Install a printer in Windows Vista (Adding new printers and drivers)
Windows Vista comes bundled with plenty of drivers to enable "plug-and-play", or the ability for users like you to plug in a peripheral (printer, scanner, camera...) and have it automatically recognized, and its drivers setup for you in a few seconds. This means that, in most cases, you can just plug in your new printer, and not even have to install the drivers on the printer's installation CD, or drivers you downloaded from the printer manufacturer's website. This being said, this tutorial shows you how to add a new printer if Windows Vista does not take care of the setup automatically.
Add a new printer in Windows Vista
To quickly access the Printers folder that displays all the local printers, network printers, and print drivers available to Windows Vista, click on the Start Menu, type printers and hit Enter.
Windows Vista will open in Windows Explorer a complete listing of printers currently available to the system, with the default printer (if you previously installed a printer) displayed with a green checkmark next to its icon.
If you use Windows Vista's Classic Start Menu, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Printers.
Adding a printer from the Printers window
The Printers window will open, and list any printer and print drivers you may already have installed in the past. On Windows Explorer's toolbar, click the Add a printer button: this will open the Add Printer Wizard, whose steps will guide you through the easy installation of a new printer.
Windows Vista's Add Printer Wizard
The Add Printer window opens, offering you a choice between "Add a local printer" and "Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer". This tutorial only covers the installation of a local printer - in other words, adding a printer that will directly be connected to your computer. (One of our Windows Vista networking tutorials will cover adding and setting up network printers.)
Configure your new printer
Click Add a local printer. You will next be asked to choose the port on which the printer is plugged in (most often, the answer will be
LPT1). Click Next.
The next screen asks to Install the printer driver: this is the software Windows Vista uses to communicate with the printer. Vista will have listed printer manufacturers: find your printer's make, select it, and choose a printer model among the printers that appear in the right pane once you select a printer manufacturer. Click Next.
On the next screen, keep the "Use the driver that is currently installed (recommended)" option selected: this instructs Windows Vista to use one of the drivers it comes bundled with. Unless you have an unusual printer, like an older OKI Data matrix printer still common in offices, Vista should have no problems handling the printer with its built-in drivers. Click Next.
Name your new printer and set it as default printer
The final printer setup screen will now collect the printer's name (you can always change a printer's name later on), and whether or not the new printer should be setup as Windows Vista's default printer (you can also change the default printer later on). If you only have one printer installed on your computer, Windows Vista will automatically make it the default printer.
Under Type a printer name, enter the name of your new printer; check or uncheck the "Set as the default printer" checkbox, as you prefer. Click Next.
Windows Vista will next spend a few seconds adding the new printer, installing its drivers, and should give you the final screen that reads "You've successfully added [The new printer name you typed]". You can now click Print a test page to check the new printer's default settings, or click Finish to exit the Add Printer Wizard.
And you are done! Adding a printer in Windows Vista is quite simple; in most cases, you will not even need to manually install the printer as we just explained, and Vista will do it all behind the scenes, automatically. This should be the case for all "USB printers", or printers that connect to your PC with a USB cable (shown on screenshot).up ↑