Installing a printer attached to a computer—installing a local printer—is one of the bread-and-butter actions for techs. This video describes the installation process using the Settings app in Windows, drilled down to the Printers & scanners section.
Now there are three ways that we can connect to get printers so that we can use them. Number one is going to be a local printer. In that case what we're talking about is we're going to take this printer and we're going to plug it into a local system. Now by default that means you're the only person and we're going to set up this inkjet printer as a local printer. So there's really only two ways that the CompTIA A+ talks about how to physically connect a printer to a system. Number one is going to be USB and the overwhelming majority of all printers out there all have USB connections. I've got episodes on thermal printers and impact printers and laser printers and inkjet printers and all four of those examples had USB connections. That is the overwhelming predominate primary way that you're going to connect. However, there are situations where you might have serial connections, like here's a little thermal printer. Now this thermal printer is, it's got a USB connection, so if I want to run it as USB I can, but a lot of times these are connected to point-of-sales systems. And point-of-sales systems use just simple little serial connections. And this guy actually has it looks like an RJ11, but it's really just a serial connection that I would plug this directly into a point-of-sales system with the cash register drawer and it would work just fine. OK, but for this episode what I want to do is get this printer working perfectly well with my Windows 10 system. So the first thing I'm going to have to do is fire this guy up. So, oh, by the way, on these new printers it's amazing the amount of pieces of cardboard and plastic and tape and chunks of styrofoam and everything you have to remove. Take your time, read the instructions before you plug it in, or you might make smoke. Yep, I've done it. Anyway, once everything's plugged in and set up properly make sure that whatever type of printer you have if it is a LaserJet make sure it's got a toner cartridge in there, if it's an inkjet make sure it's got ink, whatever it needs, so it's ready to go. I even throw paper in them as a start and I've thrown a few sheets of paper in this guy. I've got him turned on and I've got the USB plugged in. It's got a crazy USB-B connection on here and what I'm going to do, I want you to watch the screen and I'm going to plug this in. I've got Device Manager running. Ah, fantastic, do you see it right there? The nice part about all operating systems today is that they're really good at recognizing printers and putting in the right device drivers. Both Windows and Mac OS do an amazing job. You just plug it in, they recognize the device, nine times out of 10 they've already got the driver ready, but if it's a really new device they'll automatically go online, find it, and it just goes. On those rare occasions where you have trouble usually this is where we head over to the individual company's website. So this is a Brother MFC-J895DW. Let's check out the Brother website. OK, so I went over to the Brother website and it's got a Full Driver and Package. Most of the time I'm going to go ahead and download this stuff and I'll do a little bit of reading as well. Keep in mind that these devices have firmware. Firmware updates are really common for printers and it's something that a lot of people forget to do. So not only are we setting up the firmware on the actual printer itself, but we're always making sure we have the latest device drivers. Look, all device drivers have a number associated with them. In fact, there's every printers that'll staple them for you. And the other one is duplex. Duplex simply means to print on both sides. Now this little guy has neither of those functions, but I'm going to show you there are ways to get around that. Let's keep taking a look at some more printing preferences. The other big one I like is Maintenance. So I can actually go to the printer itself, but I can even go here and set up different maintenance modes for this particular little inkjet. So you say to yourself, well Mike, I like that idea of collation. So we can actually get around that a little bit in software. So here's good old Microsoft Word and if you take a look I've already hit Print and it's going to say, for example, you see where it says Collated here? I can actually electronically make it print one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, or I could have it print all the pages one, all the pages two, all the pages three, however I might want to do that. And then I can even set up duplexing here. Notice it has an option for Manually Print on Both Sides. That's actually a pretty convenient function. There is no duplexing function built into this printer, so Word will go ahead and print page one, three, five, seven, nine, get all the print job, then it's going to stop and go take everything you printed, flip it over, put it back into the hopper, and then it'll go ahead and print two, four, six, eight. So you can duplex even on a non-duplex capable device. OK, now the only other thing I want to take a look at is the actual spooler itself. So here I am in Printers and scanners and I can open the queue right here and it will actually show me my print spooler. Now right now I don't have any print jobs in here, however, there are some things I most certainly can do. For example, I can pause the printing for everything. Let's say I'm out of paper or something like that. Most printers will stop and holler, but if you needed to pause the printing you can do it here. I could even Cancel All Documents if I needed to. Equally, I can take individual documents and pause them or cancel them or restart them as I need to. The A+ obsesses over the print spooler. Make sure that you're aware that you can do this within the spooler. However, here's the trick, you actually have to have permissions to be able to control the print spooler. So basic users, for example, can control their own print jobs, but you're going to have to be more like a super user or an administrator to be able to cancel or pause anybody's print job or the printer itself. There's a big difference. So if you run into a question where it says you can't pause a print job it's because you don't have enough permissions. All right, now I had a lot of different stuff in there, what I want to do is take a moment and I want to show you a whole bunch of stuff that are really virtual printers. So I'm going to go into Control Panel and I'm going to go over to Devices and Printers. So once again, here's all my devices. So what I want you to notice where it says Print to PDF, XPS Document Writer, print to OneNote, and then Send to OneNote. Do you see all of these? These are virtual printers. Basically what's going to happen is if I print to this particular one it's just going to make a PDF file. This is going to a XPS style document. This is going to send it to my Microsoft OneNote. So these aren't actual printers, they just send it to different types of files or different types of locations that I might need. So while we're in here I want to show you one more biggie. So I'm going to right-click on this, Set as default printer. So basically what's going to happen here is I'm going to set this to OK. And now, do you see the green little check box? That means Windows will print to him by default. Now in Windows, I don't know if you saw, there was a little thing going, I thought you wanted me to take care of this. Windows by default wants to pick your default printer and it uses a pretty straightforward criteria. It will try to print to the printers that it sees first, a local printer first, then network printers, and then to a virtual printer. I personally find that irritating, because it will suddenly, say I got a problem with this printer and it suddenly starts saying, give me the name of the PDF file and I'll put it on your desktop. No, no, no, no, no, let me fix this and then I'll go ahead and take care of that. So me, I always set my default printer and that's exactly where you do it is from your Control Panel. OK, so these are the basics of installing a local printer. Keep in mind at this point the only person who can use this printer is me. If you want more people to use it we're going to have to talk about sharing printers and that's in another episode. (upbeat music)
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