In this guide, we will discuss how to manually add wired and wireless printers in Windows 11. We have also included some troubleshooting methods that you can try if you encounter issues during the process of adding the printer.
1. How to Add a Wired Printer to Windows 11
Connecting wired printers to Windows 11 (or any other operating system) is pretty simple. Typically, Windows will automatically detect the printer as soon as you connect, provided you are using the right cable and your ports are working fine.
Here is how you can confirm that the printer has been added successfully after inserting the cord into your port:
- Press Win + I to open Windows Settings.
- Select Bluetooth and devices from the left pane and click on Printers & scanners on the right side of the window.
- In the following window, you should see your printed listed. If however, you cannot locate it, click on the Add device button associated with Add a printer or scanner.
- Windows will now run a scan to identify any connected device. Select your printer from the list of options available.
- In case the system cannot find the printer, and you receive a message stating ‘The printer that I want isn’t listed’, click on Add manually.
- In the following dialog, click on Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings.
- Choose Use an existing port from the left panel and select the port that you have connected the printer to.
- Now, head over to the printer manufacturer’s website and download your printer driver from there. If you have a CD for the printer driver, insert it in to download the driver.
- If you are using a CD, choose Have Disk in the next dialog. If not, click on Windows Update.
- Those of you using a CD can navigate to the driver’s location on your PC and click on it to begin the installation.
- If you chose Windows Update, choose your driver’s manufacturer and model. Then, enter a name for your driver and hit Next.
Once the driver is installed, go ahead and check if the printer is working fine.
2. How to Add a Wireless Printer to Windows 11
Wireless printers are exceptionally convenient because they can directly communicate with networks without requiring wires or cables to be set up. To get started with a wireless printer, you need to make sure that both your PC and printer can support compatible versions of wireless networks.
Once you connect your printer to the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, Windows should detect it automatically. If you are using a Wi-Fi connection, make sure that both the devices are connected to the same connection.
Here is how to get started:
- Launch Windows Settings and navigate to Printers & scanners following the methods we described above.
- Click on the Add device button.
- If the scan lists your targeted printer, click on it to add it. You might need to enter to password to connect to the printer.
- In case you can’t locate the printer, click on Add manually.
- In the following dialog, you will be presented with a list of connectivity options. Click on the one that suits your situation the best and click Next.
- You should now be able to locate your printer. Click on it to add it.
In case you are encountering issues with locating the wireless printer, read the instruction manual carefully or head over to our troubleshooting section below to fix the problem.
Can’t Connect Your Printer to Windows 11? Try These Fixes
There have been instances where the Add device button in the Printers & scanner window has stopped working, making users unable to add the printer. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here is what you should do:
1. Run the Printer Troubleshooter
Microsoft has equipped Windows with a bunch of little programs that are specifically designed to troubleshoot the issues that users run into regularly. You will find a handful of troubleshooters in the Settings of both Windows 10 and 11 which to much surprise, quite effectively identify the potential issues within the system and then recommend relevant fixes.
These fixes can be applied with little to no user intervention, making the entire process automatic and painless. If you cannot add your printer to Windows 11, then the first thing you should do is run the printer troubleshooter. This utility will scan the system for printer-related problems and hopefully, find you a fix.
Follow these steps to run the printer troubleshooter:
- Press Win + I to open Windows Settings.
- Navigate to System > Troubleshoot and choose Other troubleshooters.
- In the following window, locate the Printer option and click on the Run button associated with it to run the troubleshooter.
- This should initiate a scan. If the printer identifies any issues, it will recommend fixes. In that case, click on Apply this fix.
After the troubleshooter has done its job, try performing the above-mentioned steps again and check if you can connect your printer now.
2. Install the Latest Windows Update
Certain hardware and software-related issues start occurring after the users installed the KB5006746 Windows update. This update was supposed to bring in some visual refreshes and fixes for several Windows 11 bugs. However, it instead brought in issues of its own.
Fortunately, it did not take Microsoft long to acknowledge this issue, and it released a hotfix soon after the users began to complain. You can get the fix by installing the latest Windows updates available on your system.
Follow these steps to do so:
- Launch Windows Settings and navigate to Windows Update.
- Click on the Check for updates button on the right side of the window and wait for the scan to complete.
- If a pending update is identified, take your time to install it and check if this fixes the issue.
Additionally, we also recommend making sure that the relevant drivers are up-to-date. For this, you can check Windows for the available driver updates and then install them.
If none of the above work, be sure to check out our in-depth guide to Windows 11 printer issues for more in-depth tricks you can try.
A Windows 11 Printer, Added Successfully
While installing printers in the past was a headache, Windows 11 makes the process a lot easier. Hopefully you have managed to get your printer up and running with these steps.
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