Share a Windows 10 printer by UNC

Last Updated on July 15, 2017 by Dave Farquhar

Windows 10 uses homegroups, but if you have systems that don’t understand homegroups and want to share a Windows 10 printer by UNC (the old school way to share a network printer), it’s not obvious how to go about doing it.

I couldn’t find a way from the GUI, but it’s still possible to share the printer from a command line.

Type “CMD” in the search bar, then issue the following command:

wmic printer get name

The computer responds with something like this:

Print as a PDF
Microsoft XPS Document Writer
Microsoft Print to PDF
HP LaserJet 4100 Series PS Class Driver

Let’s say I want to share out my HP 4100. I would issue these two commands:

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /Xs /n "HP LaserJet 4100 Series PS Class Driver" Sharename "HP4100"

rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /q /Xs /n "HP4100" Attributes Shared

The underlined part needs to match what the computer printed in the output above. You can copy and paste it by highlighting it with the mouse, then right-clicking when it comes time to type that part. The part in bold needs to match in the two commands. That’s the name of the printer, and I always try to keep it fairly short and avoid spaces.

Finally, type the command hostname to find the name of your computer. My computer is named WIN-OHG4UKJFCKP because I never changed it.

Now, how do you put this network printer to use by reaching it from another system? On most versions of Windows, I can quickly set up that printer by typing this in the run prompt or search bar:


If that doesn’t work, I would set up the printer the way I would a local printer, then when asked for the printer name, use \\WIN-OHG4UKJFCKP\HP4100.

It’s not as user-friendly as homegroups but if you have a machine that doesn’t understand homegroups, like a Mac or Linux box or a very old Windows box, this is a quick and dirty way to allow them to connect to your printer, and you only have to do it once.

And that’s how you share a Windows 10 printer by UNC.

Further reading

If you also need to connect a network printer to Windows 10, see this entry. You can also add a generic printer, and here’s how to change your printer’s IP address if you need to.

If you’re not completely happy with Windows 10, here’s how to improve its performance.

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