How to Share Printer on LAN Network in Windows

If you have worked in a corporate company, you must have used Network printers for printing documents. Network printers are costly and small companies usually don’t consider buying them for their offices. They simply buy small USB printer for particular cabin or department. So, you might need to approach the computer that has printer connected to print your documents. But large amount of prints might be a problem unless you share that printer on LAN network.

After you share the printer on LAN network, you can use your colleague’s printer to print your documents without even going to their desk. Yes, it is possible. You can use Windows Printer sharing to solve your printer problem. Not only you, everyone in the same Local Area Network can share single USB printer connected to a computer.

SEE ALSO: How to Turn ON your Computer from Network via Wake-on-LAN?

Share your Colleague’s Printer on LAN Network

Before we move to the steps, let’s see what we will require in order to share the printer. First thing we are going to need is that the computer having printer should be connected to same LAN network as of other computers. And second thing that we need is the IP address of that computer (connected to printer).

NOTE: Please note that after installing KB5005565 update in Windows 10, printer sharing stopped working. If you are still facing this issue, try installing KB5007253 or latest Windows update to fix this issue.

Step 1: Turn ON Printer Sharing to Share Printer on LAN Network

First of all, you have to enable File and printer sharing in both the computers. So, right-click on Network icon on the bottom right corner of your desktop and select “Open Network and Sharing Center“. You can also search “network and sharing” in Control Panel.

Right-click on Network icon and select Open Network and Sharing Center
Right-click on Network icon and select Open Network and Sharing Center

Network and Sharing Center will open, click on “Change advanced sharing settings” in the left pane. We need to change sharing settings in order to share printer on LAN network.

Click Change Advanced Sharing Settings
Click Change Advanced Sharing Settings

In Advanced sharing settings, you have to change two settings i.e. Turn on network discovery and Turn on file and printer sharing. Check the radio buttons next to these two settings and click on Save changes. You may require Administrator’s permission for this, click Yes when prompted.

Turn on network discovery and File and printer sharing to share printer on LAN network in windows
Turn on network discovery and File and printer sharing

Now, after enabling network sharing, we just need to share the printer on LAN network.

INFO: You have successfully enabled Printer and file sharing in your computer. Now, go to the computer that has printer connected to it and enable Printer and file sharing in that computer also.


Step 2: Go to Devices and Printers in Control Panel

In your computer, open Control Panel from Start.

Open Control Panel In Windows 10
Open Control Panel from Start

After that, search for “devices and printers” in Control Panel. Select Devices and Printers from the search results as shown in the screenshot below. After you share the printer on LAN network, we will add it via Devices and Printers.

Search and open Devices and Printers from Control Panel
Search and open Devices and Printers from Control Panel

Step 3: Add a Printer in Control Panel

In Devices and Printers window, click on Add a printer button at the top bar.

Click Add Printer button at the top bar
Click Add a Printer button at the top bar

Windows will look for printers connected to your PC. But the printer we want is not connected to our PC. So, we will have to do it the other way. Now, click “Printer that I want isn’t listed” link at the bottom.

Click "The Printer that I want isn't listed" link at the bottom to share printer on lan network
Click “The Printer that I want isn’t listed” link at the bottom

New window will open where your will see list of available options to connect a printer. Since we are connecting a shared printer, we will use second option. So, click on “Select a shared printer by name” and type the address of the printer in the box provided. Use following format to enter printer address:

\\<ipaddress of colleague's computer>\<PrinterName>

In our case 192.168.1.7 is IP address of colleague’s computer and HP LaserJet P1008 is the printer name. After entering the printer address, click Next to proceed. Remember, your system will only be able to connect to printer if you share it on the LAN network from other computer.

Connect a shared printer to your PC
Connect a shared printer to your PC

Step 4: Connect the Shared Printer and Install Printer Driver

If you have entered the Printer Address correctly, Windows will connect to the printer and prompt for the credentials of the other computer. Enter Username and Password of that computer and click OK.

Enter credentials to connect to the printer
Enter credentials to connect to the printer

Printer installation will start. System will prompt you for installing the driver for the printer. So, click on Install driver button to continue driver installation.

Click Install Drivers to install printer drivers
Click Install Driver to install printer drivers

Windows will copy driver files to your computer.

Printer Driver installation in progress
Printer Driver installation in progress

You may see UAC prompt while installation, click OK to confirm installation.


Step 5: Print Test Page from the Shared Printer

You have successfully installed the printer. You can now print your documents using this printer without going to your colleague’s computer. So, click Next to continue.

Click Next to finish printer installation - share printer on lan network windows
Click Next to finish printer installation

You can now print a test page by clicking Print a test page button and click Finish to exit the wizard.

Print a test page - share printer on LAN network windows
Print a test page

Now, that printer will be listed among your printers. You can use this printer to print your documents directly from your computer.

Shared printer added to the list of printer - Share printer on LAN Network
Shared printer added to the list of printer

Share Printer on LAN Network and Use it as Network Printer

You can connect this shared printer to multiple computers. Now, you can print documents directly from your PC without going to that computer. Just press Ctrl + P, and in print dialog box, select recently connected printer and click Print

Please note that your colleague’s computer must be turned on in order to use that printer from your computer. If you face any problems regarding printer installation, comment below.

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