HOW TO: Find a Printer in Active Directory and Set Up a Connection in Windows XP

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Article ID: 305609 - View products that this article applies to.
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This step-by-step article will show you how to locate, connect to, and configure a network printer. You can use the Find Printers feature to search for printers in Active Directory when you are logged on to a Windows-based domain.

NOTE: If you are connected to a workgroup rather than a domain, the Find Printers feature is not available.

Find a Printer in Active Directory

  1. Click Start, click Search, click Printers, Computers or People, and then click A printer on the Network. You can then use the three tabs in the Find Printers dialog box to enter different types of search criteria and fine-tune your search:
    • Use the Printers tab to enter information such as the name, location, and model of the printer.
    • Use the Features tab to select additional search options, such as whether the printer can print double-sided copies or print at a specific resolution.
    • Use the Advanced tab to further define special features by using the custom fields to specify criteria such as whether the printer supports collation or a specific printer language.
  2. After you run your search, you can sort or filter the printers that are listed in the search results pane by clicking the column headings.
  3. To view the column headings, click Details on the View menu. The filter option is not available when you view the search results as icons or as a list.

Connect to a Printer

  1. Click the printer you want to which you want to connect, and then click Connect on the File menu (or, you can double-click the printer name).
  2. The printer is installed. If you are prompted, insert the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM in your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

Configure Printer Features

  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Click the printer that you want to configure, and then click Properties on the File menu.
    • On the General tab, you can set your printing preferences according to the features that are supported by your hardware, and print a test page to check the connection.
    • On the Device Settings tab, you can configure advanced properties that are supported by your printer.


Article ID: 305609 - Last Review: October 27, 2002 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
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