Common Questions

Choose from the list below for answers to some of the most common questions about wireless printing.

Wireless connection issues

Will a static IP address keep my computer from losing communication with my wireless printer? 

If your computer regularly loses communication with your wireless printer, it can help to give the printer a static IP address. This address will not change over time and your computer may have an easier time finding the printer after long periods of printer inactivity.

Watch a video about IP addresses 2:32

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To give your printer a static IP address:

  1. From the control panel of your printer, print a Network Configuration page and Wireless Network Test report, and write down your printer's IP address.

    Compare the printer's IP address to the gateway IP address. They should have a similar format (for example, the gateway IP address might be 192.168.0.1 and the printer IP address 192.168.0.5). If the printer has an IP address similar to 169.254.XXX.XXX or 0.0.0.0, it is not connected to your wireless network.

  2. Type the printer's IP address into your Internet browser's address bar, and press Return.

    A web page appears, displaying the printer's internal settings.

  3. Choose the Networking tab, then the Wireless tab, then the IPv4 tab (your menu path may be slightly different, depending on the model).
  4. On the page that appears, do the following:
    1. Set a Manual IP.

      Your wireless router automatically sets an IP address within a specific range (called the DHCP range). If you know what the DHCP range is, set an IP address in which the last set of numbers is outside that range, but no higher than 254. Keep the first three sets of numbers the same. If you do not know the DHCP range, select a fairly high IP address, like 250 (again, for the last set of numbers). To learn about your router's DHCP range, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or wireless router manufacturer.

    2. For the subnet address, use 255.255.255.0, unless you know that it is different, in which case you should use that number.
    3. For the gateway address and the first DNS, enter your router's IP (it is on the Network Configuration and Wireless Network Test reports). Leave the second DNS field blank.
  5. Click Apply.

    The screen will not refresh. If you changed the printer's IP address from what you typed into your Internet browser, you will have to type in the new IP address to access the printer. If you did not change your printer's IP address, wait 30 seconds after clicking Apply, and then click the Refresh button in your browser. Print another Network Configuration page from your printer to verify its IP address is what you assigned.

  6. Turn off both the wireless router and printer.
  7. Restart the wireless router.
  8. After the wireless router restarts, restart the printer.

If you changed your printer's IP address in step 4, then there may be an additional step needed, depending on your printer model (and only for Windows users):

  1. Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7:
    Start -> Programs -> HP -> <your printer model> -> Update IP Address.
    Windows 8:
    • Launch the Printer Software from the Start screen (icon for the printer model name) or from the tile named for your printer.
    • Select (click or touch) Utilities on the top of the Printer Software screen
    • Select Update IP Address
  2. If this entry exists, click it and enter the new IP Address that you entered in step 4.

How do I set up my printer with an Internet Service Provider (ISP)-provided router? 

If your router is provided by your ISP, you may have problems connecting your wireless printer to it.

To connect a wireless printer with a ISP-provided router:

  1. Unplug the Internet cable that runs between the router and the wall.
  2. Remove the power cord to the router, wait 30 seconds, then reconnect the power cord.
  3. Connect the printer to the router using one of the three methods described in "Connecting your wireless printer". Try using the method you have previously attempted.
  4. From the control panel of your printer, print a Network Configuration page to locate the IP address of the printer. Consult your manual for details.

    Compare the printer's IP address to the router's IP address. They should have a similar format (for example, the router's IP address might be 192.168.0.1 and the printer IP address 192.168.0.5). If the printer has an IP address similar to 169.254.XXX.XXX or 0.0.0.0, it is not connected to your wireless network.

  5. Type the printer IP address (like 192.168.1.5) into a browser (like Internet Explorer) to verify that it is connected. You should see the printer's homepage.
  6. Plug the Internet cable back into the router, restart the router and test your printer's connection.

How do I improve a weak signal from my wireless router? 

In some cases your wireless printer may not be receiving a strong enough signal from your wireless network. The following solutions may help:

  • Proximity: Move the printer and wireless router closer to each other. On some models of wireless routers you can try adjusting the position of the antennas.
  • Obstructions: When choosing a location for your wireless router or wireless printer, avoid having the following items between the wireless router and wireless printer: long distances, walls, other wireless devices (like cordless phones), and large appliances.
  • Wireless channel: Consider changing your wireless router's channel to 1, 6 or 11.
  • Network extension: You can extend the range of your wireless router's signal by adding a wireless access point. This is a device that shares the wireless settings with your wireless router and extends the wireless signal range in your home. We recommend buying a wireless access point (sometimes called a range extender) from the manufacturer of your wireless router.

What is MAC Address filtering and how does it work with my printer? 

