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How to Connect Your Printer to WiFi
January 2, 2019
Are you updating some of your office tech and starting to wonder how to connect an HP printer to WiFi? While there are many different types of printers available today, there are a few related options to consider when it comes to getting your WiFi connection set up properly.
The method you use will be determined by your preferences and your existing office or mobile routines, as well as the type of hardware you’re using.
Many times, the process will be automated and handled during installation. However, because this isn’t always the case, you may have to configure your printer’s network separate from installation.
As simple as it may be to print wirelessly from your phone or any connected device, these are some things to consider before getting started with your preferred method:
1. Where you print and from what devices
2. How close your printer and router are to each other
3. Network information
4. Packaging and setup
We’ll start by talking about some of those concerns, and then move into specific tutorials for basic and wireless setup, and everything else you may need to know about connecting your printer to WiFi.
What devices are you printing from?
Wireless printing requires both a wireless printer and a compatible device. For many offices and homes, the primary printing hub is a desktop or laptop, although more and more users have started to incorporate mobile as a viable print platform.
Your only potential limitation is the strength of your internet connection and how close your printer is to the router. The closer it is to your router, the stronger your connection will be.
Whether it’s via tablet, smartphone, or smart home speaker systems like Google Home or Amazon Echo, the advantages of wireless printing can be substantial. A mobile wireless printing situation is a big potential boost to busy lifestyles with the convenience of printing from anywhere while not needing a hardwired printer in your workspace.
Note: If you’re working with both Google Home and an HP device, you’ll be pleased to see HP print functions are supported. You can follow our step-by-step guide to connect your HP printer to Google Home here.
Have you finished the basics of your printer’s setup?
Before configuring your printer’s WiFi and wireless settings, make sure you’ve completely unboxed and positioned your printer somewhere convenient with all inputs accessible. It should be in a safe and comfortable spot for you, either as a permanent situation or just a temporary spot for setup.
Even if you will be exclusively printing wirelessly, you’ll need to plug your device into a power source and install all your usual print cartridges before you get started. At this point, you’ll also want to let your printer complete its own automatic installation and calibration for page alignment.
Cordless set up or Ethernet connection - the choice is yours
There are other solutions if you don’t mind involving cords or extra connections. If your printer supports it and you prefer to start your setup with a hard Ethernet connection, you can simply connect that and start installing your printer software now. Just select the relevant options during configuration and you’re ready to go.
Connect HP devices easily with HP Auto Wireless Connect
One of the most convenient ways to configure wireless printing is through HP Auto Wireless Connect, a technology built into new HP printers allowing for automatic network configuration during the initial setup and installation process.
It’s extremely easy to use and is done from the comfort of your printer display. During configuration, simply select “Network (Ethernet/Wireless)” when prompted, then “Yes, send my wireless settings to the printer (recommended).” With compatible printers, it’s that easy to connect an HP printer to WiFi.
Despite that, some printers and networks may not recognize or be fully compatible with HP Auto Wireless Connect. In that case, you’ll have access to other options or to bypass during installation. If you’re dealing with an older printer, there are also a few boxes you’ll need to check in order to automatically connect to WiFi.
For HP Auto Wireless Connect to work properly, you’ll need an up-to-date operating system and a conventional wireless network setup. You’ll also need the standard dynamic IP address common for most users and a computer network connected at the 2.4 GHz frequency, though some routers can occasionally compensate for the difference.
Other easy alternatives
If you can’t connect to WiFi during your initial printer configuration using HP Auto Wireless Connect, there are several other easy alternatives that you can access.
WiFi Protected Setup
For users with a router and printer that both support WiFi Protected Setup (WPS), you have a solution that’s almost as easy as auto connect. To start, confirm that you have WPS setup by consulting your product manual. Or you can check your hardware visually for a WPS button, because many newer devices that support this method, such as routers and printers, have theirs clearly marked.
When available, simply press the WPS button on your printer and then the WPS button on your router. Otherwise, press the WPS button your router, then select the correct network via your printer.
HP Wireless Setup Wizard
On HP printers with built-in displays, you can also access the HP Wireless Setup Wizard by navigating to your printer’s Network options. From there, you’ll be able to consult a full list of available networks near you. Just choose the network you prefer and enter your security key to connect and start printing.
Printer-to-computer via USB
For those without printer displays, you can also create a manual connection between printer and PC while you install all of your printer software. This can be done by using your printer’s and computer’s USB ports.
Still having trouble?
Even with the widespread adoption of more and more mobile tech, the basic question of how to connect a wireless printer to WiFi can seem daunting. But wireless printer setup doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you have the right information and compatible technology, you shouldn’t have too much trouble establishing a connection.
If you are still facing lingering issues, it helps to inventory your situation and make sure you know everything you need to know for wireless setup beforehand. If you do hit a wall, just slow down and double-check your work.
Then run down this handy checklist, just to make sure you have a proper WiFi printer setup and everything you need in place for wireless printing:
1. Do I have the correct product information?
2. Do I have the correct network information?
3. Is my internet connection set up properly?
4. Is my internet connection turned on and stable?
5. For mobile, is my device stable with clear WiFi?
6. Are all of my devices compatible and set up correctly?
If you’re still having difficulty connecting to WiFi after checking your information, devices, and connection, you may need to find help directly with the relevant customer support source. In that case, call support for your printer.
If it's an HP printer, simply chat with one of our technical support representatives by contacting HP customer service. If you still can’t connect, you may need to consult your internet service provider.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.