Install a Network Printer from Windows XP Using the Driver Setup

Many of you told us you have home networks with computers using Windows XP and cannot install & use a network printer from those PCs. In order to help, we will show you how to install a printer connected to a Windows 7 computer from a Windows XP PC, using the driver installation setup of the printer.

First, you need to download and install the Windows XP driver from the website of the company which manufactured your printer. For my old Canon PIXMA iP2000, I used this driver.

Many drivers are packaged as archives. Extract them somewhere on your hard disk.

Network Printer

Then, go to the location where you extracted them and search for a setup.exe file.

Network Printer

When you launch it, you will be asked if you agree with the license agreement and then wait for the driver to install itself.

Network Printer

Once the driver is installed, you will be asked to connect and turn on the printer. Make sure this is done on the network computer to which the printer is attached. Since the printer is not directly connected to your Windows XP computer, you will need to manually select the port to which it is connected. So, click any box that says 'Select printer port' and click on the button which allows you to manually select the port.

Network Printer

Then, you will see a window with a long list of ports. Browse to the end of the list where you will actually see computers & printers from the network. Select the printer connected to the network computer you want to use and click on Next.

Network Printer

The installation wizard of the driver should end. Some of the setups ask if you want to configure certain settings before closing. When done, you will see the newly installed printer in the Printers and Faxes list.

Network Printer

Also, the newly installed printer will be set as default and you will be able to use it.

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.


This example was made using an old Canon PIXMA iP2000 printer and its latest Windows XP driver. The interface of the driver setup will differ depending on the manufacturer and model. However, the principle is the same. The driver setup will not be able to detect the printer because it is not installed on your PC and you will need to manually select the port or the PC to which it is connected.

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

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