All network devices have a MAC (Media Access Control) address that uniquely identifies the device. This address is permanent and is assigned when the device is manufactured. An IP address also uniquely identifies a device on a given network, but is assigned by the wireless router and can change over time.

MAC address filtering is a method of securing your wireless network. If MAC address filtering is turned on, only devices whose MAC addresses are listed will be allowed onto your wireless network. This method is not recommended, however, because those seeking unwanted access to your network can easily obtain your MAC addresses and use them to gain access.

MAC address filtering is part of the configuration of your wireless router. To turn MAC address filtering on or off, or to add a device to the filter list, you need to access your wireless router configuration settings. For instructions on how to access your wireless router configuration settings, see your wireless router documentation or contact the manufacturer.

Once you access your wireless router configuration settings, you will need to do one of the following:

  • Turn off or disable MAC address filtering altogether (recommended).
  • Find your printer's MAC address and add it to the list of devices allowed to access your network.

Many HP wireless printers display the MAC address on the printer's control panel when you press the Wireless button or touch the Wireless icon from the printer's Home screen. If you do not see the printer's MAC address, print either a Wireless Network Test Report or a Network Configuration Page from the control panel of your printer. Either of these reports can usually be printed from the Wireless Settings menu. If your printer does not have a display or does not have an option to print either report, see your printer documentation to find the correct key sequence to print the Wireless Network Test Report or Network Configuration Page.

Printers that have both wireless and Ethernet capability will have a unique MAC address for the wireless network adapter and another for the Ethernet network adapter. If you are using your printer over a wireless connection, add the wireless MAC address. If you are using your printer over an Ethernet connection, add the Ethernet MAC address. If you aren't sure, add both to be safe.

How do I print wirelessly without a wireless router? 

If you don't have a wireless router, you can still print to your HP printer wirelessly! To do this, you set up what is called a "peer-to-peer" wireless network (sometimes called an "ad hoc" network).

To set up a peer-to-peer wireless network between your computer and your printer:

  1. If your printer is currently connected to your home wireless network you will first have to reset your printer's network settings to their factory default.
    This will disconnect your printer from the network to which it was connected. Check your printer's manual for instructions on how to do this. If you want to re-connect your printer to a wireless network you will have to connect it again.
  2. Make sure the printer's wireless is on (blue light illuminated on the front).
    if it is not, check your printer's manual for instructions on how to do this.
  3. Search for a local wireless network with a name beginning with "hp" or "HP".
    This wireless network is being broadcast from your printer.
    The way to search for a wireless network varies, depending on your computer's operating system. See your computer's manual for help.
  4. Connect to the wireless network. The peer-to-peer network will not require a wireless password.You can now install the software for your printer.
  5. When asked during the software install, select Through the Network, Network, or Wireless.
  6. The wording will depend on the version of software you are installing. The software will automatically detect your printer over the network.

Troubleshooting

If your computer does not see a network name beginning with "hp" or "HP", there are a couple of things you can check:

  • Reset your printer's network settings to their factory default.
    Check your printer's manual for instructions on how to do this. This will disconnect your printer from any network to which it was connected. If you want to re-connect your printer to a network you will have to connect it again. This will also turn off your printer's wireless system, so you will have to turn it back on manually.
  • Enable peer-to-peer (or ad hoc) networking in your computer.
    The method of doing this varies, depending on your computer's operating system. See your computer's manual for help.

Downsides to peer-to-peer networking

  • Your computer can only connect to one wireless network at a time. When it is connected to your printer, it cannot also connect to a wireless router (for Internet access, for example).
  • The connection is not very secure. By default there is no wireless security. You can enable WEP security on your peer-to-peer network, but WEP is not very secure.
  • You may need to manually connect to your printer's wireless signal every time you turn on your computer.
  • If your printer uses any Web Services (such as PrintApps or ePrint) these services will not work with a peer-to-peer connection. To enable these services, your printer must be connected to the Internet through a wireless router (called an "infrastructure network").
  • Overall, connecting your printer to an infrastructure network (with a wireless router) is preferred over a peer-to-peer connection. It is probably more reliable, certainly more secure and allows your computer to be connected to the Internet while simultaneously being connected to your printer.

Learn about HP wireless direct

Login and Security issues

What should I do if I have forgotten my wireless router login? 

If you've forgotten your wireless router login, check the documentation that came with your wireless router for the default login. If you have never changed the login, then this should work. If you have created your own login and can't remember what it is, then you will have to refer to the wireless router documentation or manufacturer for instructions on how to reset your login. Most wireless routers provide a "reset" button that will restore all wireless router settings to their default state.

