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share scanner over network
Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated May 23, 2022

How To Share Scanner Over Network: Definitive Guide

Let's imagine you have multiple Windows PCs and a USB scanner connected to one of your desktop PCs. And even if these computers are nearby, the need to physically reconnect the scanner from one device to another every time is quite intimidating.

Luckily, you can share the scanner between your computers and use it from anywhere. Keep reading to learn how to connect the scanner to Windows 10/11 personal computers and Macs, and how to share a USB scanner over a network.

Scanner Sharing—Software Method

The easiest way would be to use FlexiHub, which lets you share and connect remote scanners over the network. The software supports various kinds of USB and serial devices: scanners, printers, keyboards, Bluetooth adapters, etc. The app is easy-to-use and works with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android platforms.
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With FlexiHub, you can easily link remotely-located machines with USB peripherals connected to a local computer. The setup process is straightforward and you don't need to be tech-savvy. Once you create and set up your FlexiHub account, all peripherals connected to the local computer will show up in the interface and you will be able to access them remotely.

How to Share USB Scanner across the Network

Here are the straightforward instructions on how to share a USB scanner over the network with FlexiHub's help:
  • 1.
    Sign up for a FlexiHub account here and start a free demo. blank
  • 2.
    Install the software on each of your PCs that need access to a shared scanner. blank
  • 3.
    Then start FlexiHub on every computer that will connect to a scanner and enter your login credentials. blank
  • 4.
    In the FlexiHub window on another computer find the USB scanner and click "Connect".
    share scanner over network flexihub
  • 5.
    Here you go! Now the scanner is recognized as if it was plugged in directly to your computer. blank
Here’s a detailed video guide on how to share scanner with FlexiHub:

How to Add Scanner in Windows 10

Windows offers built-in functionality to share a scanner with other computers or set it up as a wireless scanner on your network. With this feature, a scanner attached to one of your networked devices can be accessed from any other computer on your local network or Wi-Fi.

When you connect a scanner to your device or add a new scanner to your home network, you can usually start scanning pictures and documents right away.

If your scanner does not install automatically, here are some instructions to help you add a scanner in Windows 10 properly:
  • 1.
    First, plug in your scanner’s USB cable to a computer connected to the network or the USB port of a router or modem.
  • 2.
    Then turn the scanner on. Windows should automatically install the scanner drivers and configure the device to work.

    In most cases, these steps are enough to set up a local scanner or discover a scanner connected to the network. If that doesn’t work, here’s a way to do it manually.

  • 3.
    Navigate Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners.
    add scanner windows 10
  • 4.
    Click “Add a printer or scanner”. This will start the search for all available scanners on the network. Once done, select the one you want to use from the list and click “Add Device”.

    Note: If your scanner is included in a multifunction or All-In-One printer, you may only see the name of your printer. To see your scanner, under Printers & scanners, select your installed printer, select Manage, and then choose your scanner.

    If your scanner isn't in the list, select The printer that I want isn't listed, and then follow the instructions to add it manually.

    Note: Please make sure that you're connected to the same network as the scanner for your PC to find and install it. Also, you might need administrator permission to install some scanners.

    add scanner manually windows 10
  • 5.
    To verify your scanner is installed successfully, look for it under Printers & devices.

How to Connect Scanner to Windows 11

Newly released Windows 11 comes with a host of new features and an updated graphical user interface, including start menu and taskbar improvements. When it comes to adding a scanner to Windows 11, the process is somewhat similar to the one in Windows 10, except for some minor differences.

When you connect a scanner to your device, Windows 11 should automatically install the scanner drivers and configure it to work so you can start scanning pictures and documents right away.

If that doesn’t work, to install the scanner manually, you need:
  • 1.
    Go to Start > Settings.
    settings windows 11
  • 2.
    Next, select Bluetooth & devices at the left sidebar, and click Printers & scanners.
    bluetooth & devices windows 11
  • 3.
    On the Printers & Scanners page, click the “Add Device” button.
    add scanner windows 11
  • 4.
    Windows 11 will start searching and display all scanners available on your network.
  • 5.
    Choose the desired scanner and click “Add device”.

    If the scanner is not listed, you will need to add the driver manually. For this, click “Add manually” and follow the instructions.
    add scanner manually windows 11

How to Set Up Scanner on Mac

Scanning documents onto a Mac computer is a fairly simple process. But before you set up the scanner, first make sure you have the latest scanning software available on macOS. If you use a multifunction AirPrint printer and scanner, you can skip checking for software updates.

Here is how to connect a scanner to Mac:
  • 1.
    Connect the scanner to your Mac and turn it on.

    Note: you don't need to install any additional software, your Mac will take care of it and download it automatically.

  • 2.
    Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner and open “System Preferences”.
  • 3.
    Head into the “Printers & Scanners” menu and select your scanner.
    printers & scanners macos
  • 4.
    If your scanner is not listed, click the “+” button. From the pop-up menu, select "Add Printer or Scanner".
    add printer macos

Summing Up

Now that you know how to connect the scanner to your Windows and macOS devices, you can easily use your scanner over a network and speed up your workflow. Try the methods above and choose the one that works best for you. If you're looking for an easy and convenient way to share your USB scanner, FlexiHub is worth considering. FlexiHub features full compatibility, a wide range of features, and minimal requirements.

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