Install a Network Printer from Windows XP Using the Add Printer Wizard

Recently I've shown how to Share a Printer with Your Network and how to install a network printer from Windows XP using the driver setup. However, there are printer drivers which do not have an installation wizard and a setup.exe file which does the work for you. If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to use the 'Add a printer' wizard. To learn how to do this, click on read more.

First, you need to download and install the Windows XP driver from your printer manufacturer's website.

Then, go to 'Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes' and click on 'Add a printer'.

The 'Add a printer' wizard will now start. Click on Next.

You will be asked to select whether you would like to install a local or a network printer. Select 'A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer' and click on Next.

Now you need to specify the printer you want to install. The easiest way is to select 'Browse for a printer' and click on Next. However, if you know the name of the computer to which the printer is attached and the exact name of the printer, you can select 'Connect to this printer', type in the name of the computer and printer as shown in the example and click on Next.

If you selected 'Browse for a printer', Windows XP will spend some time to detect all computers and printers from your workgroup. When done, browse through the results, select the printer you want to install and click on Next.

You will be warned that a printer driver is about to be installed. Click on Yes.

If the network computer to which the printer is connected doesn't have a driver for Windows XP, you will be told that the server cannot install the correct printer driver. Click on OK.

You will be asked to browse and select the location where a Windows XP driver can be found. Click on Browse.

Navigate to the location where you extracted the printer driver, select the available '.inf' file, click on Open and then on OK.

The printer driver will be installed. When done, you will be asked if you want to set the printer as default. Choose the option you desire, click on Next and then close the 'Add a printer' wizard.

When done, you will see the newly installed printer in the 'Printers and Faxes' list.

NOTE: in order for the installation to work, you need to make sure that the network sharing and discovery settings between the Windows 7 and Windows XP computers are turned ON. For more information, check out this guide on Sharing Between Windows XP and Windows 7 Computers.


As you can see, installing a network printer from Windows XP, using the Add a printer wizard is not very difficult. Make sure you download and extract the correct driver and follow the instructions carefully. It won't matter if the network printer is connected to a Windows 7 or Windows Vista PC. The procedure is the same.

For more information about networking related topics, don't hesitate to check the articles recommended below.