Connecting an HP printer to a Wi-Fi network allows you to print documents and photos wirelessly from anywhere in your home. By using Wi-Fi to connect your devices instead of cables, you can place your printer anywhere in your house while maintaining access for all your computers, phones and tablets.Setting up an HP wireless printer is a straightforward process that can typically be completed in just a few minutes. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step instructions for connecting both inkjet and LaserJet printers to the wireless network in your home or office.
Gather the Required Materials
- HP printer
- Computer, phone or tablet
- Wireless router and internet connection
- Printer installation CD (optional)
- USB cable (optional)
Download the HP Printer Software
The first step is to download the latest HP printer software and drivers. This allows your computer to communicate properly with your printer.
You can download the HP software from HP’s Support website. Make sure to select the appropriate software for your printer model and operating system.
If you have the installation CD that came with the printer, you can also install from this disc.
Connect Printer and Computer Temporarily
Before connecting your printer wirelessly, it is best to first connect it directly to your computer temporarily using a USB cable. This installs any required software and configurations.
To set up a temporary USB connection:
- Turn on both the printer and computer.
- Plug the square end of a USB 2.0 cable into a USB port on the back of the printer.
- Plug the flat end of the cable into any open USB port on your computer.
If you do not have a USB cable, you can skip this step and connect directly wirelessly. However, a temporary USB connection is recommended to ensure proper software installation.
Connect to the Wireless Network
Once connected via USB, you are ready to connect to the Wi-Fi network:
- Open the HP printer software on your connected computer.
- Click on the “Settings” tab.
- Select “Wireless Setup Wizard” in the left pane.
- Turn on Wi-Fi capability by checking the box.
- Click “Continue.”
Follow the on-screen prompts to select and connect to your Wi-Fi network. You will need to know the network name (SSID) and Wi-Fi password.
The printer will now automatically detect nearby wireless networks. Select your network name when it appears in the list.
Type the correct Wi-Fi password when prompted.
Wait 1-2 minutes for the wireless connection to initialize. When connected, the printer display should show a wireless symbol or the Wi-Fi light should stop blinking.
Install Printer Software on Additional Devices
Once connected to Wi-Fi, any computers or mobile devices on the same network will detect the printer automatically.
To print from additional laptops, phones, and tablets, you will need to install the “HP Smart” app or printer software suite. This allows devices to interface properly with the printer.
The printer software can be downloaded from the HP website or app stores depending on your device’s operating system.
Install this on every computer and mobile device that needs the ability to print.
With the software installed and Wi-Fi connected, you can now print wirelessly from any location in your home.
To print from a phone or tablet, simply open a photo, document or web page and tap the share icon. Select the HP printer to send files for wireless printing.
On a laptop, open the file you want to print, select “Print” then choose your HP wireless printer. Click print and the job will be sent wirelessly to print out.
Position the printer anywhere in your home with a strong Wi-Fi signal for reliable wireless performance. Move it freely, as needed, without losing printing access.
With Wi-Fi capability enabled, guests can even print from their own laptops or mobiles when visiting. Simply have them connect to your Wi-Fi network before printing.
- Ensure your router and printer have the latest firmware updates installed for best connectivity.
- Check that the printer is within wireless range of your router’s network by bringing it closer to the router temporarily to test.
- Wi-Fi networks on channels 1, 6 or 11 typically work better than other channels. Set your router appropriately if possible.
- Reset router to factory defaults and set up the wireless connection again from scratch.
- Some models have a WPS connection option for one-touch wireless linking.
- If issues persist with Wi-Fi printing, reconnect via USB to update software, drivers and firmware.
Key Takeaways: Connecting an HP printer wirelessly provides freedom to place it anywhere while enabling printing from mobile devices. Simply download HP’s software suite, connect the printer directly to your computer temporarily via USB, associate it with your Wi-Fi network, then install the printer software on additional devices. With those quick steps complete, you can print wirelessly from phone, tablets, laptops and more.
Connecting an HP wireless printer is a quick process that can be completed in just a few minutes. By linking your printer to your home Wi-Fi network, you unlock the ability to print documents and photos seamlessly from smartphones, tablets and laptops anywhere in your house. With the proper software installations, wireless printing also enables easier sharing between family members, guests and all devices. If any issues emerge, solutions like updating firmware, changing router settings or relocating the printer can typically resolve problems quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the range for Wi-Fi printing?