Why do I see more than one network name (SSID) listed? 

During wireless setup, when your device searches for wireless networks in the area, it will display the SSID or network name of any wireless networks it finds. If you live close to other residences or businesses, you might see several SSIDs listed, which is why it is important that you use an SSID that is meaningful to you, and that you use an encryption method to protect your network from unwanted access.

What should I do if I don't know my wireless network name (SSID)? 

You can retrieve your wireless network name (SSID) from your wireless router. To do this you will need to log into your wireless router by first opening a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, and then entering the IP address of the wireless router in the address field of the browser (in place of http://www...). You may be prompted for a user ID and password to log into the wireless router. For the default IP address and login of your wireless router, and further instructions on how to access your wireless router configuration settings, refer to your wireless router documentation or manufacturer.

Why do I not see my network name (SSID) listed? 

During the wireless setup, when your printer searches for wireless networks in the area, it will display the SSID or network name of any wireless networks that it finds. If you do not see the name of your wireless network (or SSID) listed, one of the following may be the reason.

  • Your wireless router might be configured to not broadcast the SSID.
  • Your printer might be too far from your wireless router or access point. Try to bring your printer closer to your wireless router and, as much as possible, keep your wireless router away from walls, especially exterior walls.
  • Your wireless router may not be powered on. If your wireless router is on and reasonably close to your printer, run the search for wireless networks again, because search results can vary due to interference by other electronic devices such as microwaves and cordless phones.

If you continue to have trouble finding your wireless network, check your wireless router settings for the setting related to SSID broadcasting and make sure broadcasting is set to On. For instructions on how to access your wireless router configuration settings, refer to your wireless router documentation or manufacturer.

What should I do if I don't know my network security key or passphrase?  

You can retrieve your wireless network security key or passphrase from your wireless router. To do this you will need to log into your wireless router:

  1. Open a web browser, such as Internet Explorer
  2. In the address field of the browser (in place of http://www...), enter the IP address of the wireless router.

    You may be prompted for a user ID and password to log into the wireless router. For the default IP address and login of your wireless router, and further instructions on how to access your wireless router configuration settings, refer to your wireless router documentation or manufacturer.

Why do I have more than one WEP key, and what is WEP key indexing? 

If you have multiple WEP keys, start by trying the first key because, by default, your device will be set to look for the first key in the index. WEP key indexing is a method of generating multiple WEP keys using a passphrase, and it is useful for people who want to frequently change the WEP key that is in use.

Why might Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) change my wireless network name and security settings? 

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) uses only WPA encryption because it is considered more secure. If your wireless network does not currently use WPA encryption, then invoking the WPS mode on your wireless router may cause it to reconfigure your wireless network. If you used WPS to setup your wireless network originally, then you should already be using WPA encryption, and using WPS again to add a device to your network should not change any of your wireless network settings.

Printing and Scanning issues

Why might I have trouble printing even after my printer is successfully connected to my wireless network? 

There are several factors that could affect your ability to print to a wireless printer.

  • Other electronic devices are interfering
    You could be experiencing wireless interference from other electronic devices such as microwave ovens or cordless phones, particularly if your cordless phone operates at 2.4Ghz.
  • Firewall software is blocking access to devices on the network
    If you are using firewall software on your computer, it may be blocking your attempts to reach other devices on your network. Be sure that if you see pop-up dialogs from your firewall software related to HP programs, you choose to always allow these programs access.

    Security software firewalls (examples are Symantec, ZoneAlarm and McAfee) can block the HP software from finding your printer over the network. If you find that the printer can be detected once the firewall is disabled, go to http://www.hp.com/go/customercare and search for "Printer Not Found". The "Printer Not Found" documentation provides guidance on how to configure your firewall to prevent problems from happening once you enable the firewall again.

    Also, see firewall help for more information.

  • Another wireless router is using the same default SSID as your wireless router
    If you are using the default wireless network name (SSID) provided by your wireless router or access point, you can have trouble if others in your area are using the same default name. When there are two or more wireless routers or access points broadcasting the same SSID, wireless devices within range that are configured to use that SSID will automatically associate with the one that has the strongest signal, even if the security settings are different.

    For instructions on how to access and modify your wireless router configuration settings, refer to your wireless router documentation or manufacturer. Below are other common reasons why you might not be able to use your printer over the network.

