By Delia / Last update March 22, 2022

Printers are commonly used in office settings, but some users found that they cannot find a printer on network after upgrading to Windows 11. This may be because you do not have printer sharing enabled, or because the printer is not shared correctly. Let's see how to resolve it.

windows 11

1. Make sure your printer is on the network

Before you start anything else, make sure you are on the same network with the printer and that the printer itself has access to the network.

You can also try restarting the printer, computer, and router to see if the situation has changed..

wireless printer

2. Make sure File and Printer Sharing is enabled in Windows 11

Search for "Control Panel" in the Start menu and open it.

Navigate to "Network and Internet" > "View network status and tasks" > "Change advanced sharing settings".

Make sure the "Turn on network discovery" option is checked, then find the File and printer sharing section and select "Turn on file and printer sharing".

Click "Save changes" at the bottom to apply the changes.

turn on file and printer sharing

3. Make sure you have the correct printer driver

If you have the correct device drivers, then even older printers should work on Windows 11 (as long as it is compatible with Windows 10).

You can either "Update driver" in Device Manager or visit the printer manufacturer's website to search for and download the appropriate driver.

If the driver is outdated or incorrect, you will see a message that the driver is not available when you add the printer.

update printer adapter

4. Share and find a printer on network correctly

After confirming that the above is correct, you should be able to share a printer in Windows 11, or find a printer on the network correctly. Please refer to the following steps.

How to share your printer in Windows 11

First, press Win + I to open the Settings app.

Then click on "Bluetooth & devices" on the left column, and find "Printers & scanners" on the right.

printers and scanners

Find and click on the printer you want to share, and then click on "Printer properties" in the next screen.

printer properties

In the properties panel, click the "Sharing" tab at the top, and then check the "Share this printer" box and save it.

share this printer

After saving, other computers should be able to find this printer as long as they are connected to the same LAN.

How to find a printer on network in Windows 11

Windows 11 provides several ways to connect to a network printer. Here's how to search for an available printer using the Automation tool in Settings.

Press Win + I to open Settings, then go to the "Bluetooth & devices" tab, then select "Printers & scanners" on the right.

Click the "Add device" button next to Add a printer or scanner to search for available printers.

add device

If the printer you want to use is listed, select "Add device" next to it, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

*If it is not listed, then click "Add manually" and check "Select a shared printer by name" in the pop-up window.

add manually

Then enter the shared name of the printer - it should contain the name of the computer hosting the printer. Then select "Next" to start installing the printer.