Windows: Adding a Printer

This page has instructions that would add a printer only for the user currently using the computer. If you are using a shared computer and would like to add the printer for all users at once, those instructions can be found here: Windows: Adding a Printer for All Users.

Recent Changes to Printing

Microsoft Windows has added restrictions that govern who which kinds of accounts can add printers on a Windows computer.

People who can print normally and add printers

  • If you log into your own workstation with your Carleton username (e.g. fshiller)
  • Using refreshing lab computers (e.g. the computer lab on 4th Libe)
  • If you sign in with a special user account: loaner, physics, psycstudent, biolstudent, or chemstudent

People who must use alternate methods to print

  • If you sign in to computers with a local user account not listed above (e.g. student, nmr, or anything not on the list above) you will not be able to print normally or add a printer to that account on the computer.
If you cannot add printers on the account you normally use on your computer, use Webprint instead. Instructions for using Webprint are here: Webprint: Printing from a Personal Computer

If your department has a lot of shared machines and if Webprint does not meet your needs, contact the ITS Helpdesk to set up a special user account that is added to the printer servers.
Note For CarlTechs: make a ticket and reassign to Desktop Systems

Identifying the printer you need 

  • You can visit to see all the shared network printers on campus (must be on campus or on the VPN to view)

  • Printers are named in the form BLDGroom-Model, for example: CMC104-CC5550

  • Make sure to check the Department or Printer Comments to make sure you have access to the printer

Installing Printer Drivers

Before adding a printer to your machine, you may need to install printer drivers. This would apply if you are adding a printer for the first time on your computer or if you are adding a new printer that is from a different manufacturer from other printers you have added. The instructions can be found here: Windows: Adding Printer Drivers

Adding a printer

  1. Be sure you are connected to the Carleton network (Eduroam or wired network on campus, or the VPN if you are off campus)

  2. Click on the Windows menu in the bottom left-hand corner 

  3. Click into Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners

  4. Click the plus sign labeled Add a printer or scanner

  5. The printer you want to add is not likely to appear on the list. Scroll down and click the small blue text that reads The printer that I want isn’t listed

    • If the printer does appear on the list, you can click on the printer and then click Add a device

  6. On the next screen, choose Select a shared printer by name

  7. Type in the name of your printer, which will be \\\ followed by your printer's posted name. For example: \\\CMC104-CC5550

  8. Click Next

    • If you are asked to share the printer select NO

    • You may be asked for administrator-level approval to install the printer drivers. If you are, use your .\admin username and password. Contact the ITS Helpdesk if you need this admin password reset for you at or 507-222-5999.

Changing Printing Preferences

To change the default printing preferences on your computer, follow the steps on this page: Windows: Changing Default Printing Settings

Was this helpful?
0 reviews


Article ID: 139261
Mon 11/8/21 2:01 PM
Mon 7/25/22 2:06 PM

Related Articles (4)

How to troubleshoot printing issues
How to install a printer for all users on a computer for Windows.
How to download printer drivers on a Windows computer.
How to change a printer's default print settings on Windows 10