How to Share Printers on Windows XP & Windows 7


Windows XP and Windows 7 computers can connect to each another over the same network through a homegroup, or workgroup. Windows XP and Windows 7 both support home networking and allow connected computers to share files and network printers. To share printers on a network, you must add both computers to the same homegroup, configure the network sharing options and then install the printer to the machine.

Set Up Sharing

  • Click "Start." Right-click "Computer" and choose "Properties" from the context menu to view the system information.

  • Go to "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings," and write down the information shown next to "Workgroup."

  • Click "Start," then click "Control Panel." Click "Choose homegroup and sharing options" from below "Network and Internet."

  • Check the box next to "Printers," then click "Change advanced sharing settings..." Click "Turn on network discovery" and "Turn on file and printer sharing." Click "Save changes."

  • Sign on to Windows XP and connect to the network. Click "Start." Right-click "My Computer." Click the "Computer Name" tab.

  • Enter the Windows 7 workgroup name into the "Workgroup" field. Click "OK" three times to close all of the dialog boxes. Restart the Windows XP PC.

  • Click "Start," then click "Control Panel." Click "Printers and Other Hardware," then "Printers and Faxes."

  • Right-click the printer you want to share. Choose "Sharing..." from the context menu. Click the "Sharing" tab, then click the radio button next to "Share this printer." Click "OK."

Install Printer on Windows XP

  • Click "Start," then click "My Computer." Choose "My Network Places" from the left pane, then click "View workgroup computers" from the "Network Tasks" section.

  • Double-click the Windows 7 computer. Enter the user name and password for the Windows 7 account. Click "OK."

  • Select a printer to use, then click "Connect." Click "Yes" when the "Connect to Printer" dialog box appears. Windows XP will install the printer to the computer.

Install Printer on Windows 7

  • Sign on to Windows 7 and connect to the network. Click "Start." Click "Control Panel." Click "Hardware and Sound."

  • Select "Add a printer" from the "Devices and Printers" category. Click "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer."

  • Choose the Windows XP printer from the list. Click "Next." Click "Install driver," and Windows 7 will install the Windows XP printer to the PC. Click "Finish."

Tips & Warnings

  • You may need to input your Windows 7 user name and password when you attempt to install the network printer to Windows XP.
  • Click "Turn off password protected sharing" if you don't want to put in login credentials when attempting to install the Windows 7 network printer.

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