How to enable printer sharing and share a printer across a Windows 7 network

RELATES TO:


  • Sharing a printer over a Windows 7 network
  • Windows 7 host and client sharing


EXPLANATION:


This guide demonstrates how to enable printer sharing on a PC running Windows 7, and explains how to access an Epson printer that's connected to a different computer on a shared network.

Printer sharing will share the printer driver only. If you have an All-In-One, you cannot share the scanner driver as the operating system does not support it.

Note:

Most modern Epson printers and All-In-Ones have built-in Wi-Fi/Ethernet capabilities or can be used with an Epson wired/wireless print server, which gives you the freedom to network the product without using printer sharing, and also allows you to set up the scanner on a network.


Follow these step-by step instructions on how to enable printer sharing on a Windows 7 network.


Definitions used in this article


Host

The host computer is the PC to which the printer is directly connected. The host PC shares the printer with other PCs on the network, which are not connected to the printer.


Client

client PC is a computer which is not connected to the printer. Client PCs access the printer via the host.


Host computer setup


  1. Ensure that the printer is installed on the host PC and connected to it directly via USB.

  2. Enable the printer driver to share the printer.




    1. Click on  Start, then Devices and Printers.



    2. Right-click on the Epson Printer, then left-click on Printer Properties.



    3. Click on the Sharing tab at the top of this window.



    4. Tick the box next to Share this printer. This window will also allow you to designate a Share name, which is the name used to identify the printer to other PCs on the network.

    5. Tick the boxes next to Render print jobs on client computer and List in the directory.



    6. Click Apply then OK to close the window.

      You will now see the printer icon as shown below.

      The printer is now set up to be shared on the network.

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  3. Set up the sharing network options on the host computer.




    1. Click on  Start then Control Panel.



    2. In Category view, click on Network and Internet. (In the Large or Small icons view, click directly on Network and Sharing Center).

      Then click on Network and Sharing Center.



    3. Click on Change advanced sharing settings on the left-hand side of the window.



    4. On this screen you will see your computer's Network Profile. Profiles are categorised as Home or Work, Public or, on a office network, Domain. Click on the Profile that your network is using, and under the File and printer sharing heading, enable Turn on file and printer sharing.



    5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.



    6. Now Close all windows.

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  4. Ensure that your Firewall allows Printer and File Sharing. These instructions explain how to set up the Windows firewall. If you are using a third-party firewall, refer to your firewall's documentation.




    1. Click on  Start then Control Panel.



    2. In Category view click on System and Security.



    3. Under the Windows Firewall heading, click on Allow a program through Windows Firewall.



    4. On the next screen, enable File and Printer Sharing. (In office environments, network permissions may prevent you from changing the firewall settings. Contact your IT Administrator if this is the case.)



    5. Click OK at the bottom of the screen to confirm the settings.

      Your Epson printer will now be a discoverable device on the network provided that the host computer is switched on.

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Client computer setup


  1. Set up the sharing network options on the client computer(s).




    1. Click the Start then Control panel.



    2. In Category view click on Network and Internet. (In the Large or Small icons view, click directly on Network and Sharing Center.)

      Then click on the Network and Sharing Center heading.





    3. Click on Change advanced sharing settings.



    4. On this window you will see your Network Profile. Profiles are categorised as Home or Work, Public or, on a office network, Domain. Click on the Profile that your network is using, and under the File and printer sharing heading, enable Turn on file and printer sharing.



    5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.



    6. Once complete, close all windows.

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  2. Ensure your Firewall allows Printer and File Sharing.




    1. Click  Start, then Control Panel.



    2. In Category view click on System and Security.



    3. Under the Windows Firewall heading, click on Allow a program through Windows Firewall.



    4. On the next screen, enable File and Printer Sharing. (In office environments, network permissions may prevent you from changing the firewall settings. Contact your IT Administrator if this is the case.)



    5. Click OK at the bottom of the screen to confirm these settings.

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  3. Locate and install the printer via the host computer.



    1. Click on  Start then Devices and Printers.



    2. On the window that opens, click on Add a Printer.



    3. Click on Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.



    4. You should now see your Epson product listed. If it is not listed, refer back to steps 1 - 3 on the Windows 7 Host computer setup and ensure that the steps are completed successfully.

      Note:

      If you have completed all steps with no errors and still unable to share the Epson printer, a third-party firewall or other security application may be blocking file and printer sharing on the computer. Refer to your application's documentation or contact your IT administrator.


    5. Click on your Epson product to highlight it, then click Next at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.



    6. The following windows will appear.

      Looking for a driver...

      Searching Windows Update for drivers.

      Finishing the installation.

      Note:

      If you receive the message No driver found, then obtaining the driver from the host PC has failed:

      If this occurs, you will need to download the correct version of the printer driver from the Epson Support website. For information on how Epson products are supported in Windows 7, refer to related article Epson and Windows 7.


    7. Once installation is complete, the following window will appear. If required, you can rename the printer by editing the text in the Printer name field. Click Next to continue.



    8. Tick the Set as Default Printer box.

    9. (Optional) Test the communication by clicking the Print a Test Page button.

    10. Once complete, click Finish.



    11. You will now see the printer in Devices and Printers, as shown below:

    Your printer should now be available for printing from the client PC. Repeat the process for any additional PCs which need to access the shared printer.

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