How to Connect a Printer by an IP

Check the network connection before you begin.
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Your computer can connect to printers using a USB cable, via a Wi-Fi network or through an Ethernet cable. If you want to connect to the printer using a wired or wireless connection, add it using its IP address in the TCP/IP printer wizard. Windows attempts to get the required information automatically; if it fails, you need to configure the connection manually. You need to know the IP address of the printer and the port used to communicate with it. You may also need the printer's drivers.

Press "Windows-X" to open the Windows Power User menu and click "Control Panel" to launch the app.

Click the "Hardware and Sound" link and then click "Advanced printer setup" in the "Devices and Printers" section. The Add Printer wizard launches.

Click "Next," then click the "Add a Printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname" radio button and click "Next."

Click the "Custom" radio button in the Device Type section and click the "Settings" button to open the Configure Standard TCP/IP Port Monitor window.

Type the IP address of the printer into the "Port Name or IP address" and leave the "Raw" protocol selected. Most printers use the Raw protocol. If you can't connect to the printer, try using the LPR protocol instead. To find the IP address of a printer connected to your network, press "Windows-X," click "Command Prompt" to open the Command Prompt utility, type "ipconfig" and press "Enter" to view the IP addresses of all devices connected to your computer. If the printer is connected to another computer on your network or to a print server, its IP address is the IP address of the computer or print server. Consult the manual that came with the printer if you are unable to find its IP address.

Enter the printer port into the "Port Number" field, in the Raw Settings section. The default printer port for most printers is 9100. Click "OK" and "Next" to display a list of printers.

Select your printer manufacturer and model from the list of printers and then click "Next." If you can't find your printer in the list, insert the CD or DVD you received with your printer into the optical drive, click "Have Disk" and select the appropriate drivers. If you don't have the CD, you can download the drivers from the manufacturer's website.

Type a name for the printer into the "Printer name" field and click "Next." Click "Finish" if you don't want to test the printer. To test the printer, click the "Print a test page" button to attempt to print a test page.

  • The printer must be turned on before you attempt to connect to it. Windows must communicate with the printer during the setup process.
  • The printer and the computer must be connected to the same wired or wireless network. If you are using a router, the PC and printer must be connected to it.
  • The network printer is displayed in the Devices and Printers section of the Control Panel immediately after you complete the wizard.

Nick Peers has been writing technology-related articles since 2003. His articles have appeared in dozens of technical publications, including MSN UK, CNET, BBC Who Do You Think You Are, LifeHacker UK and TechRadar. He holds a Masters in information technology degree from the University of East London.