The printer port settings in Windows determine how your computer connects to your printer. The default port is usually correct, but you may need to modify the port if you get connection issues or want to switch from USB to a network port. Changing the port can help fix printing problems or allow wireless printing from multiple computers.
How to Change Printer Port Settings in Windows
In this guide, we'll show you how to view your current printer port settings and change them in Windows 10, 8, and 7.
Find Your Current Printer Port
First, check what port your Windows PC is currently using to connect to the printer:
- Open the Start menu and go to Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners.
- Select your printer from the list.
- Click “Manage” and then “Printer properties”.
- Go to the Ports tab. This shows the current port your PC is using for the printer, such as USB or a network IP address.
You can also access your printer properties by going to Devices and Printers, right-clicking the printer, and selecting Printer properties.
Change the Printer Port in Windows
If you need to switch your printer connection to a different port, here is how to change it:
USB to a Network Port
If your printer connects via USB but also supports Wi-Fi, you can change to a network IP address to print wirelessly:
- Locate the printer IP address. Turn the printer on and print a network configuration page.
- In Windows printer properties, click “Add port” and select “Standard TCP/IP Port”.
- Enter the printer's IP address and port name. The port is usually 9100 for JetDirect printers or 631 for IPP.
- Click Next, then select the new port you just added as the active port.
Network Port to USB
To switch from a wireless network connection back to USB:
- Connect the printer directly to the computer using a USB cable.
- In printer properties, click “Add port” and select “USB”.
- Select the new USB port as the active port.
- Delete the old network port, as it's no longer needed.
Switch Network Port
If you get a new wireless router or change your network configuration, you may need to update the printer port:
- Get the updated network address or hostname for the printer.
- Add the new port in Windows using the steps above.
- Set it as the active port and delete the old network port.
- Make sure you can print a test page to confirm the new connection is working.
Update Printer Port Drivers
If you change to a different type of port, Windows may prompt you to get updated printer port drivers:
- For a TCP/IP network port, install the “Standard TCP/IP Port Monitor” driver.
- For a USB port, make sure you have the universal “USB Port” driver.
- If prompted for printer drivers, do not reinstall the actual printer drivers. Only update the printer port monitor drivers.
- Restart your computer after updating any port drivers.
Following these steps will allow you to successfully change the printer port in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista. Switching ports can help you resolve printer communication issues or enable wireless network printing. Just take care to select the correct port and install any required port driver updates.