Before you install your printer, consult your printer user guide to follow the set up process step by step. Although installation for most printers is fairly simple, certain printers can be somewhat tricky. If you don’t have the guide that is included with the printer, you can find a free downloadable PDF version on the printer manufacturer’s website. Just search for your “printer model name + user guide” on Google and you should be able to pull up the guide instantly.
There are a few different ways to install your printer…
Automatically installing your printer with a USB cable
Many printers include a USB cable that connects the printer directly to your computer or laptop. When you connect the cable and turn on the printer, most computers recognize that you are trying to install a new printer right away and automatically download the appropriate printer driver for your machine. The printer driver is the software that the printer uses to communicate directly with your computer. Without it, the printer will not be able to function. If your computer does not detect the software automatically, you can manually download the printer driver (more on that below). If your printer does not come with a USB cable, you will need to buy a cable or use the cable from your previous printer if you want to use your printer via USB. Some printer manufacturers have stopped including USB cables with newer printer models as most users prefer to set up the printer over Wi-Fi and do not use the USB cable, but it is still nice to have one around to instantly set up a printer for the first time.
Manually downloading the driver software
You can also install your printer using the driver software on support page of the printer manufacturer’s website. To find the correct driver software, search for your “printer model + driver software” on Google. Or, search for your printer directly on one of the printer manufacturer support pages listed below. After you download the software, the printer will take you through the installation process.
Installing your printer with a CD
If you are not able to locate a downloadable version of your printer driver, you can also use the installation CD that is included with the printer. Installing the driver with a CD is the same process as downloading the driver on the manufacturer’s website, however, during the process you may be prompted to update the printer driver software to ensure you have the latest driver software installed.