follow Steps 1–4 in the preceding set of steps. Deselect the Share This Printer check box and then click OK.