Windows 8 and Network Printing
Written by Alan Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:00
For the past 3-4 weeks I have been running Windows 8 Build 7850 on an older laptop. First, it runs just fine on that old Intel Celeron-based Dell Inspiron. Second, I have Build 7955, but haven’t got around to installing it yet. Both of those statements are for preference to what I wanted to write about here. What I wanted to point out is that one thing that lacks in Windows 8, at least in Build 7850 of it, which is network printing.
It all began earlier when my daughter wanted to print a page from the test laptop – even a young girl likes playing with cool new technology. I told her that our printer, which is plugged into the desktop PC, should show up as an option since it’s shared via the home network. When it didn’t I thought there was an easy fix, as in the “add a network printer” option in Windows 7.
In Windows 7 you can click Start = Control Panel =>Hardware and Sound and, under Devices and Printers, find an option to Add a printer.
Once clicked, the Add a Printer option takes you to a dialogue box that gives the options for either Add a local printer or Add a Network, Wireless, or Bluetooth printer.
Ordinarily, at this point I would click “Add a network printer”, locate the printer attached to the desktop, and “install” it. However, when accessing the Windows 8 Control Panel Hardware and Sound page, the “add a printer” option is missing. And, there’s no way to access the menu for adding a network printer (“Add a device” does not allow searching the network).
I doubt the functionality has gone away. More likely, it hasn’t been added to this early build. But, it is one more thing, however small, that we have learned about the next-generation operating system from Microsoft. Perhaps another, more automatic, feature is in the works. I think it’s more likely, though, that it is just another existing feature that hasn’t been rolled into this build, but will be added later. For now, there’s no network printing in Windows 8. Know a workaround? Let us know in the comments.