How to share printer in network on Windows 11

Turn your USB printer into a network printer that everyone can use.

Windows 11 share printer
Windows 11 share printer
  • To share printer on Windows 11, open Settings > Printers & scanners, choose the printer to share, click on “Printer properties,” open the “Sharing” tab, click “Change Sharing Options,” check “Share this printer,” and click “OK.”
  • You may also need to change the network profile type to “Private” from Settings > Network & internet > Ethernet or Wi-Fi to enable print sharing on Windows 11.

On Windows 11, it’s possible to share a printer in the network when it doesn’t have a wired or wireless connection. You can complete this task using the Windows 11 print server feature that allows converting any local printer (such as those using a USB or DB-25 cable) into a network printer quickly.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to share a USB printer on Windows 11 over the network.

Share printer on Windows 11

To share a printer in the network on Windows 11 from Settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Network & internet.

  3. Click the Ethernet or Wi-Fi tab.

    Quick note: If you have a wireless connection, you will need to click the network properties option to access the connection settings.
  4. Under the “Network profile type” section, select the Private option to enable print sharing on the computer.

    Enable print sharing on Windows 11

  5. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  6. Click the Printers & scanners tab.

    Printers & scanners

  7. Select the USB printer to share over the network.

    Installed printer

  8. Click the Printer properties tab.

    Printer properties

  9. Open the Sharing tab.

  10. Click the Change Sharing Options button (if applicable).

    Change sharing options

  11. Check the Share this printer option.

    Share printer on Windows 11

  12. (Optional) Choose a new name for the printer.

  13. Click the Apply button.

  14. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the USB printer will now be available in the network for anyone to connect.

Connect to shared printer

The process of connecting a shared printer to a computer in the local network is easy, but it’s not the same as installing a wireless printer.

To install a shared printer on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Printers & scanners setting.

    Printers & scanners

  4. Click the Add device button and wait a few moments.

  5. Click the Add manually option.

    Add printer manually

  6. Check the Select a shared printer by name option.

  7. Confirm the network path of the printer – for example, \\\HP Network Printer.

    Select shared printer

    Quick note: If the computer name doesn’t work, use the IP address for the computer sharing the printer.
  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Click Next to install the shared USB printer on Windows 11.

  10. Click the Finish button.

After you complete the steps, the print jobs will go through the network to the computer with the print server and to the USB printer. Users will only be able to print as long as the computer sharing the printer is turned on.

If you cannot connect to the printer because the system asks for a username and password, open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Advanced sharing settings, and under the “Password protected sharing,” select the Turn off password protected sharing option and click the Save Changes button. If this doesn’t work, you may need to create a standard local account on the source computer, and use that account to connect to the printer from the destination computer.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].