How to Redirect LPT1 to a USB Printer

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Older software programs may not recognize your USB printer.
Older software programs may not recognize your USB printer. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you are using an older software program that was designed before the USB standard became popular for printers, the program may not recognize your USB printer. Many older programs expected a printer to be connected to the “LPT1” port and may be so old that updates to the program are no longer being released. There is a way to redirect software from the LPT1 to the USB port within Windows that will allow you to print from such programs.

Connect the USB printer to the computer and install it by following the included instructions.

Click the “Start” button, then “Control Panel” and “System.” Click the “Network Identification” tab to view the computer’s share name. Note the name without the period for the following steps.

Click the “Start” button, then “Control Panel” and “Printers.” Right-click the USB printer and click “Sharing.” Click the button next to “Shared as” to view the shared name of the printer. If no name has been entered, enter a short name without spaces. Note this name for the following steps.

Click the “Start” button and type “cmd” into the search box and press “Enter” to open a command prompt.

Type “net use LPT1 \” without the quotes followed by the computer name, then a “\”, then the shared name of the printer from the previous steps. Add a space, then type “/Persistent:Yes” without the quotes. The entire command should look like this: net use LPT1 \computername\sharedprinter /Persistent:Yes

Press “Enter” to enter the command. The printer will now register as if it were connected to the LPT1 port in older programs and enable printing.

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