The wireless printing range varies by model, but typically 100 feet or more depending on obstructions. Printer range can be less than router range. Position your printer within about 50-100 ft. of router.
- Do I need cables at all for wireless setup?
A temporary USB connection makes software installation easier, but you can connect wirelessly with the proper HP software downloaded on every device first. The USB method is generally simpler for most users.
- What internet speed do I need for wireless printing?
Any basic high-speed internet package of 15 Mbps or higher is sufficient for wireless printing functionality and performance. Print jobs require very little bandwidth.
- Is wireless or USB printing faster?
Print speeds are generally similar. However, long documents may print marginally faster over a directly connected USB cable. For everyday use, wireless printing speed should satisfy most users unless printing high resolution graphics frequently.
- Can I wireless print from an iPhone or iPad?
Yes, download and install the free HP Smart app from the iOS App Store to enable wireless printing from any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch using iOS version 7.0 or later. An Android version also exists.
- My wireless printer is displaying an error. What should I do?
Many connectivity issues can be fixed by unplugging the printer power for 60 seconds to reset it. Also update your router firmware and reconnect the printer to Wi-Fi. Check for potential obstructions or interference from other devices. Relocate Wi-Fi router or printer if needed.
- I switched wireless routers. How do I connect my printer to the new Wi-Fi?
You will need reconnect the printer to the new wireless network using HP software on a connected computer. Select the correct new SSID router name and input the Wi-Fi password when prompted to link it to the new router. This process is the same as the initial Wi-Fi setup steps.
- What encryption modes are supported?
HP printers are compatible with WEP 64/128 bit, WPA2 Personal (AES), WPA2 Personal Mixed and 802.1X (EAP-TLS, LEAP and PEAP) wireless encryption security protocols. Check your router security settings if connecting issues occur.
- Can I use Wi-Fi Direct to print wirelessly?
Yes, some printer models support Wi-Fi Direct printing. This lets you connect your phone, tablet or computer directly to the printer itself wirelessly without a router between. Enable the setting with your HP Smart software if available for your printer.
- Why does my wireless printer disconnect randomly?
If a Wi-Fi printer loses connection randomly, update router & printer firmware, relocate devices closer together with minimal obstructions, change the router channel from the default setting, or try rebooting all devices to refresh the connections.
- Can I print wirelessly if my computer is connected via Ethernet cable?
Yes, if your computer connects via Ethernet cable, you can still send print jobs wirelessly to the printer as long as both the computer and the printer are on the same network. The network medium – wireless or wired – does not matter.
- My printer’s Wi-Fi light is blinking – what does this mean?
A blinking Wi-Fi light typically means the printer is not currently connected to a wireless network. A solid Wi-Fi light means it is wirelessly connected. Ensure your router is working properly and reconnect the printer again if the Wi-Fi drops.
- Do wireless printers work with 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
Some support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. But 2.4GHz-only wireless printers are more common. Verify your printer’s Wi-Fi capability before setting up a 5GHz network. Using a dual-band router that defaults to 2.4GHz for the printer is recommended.
- Why does my printer stay in sleep mode even when trying to print?
If an HP printer stays asleep despite print requests, try manually waking the printer by pressing the Power button, check for connectivity issues or incomplete print jobs keeping it in Sleep state, unplug/replug in the power cord, or press the Resume button on the printer interface to wake the system and activate printing.
- I switched routers. Does my wireless printer need different settings?
Yes, when connecting an HP wireless printer to a new router, you will need to run through wireless setup on the printer again to connect it properly to the new network SSID and password. The settings do not carry between different routers even if the network names and passwords are identical.
- How do I reset a printer to factory default settings?
To factory reset an HP printer, press the Power and Cancel buttons simultaneously and hold for 5+ seconds until the device turns off and back on automatically to reset itself. You can then reconnect to Wi-Fi from scratch.
- Why does my HP printer go offline when connected via Wi-Fi?
If an HP printer shows offline status even though Wi-Fi is still connected, try manually turning the printer off then back on to refresh the connection, check that wireless capabilities are still enabled in the software, or reboot your wireless router as connectivity issues with it can manifest on devices as offline status.
- Do HP wireless printers support 5G mobile connections?
HP printers currently do not have native 5G modem capability. However, connecting a 5G mobile hotspot device to your printer’s Wi-Fi will enable you to utilize 5G speeds for functions that require an internet connection. But the printer itself does not contain a 5G modem. Only Wi-Fi and in some cases Ethernet.