If you need to share a printer over network, Windows machines got the option to do it with HomeGroup. You may read the full guide in our article. But in April 2018, this feature was removed by Microsoft from Windows 10 platform. So, if you run the latest Windows update on your PC, you won’t be able to share your printer. Instead, you can rely on other tools that have always been a part of Windows.
So, in order to make your printer accessible for other computers, you should first connect it to your local PC and check whether you can print to it from the computer.
Then, head to the Control Panel and choose “Devices and Printers”. Right-click the printer you’d like to share over the network and select “Printer properties” from the context menu. After that, go to the Sharing tab.
Note that it won’t be possible to share the printer if the machine to which it is connected is in the sleeping mode or is shut down.
As for the password protected sharing, all users that want to access a shared printer remotely will need to type a username and password when they first connect to the device. They won’t have to do it each time they access the printer though. Also, you can allow printing to your device from any guest PC. In this case, there won’t be any password protection.
Enable the option ’Share this printer’ there. You can also change the name for the printer you’re going to share, if necessary.
One more useful option is the ability to render print jobs on client machines. If you enable this feature, the documents will be rendered on the computers where the printing is done and not on the one where the printer is connected physically. This will help to protect the “server” system from being impacted when clients use the device.
After that, simply click ‘Apply’ and make your printer available for access on your network.
Now, it’s time to have a closer look at the second part of the process: how to connect other computers to the printer that has been shared across the network.
Connecting to a networked printer is neither too easy nor too difficult. You just need to follow a few steps: go to ‘Devices and Printers’ and hit the ‘Add Printer’ button.
Windows will check whether there are any devices on your network that haven’t been installed on your PC yet and show them in the “Add a device” window. If you see the required printer there, just click it, and Windows will take care about its installation and download drivers if needed.
If you don’t see the printer, click “The printer that I want isn’t listed”. You’ll get the options.
By enabling one of these options you make Windows try one more time to scan your network but there’s little hope that it’ll find anything that it didn’t see before. However, if you know the exact network name of the printer that you need, the TCP/IP address or hostname, another attempt to find the device on the network can be successful.