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Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.

Recently we wanted to print something from an old computer running Windows 2000 (yes, we have all kinds of dinosaurs in our office zoo) to a printer connected to a laptop that was recently upgraded to Windows 10. In the past, all we needed to do was to share the printer on the laptop, and then add it as a network printer on the Windows 2000 computer, and it would work beautifully.

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This time, however, when attempting to add the network printer to the Windows 2000 computer, we received the following message: "Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied." We tried to do the usual troubleshooting: checked the security settings of the shared printer, checked the sharing settings, made sure that the file and printer sharing was enabled on the Windows 10 laptop, all was in order, yet the Windows 2000 computer was still denied access to the shared printer.

After restarting both computers a few times and repeating the sharing/connecting steps, but the same error message appeared every time. So we tried something different, and it worked. We decided to share our solution here, hoping it could be of help to someone else:

1. On the computer to which the printer is connected (in our case it was the Windows 10 laptop), share the printer as usual, and when sharing it, set up the share name that is easy to type in. For example, in our case the long name of the printer was "Epson Stylus Photo R200", but we shared it with the name EpsonR200: (using a simple name like that should make it easier to enter it later on)

Shared printer settings

2. On the computer from which you want to connect to this printer (in our case it was the Windows 2000 computer) use the built-in Add Printer wizard and choose the 'Add Local Printer' option. (If your computer runs Windows 10, you can find this wizard on the Devices - Printers and Scanners page of the Windows Settings window)

Add local printer

3. Press Next, and on the next page choose the 'Create a new port' option and make sure the 'Local port' option is selected:

Create local port

4. When you press Next, Windows will prompt you to enter the port name. Enter the UNC name of the shared printer, in the format: //computername/sharedname . In our case, the computer name of the Windows 10 laptop was laptop, and we had previously set up the shared name of the printer as EpsonR200 (see Step 1 above), so we entered the port name as:

Settin up the local port name

If you don't know the network name of your computer, you can find it out as follows: right-click on the This PC folder (or Computer) in Explorer or some other file manager, and choose Properties from the shortcut menu. On that page, look for the 'computer name' text. That's the name you need to enter instead of 'laptop' in our example. Be sure to use the name of the computer that has the printer attached to it, not the one from which you are trying to connect to the printer through the network!

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Next, Windows will probably ask you to select the printer make and model, install its drivers, etc. Keep providing the information that the wizard requires, according to your specific printer. When done, Windows should add the new printer to the computer, and you should be able to use it to print files. The procedure described above worked for us, hopefully it will work for you, too.

Happy printing!

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