Printers can be a pain to set up as doing is so is never really all that cut and dry. You’ll likely need information that you didn’t even know you needed. This is more so true when setting a printer up on a network than in the home but in both situations, neither process involves giving the printer an easy to remember name.
Inside most homes, you’ll likely find only a single printer which makes it simpler as it’s the only one connected to your system. Workplace printers are a whole different can of worms. Chances are good, especially in an office setting, that there is more than one printer connected through a network.
This sort of thing could lead to confusion if remembering exactly which printer has been assigned to use for you in your section. The names of printers are usually set up as the printer ’s manufacturer and model number.
“That does sound confusing. How would you change the name to make it more office friendly?”
If you’re finding it hard to keep track of each connected printer, so long as you have administrative permissions, you can rename it to something simpler for easy identification.
Renaming a Printer in Windows 10
When a printer is added to the Windows operating system, it is given a default name automatically. This is normally not a problem if you’re only ever going to add the one printer. The issues begin to amplify the more printers that are added. In a business setting is where this conundrum comes into place. To avoid confusion for yourself and others who may use them, it would be best to rename the printers.
There are a few different ways to go about renaming the printers on Windows 10.
Using The Settings App
To rename any currently installed printers on your Windows 10 system through Windows Settings:
- Left-click on the Windows Start menu.
- From the menu, click on the Settings icon (the cog).
- You can also right-click the Windows Start icon and select Settings from the menu to achieve the same result.
- Win+I is also a viable option as a shortcut key to open Settings directly.
- In the “Settings” window choose Devices.
- From the “Devices” window, head to Printers & Scanners.
- On the right side, you should see a list of already installed printers and scanners.
- Scroll through the list of printers and click on the one of which you want to perform a name change.
- Click the Manage button.
- This window will display all of the options you have for that particular printer.
- From the left side menu, select Printer properties.
- A new window will pop-up for the chosen printer.
- Stay on (or move to) the “General” tab.
- There will be a textbox that displays the current name of the printer. Click inside of this box, delete the current name, and type in your preferred name for the printer.
- While here, you can also add a description and location to the printer in order to make it easier for yourself (or colleagues) to choose the correct printer for their needs.
- Once a name has been chosen and typed in, you can click the OK button toward the bottom of the Window.
- If changing a printer name on a network, you will be prompted for confirmation before you can finalize the process.
- Other users who utilize this printer will need to re-add the printer to their computers once the name has been changed.
- You may need to close and reopen any running applications before the new printer name will be listed in them.
- After refreshing the device list data, the new printer name should be on display anywhere it would normally show up.
The Settings app is bundled with even the most basic Windows 10 version. It is a universal app created to replace the classic Control Panel option for both users of a touch-screen as well as the standard keyboard and mouse.
Opting For The Control Panel
With every new release (update) of Windows 10, more and more classic options are being converted into a more modern and centralized page in the Settings app. This could lead to the eventual replacement of the Control Panel altogether.
However, if you are still a diehard proponent for the use of the Control Panel, you can use it to change the name of your printer just the same.
To rename any currently installed printers on your Windows 10 system through Control Panel:
- Open the Control Panel app by typing Control Panel into the search box located on the taskbar and selecting the option from the list.
- You can also use the Run function by pressing Win+R and typing control into the dialog box.
- If the View by: size is set to Category, under the “Hardware and Sound” section, click the link to View devices and printers.
- If View by: is set to either of the other options (small/large icons), choose Devices and Printers from the available options on display.
- You’ll see a more visual display of your printers and other devices in this window. Locate the printer in need of a name change and right-click on it.
- From the menu, click on Printer properties.
- At this point, you can refer to the steps for the Settings app beginning at step 8.
Change The Printer Name With Powershell
Primarily reserved for scriptwriters who like to dabble in the .NET framework and C#, Windows Powershell is a more sophisticated and advanced version of your typical command prompt.
To rename any currently installed printers on your Windows 10 system through Powershell:
- You can launch Powershell by first typing powershell into the search box on your taskbar.
- To open it in this instance as an administrator, right-click it and select Run as administrator from the menu options.
- You can also use the Run function by pressing Win+R and typing powershell into the dialog box.
- While in the Powershell window, type in or copy-paste the command Get-Printer | Format-Table Name,ShareName,Shared and press Enter.
- This will pull up a table of your currently connected printers and provide you with their sharing status.
- Next, type in the command Rename-Printer -Name “Your current printer name” -NewName “New printer name” where you’ll need to type in the exact names of those printers inside the parentheses.
- You can see the original name of the printer you want to change from the table we pulled up prior.
- Press Enter to run the command and your printer will be renamed.
Now, you should have nice, descriptive display names for your printers instead of the confusing manufacturer model numbers they held by default. Keep in mind that this will not change the model number behind the scenes and that Windows will continue to recognize the true name of the printer. Changing its name is purely cosmetic so there should be no worry of driver updates causing any sort of issues.
How to Rename Your Printer in Windows 7 or 8.1
As an extra added bonus I will divulge the steps for changing a printer name on the Windows 7 and 8.1 versions of the operating system. As these older versions of Windows do not come with the Settings app, you’ll be stuck using the Control Panel instead.
To change a printer name on Windows 7 or 8.1:
- Use the Start Menu search window to locate Control Panel by typing it into the text area and clicking on the result.
- Similar to how it operates in Windows 10, you can either change the View by: to small or large icons and select Devices and Printers OR click the View devices and printers link underneath the “Hardware and Sound” section in Category.
- In the “Printers” section, locate the printer chosen for a name change and right-click it.
- Select Printer properties from the menu.
- Remain in the “General” tab and type in the name of the printer into the top most textbox.
- You can also type in the location and description (comments) in their respective boxes as well.