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How to Install an HP Printer

written by: Tony J Palazzo•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 2/17/2011

With the right approach, installing an HP printer is a simple process. This tutorial will show you how to get it done correctly and efficiently.

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    First, Some Preparation

    You can start learning how to install a HP printer by checking to make sure you have all the necessary components, including the printer cable, the power cable, toner cartridge (or cartridges), and some paper for printing a test page. Also, you should make sure you have the right installation software for your operating system. Fortunately, HP makes this very easy to do. Just point your web browser to www.hp.com, click on the ‘Support and Drivers’ tab, click the button to download drivers and software, and enter your printer’s type and number. You’ll be taken to a page where you can select your operating system. In the rare event that your operating system isn’t listed, you won’t be able to install the printer using your present operating system.

    Once you select your operating system, you’ll be provided with either a file to download, or instructions for installation if your operating system has built-in support for your HP printer. Note that the instructions will differ depending on whether you’re connecting with a USB cable or a parallel cable.

    When you’ve got either the driver software or installation instructions ready, the next step is to prepare your printer by installing the toner. Attach the power cable to the printer, plug it in, and power it on. Remove the packaging from the toner cartridge and open the printer to access the cartridge housing.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Installing a HP Inkjet Cartridge

    Open the printer, and the cartridge cradle will automatically slide over into position, allowing you to lift the cradle latches up. The cartridges are lined with a strip of protective tape that you’ll need to remove before inserting them into their cradles. Avoid touching the area the tape covers, as it contains the ink nozzles. Place the cartridges in the cradles with the nozzles facing the interior of the printer, and close the latches above them. If the latches don’t close completely, it means that the cartridge isn’t in place. It doesn’t take much pressure to shut the latches, so if there’s some resistance, open the latch up, take the cartridge out, and reinsert it.

  • slide 3 of 4

    Installing a HP Laser Cartridge

    If you’re installing a laser printer cartridge, it’s a good idea to gently shake the cartridge to loosen up the toner. Similar to the inkjet cartridge, a laser cartridge also contains a strip of protective tape that needs to be removed prior to installation. A tag is located on the left-hand side of the cartridge. Using your thumb and index finger, grasp this tag and pull to release the tape. You may need to bend the tab in a back-and-forth motion to get it to break away from the cartridge. Once the tape is removed, you can place the cartridge into the printer. As long as it’s facing the right way, the cartridge will go in easily and you’ll be able to close the printer back up without any difficulty.

  • slide 4 of 4

    Making the Connection

    Now it’s time to either launch your installation software or connect the printer according to HP’s instructions. If you were provided with software, and you’re using a Windows system, you should run the program before connecting your printer. Otherwise, Windows will detect the printer and run its own installation sequence, which could cause problems with the setup.

    Once the program or your OS tells you the installation was successful, try to print out a document. If you run into problems, check with HP’s support documentation at www.hp.com, clicking again on the Support and Drivers tab, and then selecting the option for support and troubleshooting information. You may need to uninstall and try again.

    With this approach, and with the resources offered by HP, you've learned how to install an HP printer. Way to go!