How to Connect a Wireless Printer to a Network

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Updated November 17, 2022

One of the most desired qualities in a printer is internet connectivity. Today, most, if not all, of the best printers will have wireless connections. Unfortunately, setting them up is often a hassle. Consequently, there are also similar struggles when learning how to print from a phone to a wireless printer.

So if you’re struggling with how to connect your new HP3050a all-in-one wireless printer to your network, fear not. Below, we’ve got a step-by-step guide that’ll show you how to connect a wireless printer to a network.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Connect the printer and computer to the same wireless router before attempting to print anything
  • After connecting to Wi-Fi, set up the printer as the computer’s default print device.
  • Both Android and Apple devices offer printing through compatible apps.

Our coverage for the best-all-in-one printers reaches beyond just connectivity issues. For example, we have a helpful piece on how to scan from a printer to a computer.

Insider Tip

Some printers must first be connected to a computer via a USB cable to install the proper printer driver software.

Connecting a Wireless Printer to a Network

Connecting your network printer to a Wi-Fi network is easy once you understand the basics. From there, you can figure out how to print wirelessly from your computer or phone. However, the process is slightly different depending on your device’s operating system and your printer’s functions. But generally, the below guides should point you in the right direction to getting your printer hooked up.

Have an aging printer you’re looking to toss? Check out our article showcasing all your options for how to disassemble a printer.

Connect the Printer to a Windows Computer

STEP 1 Connect Printer to Wi-Fi Network

Using your printer’s touchscreen or button-powered navigational system, go into the device menu, and access the wireless settings. If you need help, look at your user manual. Once you reach the wireless settings, enter the Wi-Fi network and password to connect.

STEP 2 Connect Computer to Wi-Fi Network

Enter the same wireless network information into your computer.

STEP 3 Enter Your Device Settings

On your computer, open the control panel, then press settings. On the sidebar, select “Bluetooth & Devices.” Then select “Printers & Scanners.”

STEP 4 Add the Wireless Printer

Press the option to “Add device.” When your model appears on the printer list, press “Add device” again. If the printer in question doesn’t appear, select the option that says, “The printer that I want isn’t listed.” Next, you can plug in the printer’s IP address to connect it to your computer.

STEP 5Run a Print Job Test

After the printer has successfully been added, select “Print a test page” to ensure it works properly.

Connect Your Printer to a MacBook

STEP 1 Connect Printer to Wi-Fi

Consult your printer manufacturer’s user manual to figure out how to navigate to the printer’s wireless network settings. After finding the connection settings, enter your Wi-Fi connection information.

STEP 2 Connect Computer to Wi-Fi

Press the Wi-Fi button on your computer and ensure it’s connected to your printer’s Wi-Fi router.

STEP 3 Enter Printer Settings

Go into your Apple menu. On the dropdown, select “System Preferences.” Then press the printer icon that says “Printers & Scanners.”

STEP 4 Connect the Printer to Your MacBook

Press the “+” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the printer list and let the computer scan for any available printers. Once your printer model appears, select it and press “Add” in the bottom right-hand corner.

STEP 5 Run a Test Print Job

Press “File” at the top of your computer menu bar and then press “Print.” Run a print test to make sure the connection process went through successfully.

Connect a Printer to an Android

STEP 1 Connect Phone and Printer to the Same Wireless Connection

Find your Wi-Fi username and password, and make sure both devices are connected to the same network.

STEP 2 Enter the Phone’s Printer Settings

Go to the settings app. In the search bar, enter “Printing.” Next, press the printer icon and turn on the toggle switch that says “Samsung Print Service Plugin.”

STEP 3 Select the Right Printer

First, select the correct plugin. Next, open the printer list dropdown menu and select the correct printer.

STEP 4 Run Print Job

Open the document you want to print. Press the menu settings (usually three dots in the upper left-hand corner) to open. Next, press the printer icon or the option that says “Print.”

Connect the Printer to an iPhone

STEP 1 Determine Printer and Phone App Support AirPrint

Check your printer user manual to see that it supports AirPrint. Then, check your phone app and confirm it supports AirPrint.

STEP 2 Connect Printer/Mobile to the Same Wireless Connection

Enter your printer’s settings and make sure it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi router as your mobile device.

STEP 3 Print Directly from Your App

Press the share button (square with an arrow at the top) and select the Airprint option. Select the correct printer. Then, in the upper right-hand corner, press “Print.”

Warning

Sometimes you must update the printer driver software before connecting your printer to a wireless network.

STAT: Office employees print an average of 34 pages per day. (source)

How to Connect a Wireless Printer to a Network FAQs

Is a wired connection better than a wireless one?

From a reliability standpoint, yes. However, wireless network connections are more convenient and, in most cases, reliable.

What is the range of a wireless printer?

Some printers can still work up to 1,000 feet away from the wireless router, but the distance will vary.

Are there Bluetooth-connected printers?

Absolutely; there is a large Bluetooth printer selection.
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