  • The printer is not connected to the network
    If you haven't already done so, print a Wireless Network Test report from your printer's control panel to confirm the printer has connected successfully to your wireless network. If the printer is not connected, the Wireless Network Test report may identify a possible cause (for example MAC address filtering may be enabled on your wireless router) and provide instructions on what to do next. Verify that your printer has a valid IP address (example 192.168.0.5) and has connected to your network's name (SSID).
  • Your computer is connected to a VPN (virtual private network)
    If your computer uses a VPN connection to access an outside secure network, you must first disconnect from the VPN in order to use the printer on your wireless network.
  • The computer and printer are not on the same network
    The best way to check this is to open your web browser (for example Internet Explorer) and type the printer's IP address in the address box of the browser (for example, http://192.168.0.5) in order to access the printer's home page (also called an EWS or embedded web server). This web page comes directly from the printer;, and being able to open and view this page proves the computer and printer are connected to the same network.
  • The wireless router is in an improper operating state
    Sometimes wireless routers can get into an improper operating state and restarting can help. To restart your wireless router, remove the power cord from the wireless router, wait 30 seconds and then plug the power cord back in.

What should I do if I cannot scan? 

If you are having trouble scanning from your wireless printer, the following work-around is available on many models:

  1. From the control panel of your printer, print a Network Configuration page, and write down your printer's IP address.
  2. Type the printer's IP address into your computer's Internet browser, and press Return.

    On the Information tab there is often a feature on the left side of the page called Webscan.

  3. Click Webscan and follow the directions to scan your document or picture.

How do I fix printing and scanning problems using Windows 7? 

If you upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7 since you installed HP software for your wireless printer, you may experience printing or scanning problems. HP has a special patch to apply to your HP software.

To download and install the Windows 7 patch:

  1. In your web browser, go to http://www.hp.com/go/customercare.
  2. On the page that appears, under Step 1, select Download drivers and software (and firmware).
  3. Under Step 2, enter your wireless printer model number, and click Go.
  4. On the Select your operating system page, select your version of Windows 7.
  5. On the Select software and drivers page, select HP Print Software Patch When Upgrading Vista to Windows 7.
  6. Download and install the patch according to the installation software's instructions.

How do I fix printing and scanning problems using Mac OS X? 

If you recently upgraded to Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion(10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8), or installed software for your wireless printer from the CD in the printer box, you may have the wrong version of HP software installed on your Mac.

To properly install the correct software:

  1. Open a Finder window and go to the Applications / Hewlett-Packard folder.
  2. Open HP Uninstaller.
  3. In the HP Uninstaller window, click Continue.
  4. On the screen that appears, choose your printer.
  5. Press and hold the control, option and command keys and click Uninstall.

    A dialog appears, asking if you are sure you want to uninstall all HP software.

  6. Click Continue.
  7. From the Apple menu, choose Software Update.
  8. From the Apple menu choose System Preferences.
  9. In the System Preferences window, click Print & Fax or Print & Scan.
  10. In the list of printers on the left side of the window, select the wireless printer in question and click the minus sign (-) at the bottom of the list
  11. Click the plus sign (+) to re-add the printer.
  12. In the Add Printer window, select your printer, and click Add.

If your wireless printer is already connected to your wireless router, you may not need HP software because Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion have both print & scan drivers built-in.

To be sure you have the built-in drivers, download and install this package: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL907.

If your wireless printer is not connected to your wireless router you may need the HP software. In your web browser, go to http://www.hp.com/go/customercare

  1. Select Download drivers and software (and firmware).
  2. Enter your wireless printer model number, and click Go.
  3. On the Select your operating system page, click Mac OS X.
  4. Next, click the software for your version of OS X.
  5. Then, download and install the software according to the installation software's instructions.

If you still have trouble printing or scanning, deleting and re-adding your printer and/or resetting the printing system is often an effective solution:

  1. From the Apple menu choose System Preferences.
  2. In the System Preferences window, click Print & Fax or Print & Scan.
  3. In the list of printers on the left side of the window, select the wireless printer in question and click the minus sign at the bottom of the list
  4. Click the plus sign to re-add the printer.
  5. In the Add Printer window, select your printer, and click Add.

If you still have trouble communicating with the printer, repeat this process, replacing the third step with:
> Right (control) click anywhere in the printer list and choose Reset Printing System.

How do I fix printing and scanning problems using Mac OS X (10.4, 10.5, and 10.6)? 

If you have trouble printing or scanning, deleting and re-adding your printer and/or resetting the printing system is often an effective solution:

  1. From the Apple menu choose System Preferences.
  2. In the System Preferences window, click Print & Fax.
  3. In the list of printers on the left side of the window, select the wireless printer in question and click the minus sign at the bottom of the list
  4. Click the plus sign to re-add the printer.
  5. In the Add Printer window, select your printer, and click Add.

If you still have trouble communicating with the printer, repeat this process, replacing the third step with:

> Right (control) click anywhere in the printer list and choose Reset Printing System.