Installing Wireless and Bluetooth Printers

Windows 7 fully supports wireless and Bluetooth. Often, wireless and Bluetooth printers will include installation software that you may be able to use to install and begin using the device. Before you use the installation software, however, you should ensure it is compatible with Windows 7. If it isn't, you may want to check the device manufacturer's website for updated software.

Some wireless and Bluetooth printers connect directly to a computer. Others connect to a computer via a network. You can connect a wireless or Bluetooth printer directly to a computer by completing the following steps:

1. Typically, wireless and Bluetooth devices require that you connect a receiver to the computer. You'll need to plug the receiver into a USB slot on the computer.

2. Position the computer and receiver so that the receiver is within range of the printer to which you want to connect.

3. Configure the printer as necessary and ensure that it is powered on.

4. Click Starts-Devices and Printers. In Devices and Printers, click "Add printer."

5. In the Add Printer Wizard, shown in Figure 12-10, click "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth Printer."

6. As shown in Figure 12-11, your computer will then search for available printers. If the printer you want to use is shown in the list of available printers, select the printer, and then click Next.

If your computer can't find the wireless printer, make sure that the printer is powered on and that the wireless/Bluetooth transmitter is switched on. If you suspect the printer is out of range, try moving it closer to the computer. Make sure the printer is positioned away from air conditioning units, microwave ovens, etc. Then click Search Again to have your computer search again for the printer. If this resolves the problem, select the printer and then click Next to continue this procedure. Otherwise, click "The printer that I want isn't listed," and then click Next.

On the "Find a printer by name or TCP/IP address" page, select "Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname," and then click Next. On the "Type a printer hostname or IP address" page, use the "Device type" list to select the type of device. If you don't know the type of device, choose Autodetect. In the "Hostname or IP address" text box, type the hostname or Internet Protocol (IP) address of the device. If you are unsure, use the device's control menu to print a configuration page. The port name is set for you based on the hostname or IP address entry. The port name doesn't matter as long as it's unique for your computer.

When you click Next, the wizard attempts to contact the device. If the wizard is unable to detect the print device, make sure that the print device is turned on and connected to the network. Also, ensure that you typed the correct IP address or printer name in the previous page. If you entered incorrect information, click the Back arrow and then retype this information. Complete the installation by setting the printer name and sharing options as discussed in steps 7—11.

7. On the "Type a printer name" page, type a name for the device or accept the default name. You'll see this name on the Printers page in the Control Panel. Click Next.

8. The printer is automatically configured for sharing. If you don't want the printer to be shared, select "Do not share this printer." Otherwise, you can set the share name and location, and add an optional comment.

9. When you click Next, the Add Printer Wizard will install the printer and set it as the default automatically. If you don't want the printer to be the default, clear the "Set as the default printer" checkbox (you will see this checkbox only if you had a default printer before you installed this one).

Figure 12-10. Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer
Figure 12-11. Check the list of available devices for the printer

10. To print a test page, click Print a Test Page. The wizard will then print a test page. Click Close.

11. Click Finish. Click Starts-Devices and Printers. The Devices and Printers page in the Control Panel will have an additional icon with the name set the way you specified. You can change the printer properties and check printer status at any time.

To connect a wireless printer to a computer via a network, do the following:

1. Power on the printer. Configure its initial settings as appropriate for the network. For example, you may need to configure TCP/IP settings to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or you may need to use a static IP address.

2. Wait 30-60 seconds for the device to be detected. The device should be detected and installed automatically. If the device isn't detected and installed, click Start and then click Devices and Printers. In Devices and Printers, ensure that the device isn't already listed as available. If the device isn't available yet, click "Add printer." You'll then be able to install the printer as discussed in steps 5-11 of the previous procedure.

3. If you have trouble connecting to the printer, make sure that a firewall isn't blocking connectivity to the printer. You may need to open a firewall port to allow access between the computer and the device. Also double-check the printer's TCP/IP configuration. If your network consists of multiple subnets connected together, try to connect the device to the same network subnet.

4. Keep in mind that Network Discovery settings control whether your computer can find other computers and devices on the network and whether other computers on the network can find your computer. By default, Network Discovery is not enabled (but you may have enabled this feature already by creating a homegroup, sharing folders, or performing other tasks). To enable Network Discovery, click StartsControl PanelsNetwork and InternetsNetwork and Sharing Center. In the left pane, click "Change advanced sharing settings." Access the appropriate network profile, such as Home or Work. Under Network Discovery, click "Turn on network discovery," and then click Save Changes.

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