To search for a printer

The method you use to search for a printer depends on whether you are connected to a workgroup or a domain For instructions, click one of the following methods:

Connected to a workgroup

This method uses the Add Printer Wizard.


Open Printers and Faxes 


Double-click Add Printer to start the Add Printer Wizard, and then click Next.


Click Printer connection, and then click Next.


Click Browse for a printer, and then click Next.


In the Shared printers list, find the printer you want to connect to, and then click it.

In the list, printers are indicated by a small picture (icon) of a printer followed by its name. An icon of a computer indicates a computer that has at least one printer connected to it. To see the printer, double-click the computer icon.

When you click a printer icon, its name appears in the Printer text box.


Click Next.


Follow the instructions on the screen to finish connecting to the network printer.

The icon for the printer appears in the Printers and Faxes folder.


To open Printers and Faxes, click Start, click Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Printers and Faxes

After you have connected to a shared printer on the network, you can use it as if it were attached to your computer.

Connected to a domain

This method uses Active Directory 


Open Find Printers


In the In box, select the domain you want to search, or click Browse to locate a domain.

If you choose Entire Directory, options selected on the Advanced tab will not be applied when you run the search.


Type and select the desired search parameters on the Printers, Features, and Advanced tabs.

On the Printers tab, type the name, location, and model of the printer.

If Location is filled in by default, your network administrator set up the network so that Windows attempts to display the printers nearest you by default. You can also click the Browse button to search for a printer in another location. If Location is empty, Windows will search the entire directory for printers, although you can still type a location if you know its name.

On the Features tab, you can select additional search options, such as whether the printer can print double-sided copies or print at a specific resolution.

On the Advanced tab, you can search using additional fields specifying criteria such as whether the printer supports collation or a specific printer language.


Click Find Now to run your search, or click Clear All to clear the search criteria fields and begin a new search.


To open Find Printers, click Start, click Search, click Printers, computers, or people, and then click A printer on the network

If you are connected to a domain, you can use either method described in this procedure. However, you can only search for printers using Active Directory if you are logged on to a Windows domain.

If too many printers are listed in the search results, try entering additional search criteria to make your search more specific. For more information, click Related Topics

To connect to a printer displayed in the results list, right-click the printer and then click Connect.

You can sort and filter the printers listed in the search results, and you can also save your search query. For more information, click Related Topics

Related Topics

Search for a file or folder

Search the Internet

Search for people in your Address Book

Search Companion overview

Save a search query

Find Printers overview

Connect to a printer on a network

Filter your search results

Use advanced options to search for a printer

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