Printers have quickly become a must-have home office tool, and their installation has been significantly streamlined over the years. While most printers will install automatically, adding the printer to a network or sharing the printer with other users can still be a bit tricky. Once you learn how to do it, you can even enable your printer to allow you to print from anywhere in the world!
Read the installation guide for your printer if you have it. Lots of printers can be very finicky, and if you have an installation guide you should follow its exact instructions before deferring to these general instructions. You can usually find the installation guide as a PDF file on the manufacturer's support page for your model.
Plug the printer into your computer. Make sure to plug it into a USB port directly on your computer, and not a USB hub.
Wait for your operating system to detect and install the printer. All modern versions of Windows and OS X should be able to automatically detect the printer and install the necessary drivers for you. You may need to be connected to the internet in order for your operating system to download the appropriate files. For most users, this should be all you need to do in order to begin printing from your computer to your new printer. If you are using an older version of Windows/OS X, or the printer is not automatically detected, read on.
Install the software that came with the printer. This will usually install any drivers that weren't installed automatically by Windows, and may install extra printing software that allow you to take advantage of additional features on your printer. If you don't have the disc that came with the printer, and it wasn't automatically detected by your operating system, read on.
Download the drivers from the manufacturer's website. If you don't have the disc and the printer wasn't installed automatically, you can download the drivers directly from the manufacturer. You will need to know your printer's model number, which should be prominent on the printer itself.
Run the downloaded drivers. After installing the drivers, your printer should now be ready to print from any program on your computer that supports printing.