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.
Sometimes you have to manually add a TCP/IP printer in Windows 10. For example, I have an older HP Laserjet 4100 with a Jetdirect network card in it that I use to print from all of my PCs over my local area network (LAN). Getting Windows 10 to print to it isn’t difficult but it’s hardly intuitive.
If you have your network printer already set up but just need to change its IP address, I covered that here. If you want to share a locally attached printer with other computers on your network, you can do that too.
Printing straight to the TCP/IP address of the printer is convenient. It means you don’t have to have another computer on when you want to print.
Fed up with trying to host a network printer on a Windows 7 box on a mixed network, I broke down and bought a Jetdirect card for my aged HP Laserjet 4100. Don’t worry–used Jetdirect cards are cheap these days. I paid $7 for mine.
Of course I made installing it harder than I needed to. I’m a professional. Don’t try this at home. Read more
Windows 7 and my HP Laserjet 4100 weren’t getting along. And I was pretty livid about it. I paid $125 for my Windows 7 upgrade, and for that money, I got to mess around for 4 days trying to get better-than-1997 functionality out of what’s supposed to be the latest and greatest. I was about ready to trade it even up for a copy of Windows ME and Microsoft Bob. Because at least then I’d be able to print.
I finally fixed the problem, but finding the solution wasn’t easy. So I’ll present the symptoms and the ultimate solution here.
I thought I traced my Windows 0.7 printing problem to the presence of a USB bluetooth adapter, but it turned out that was wrong. My wife called about mid-day to say the machine wasn’t printing anymore.
Fortunately, I’d never gotten around to downgrading my netbook from Windows XP to Windows 0.7. It saved the day.
Due to the nature of my wife’s work, we print a lot by home standards. We buy paper by the case, not the ream, and a case of paper probably lasts us a little more than six months.
Our workload just isn’t practical for the kind of printers you find next to the telephones at consumer electronics stores. So I bought an HP Laserjet 4100. And even if a case of paper lasts you a couple of years, you might want to buy an office-grade printer too.