Whether you are in an office or at home, the ability to remotely share a printer over a network can be very desirable. You might not know how to share a printer on your network, but we have you covered.
This article will talk about some simple methods of implementing remote printer access on a Windows 10 system to make better use of your peripherals. If you want to know how to connect one printer to two computers over a network, read on.
Table of contents:
- How to share a network printer with USB Network Gate
- The native method to share a printer on Windows 10
How to share a network printer with USB Network Gate
When you use standard methods to share a printer on Windows 10 you can only connect within a limited local area. Software solutions are more flexible and enable you to share a USB printer over the Internet from any distance.
We are going to look at using USB over Network software to redirect printer traffic. You will find that the USB Network app is a simple solution that provides an easy method of sharing a printer on a network.
USB Network Gate is a comprehensive solution to sharing any type of USB device remotely over a network. Using the tool, you will be sharing your printer with remote network-attached users with a few clicks.
Use these simple steps to share a printer on the network:
1Download and install USB Network Gate on the computer that will share the printer and the machine that needs to access the device remotely.
2After the software is installed, you will be able to see the printer that is available to be shared in the Devices window. Click on the gearbox icon next to Share to make changes to the connection settings such as the port number or if encryption will be used. Click Share to make the printer available to remote users.
3Once the printer has been shared, all network-connected computers with USB Network Gate installed will be able to access the peripheral remotely.
- USB Network Gate supports the Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems.
- Evaluate the software with a fully functional free 14-day trial.
- USB printer sharing over LANs is supported.
- Pay for the software once with no recurring subscription fees.
- USB over Network is a commercial software product that costs $159.95.
- The software needs to be installed on all computers that will remotely access the shared printer.
The native method to share a printer on Windows 10
Windows 10 enables users to share a printer on their network with native, built-in features of the operating system.
We will define the PC that has a direct connection to the printer as the primary PC with the secondary PC referring to the computer that will remotely access the device. To share a printer between two computers you need to set up the sharing setting on both machines. The printer needs to be powered on and connected to the primary computer. Lastly, the primary machine needs to be connected to the network.
Note: It is imperative that the sharing settings are set up on the primary and secondary PCs and that you can identify the primary computer. More information on these items can be found in the final sections of this article.
Share the printer on the primary computer
Here’s how to share a USB printer between two computers using two different methods. You can use the Windows Control Panel or Settings.
How to share a printer using Control Panel
- Open Control Panel on your Windows computer.
- Choose Hardware and Sound and select View devices and printers.
- Right-click the printer you want to share, select Printer properties and open the Sharing tab.
- Select share this printer from the Sharing tab.
- You can edit the printer’s name if you wish. This is the name that will be used by remote computers to connect to the printer.
Share a printer with Settings
- Select the Start button, then choose Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners.
- Select the printer to be shared and click Manage.
- Choose the Sharing tab in Printer Properties.
- On the Sharing tab choose to Share this printer.
- You can change the printer name if desired. Keep in mind this is the name that secondary computers will use to access the printer.
Connect the shared printer to another PC
There are two methods you can use to connect a shared printer to another computer. You can use Control Panel or Settings.
How to share a shared printer using Control Panel
- Open the Windows Control Panel.
- Under Hardware and Sound, select View devices and printers and choose Add a printer.
- Select the printer to share and click Next. You will be prompted to install the device driver which you need to do.
- Select ‘The printer that I want isn’t listed’ if you do not see the device you need.
- You will see the Add a device dialog box. Choose Select a shared printer by name to manually enter the connection details. You will need to enter the name of the primary computer and the share name of the printer using these formats:
- Click Next to complete the driver installation when prompted.
For more details concerning the computer or device name, see the Find your PC name section at the end of this topic. You need to have the user name and password of the primary computer to connect to the printer.
How to connect a shared printer using Settings
- Select the Start button and then navigate to Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners.
- Choose Add printers & scanners and then select Add a printer or scanner.
- Select your desired printer and select Add Device.
- In case the printer you want is not displayed, choose ‘The printer that I want isn’t listed’.
- Go to the Add printer dialog box to Select a shared printer by name. You will need to enter the computer name of the primary PC and the share name of the printer using one of these formats:
- Click Next to complete the installation by installing the printer driver.
You can find out more info about the computer or device name in the Find your PC name section of the article. You need to provide the user name and password of the primary computer to connect to the printer.
How to set up Sharing settings
The share device settings are usually turned on by default. If you need to set them manually, you can do it through Control Panel or Settings.
Turn on Sharing in Control Panel
- Open Windows Control Panel.
- Select Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change advanced sharing settings.
- Expand the Private section of the Advanced sharing settings dialog box and under Network discovery choose Turn on network discovery.
- Under File and printer sharing, select Turn on file and printer sharing.
Using Settings to modify sharing settings
- Select the Start button and then Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.
- Select Related settings and the Change advanced sharing options.
- In the Advanced sharing settings dialog box, expand the Private section. Under the Network discovery tab, select Turn on network discovery.
- In File and printer sharing, select Turn on file and printer sharing.
Find your PC name
The primary computer name, which is the one that shared the printer, is needed to establish a connection to the secondary machine.
Find your PC name in Control Panel
- Open Control Panel on your computer.
- Select System and Security > System > See the name of this computer.
- The computer’s name is displayed under the Computer name section.
Find your PC name in Settings
- In the search box on the taskbar, type computer name.
- Select View your PC name.
- You will see the computer’s name under Device name.