So, you have your printer all set up and ready to print. You’ve decided to go the wireless route: connecting your printer to the PC and queueing job from wherever you want. Neat. There’s just one problem: the printer is giving you an “enter the WPS PIN for your printer” message and refuses to connect to the PC or the router without it. You have no clue what this means and you’re getting slightly agitated. Not to worry, as it’s a common entry on the HP Printer Error Code list, and we’re about to explain everything to you.
What does WPS stand for and why do you need it?
WPS is short for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, and it’s a really fancy way of describing a password that the PC/router demand from your printer in order to know there’s no funny business going on. The WPS pin is to the printer what the wireless password is to the router: just as you need the Wi-Fi key to connect a PC, smartphone or tablet to your router, you need the WPS pin to connect the HP printer to the router. And since you’re going wireless, it’s probably a good idea to check our guide on how to find HP printer IP address.
PrinterHeadlines Tip: Although the WPS pin on HP printer and the good old-fashioned Wi-Fi passwords bear some similarities, there’s a catch. With WPS pins, there is often a very limited timeframe for you to enter the pin before it becomes invalid. Most printers will give you 90 seconds to enter an issued pin, and if you weren’t quick enough, you’ll have to repeat the process all over again.
The two different types of WPS available
Depending on the printer model you have and the device you’re connecting it to, you will generally have two ways of getting your WPS up and running. One involves simply hitting a WPS button on the printer, while the other is a bit trickier and requires you to access the computer/router settings. And while hitting a button sure sounds easier than tinkering with the options, things are rarely so straightforward when it comes to HP printer troubleshooting.
Using a “WPS button” to connect your HP printer
Like we mentioned, your printer will usually have a WPS button as part of its interface, and hitting it should connect the printer to the router automatically. However, this depends on you having set up the printer correctly beforehand.
During your HP printer setup process, your computer will ask you to enter the HP printer WPS pin, which will either be displayed on the printer’s LCD or an auto-printed sheet. Here’s where the 90-second part comes in: if you miss the window, you’ll have to restart the setup and get a new WPS pin from your printer’s interface in order to get the button working.
Provided you’ve managed to configure the WPS button, you can easily access it through the HP printer’s interface screen. Depending on the model, it will either be under the “Wireless” or “Settings” section (you can find the model in our HP printer manuals section).
Using a “WPS pin” to connect your HP printer
This option involves you accessing the router from your computer and entering the WPS pin there. When you take into account the clock-ticking mentioned above, it’s really not such a bad alternative. Plus, our guide on how to set up HP wireless printer outlines some of these steps in greater detail.
After you’ve connected your printer to the computer, log onto the router by typing 192.168.1.1 in the browser address bar. Your router should have a WPS compatibility option with the printer you’ve just installed, and there should be a WPS pin option in the router’s web interface. Using the steps above, get your printer’s WPS pin, enter it in the router’s interface and save it. This should allow for wireless connection between the three devices (computer, router and printer) from here on without having to press a button every time. If you think this is complicated, wait until you need to figure out how to clear memory on HP Printer.
If the WPS setup doesn’t work, try using the HP Smart App
The steps above are a bit of a hassle, which is why HP went out of their way to create a smart app. How nice of them! With some good fortune, this smart app will know where to find WPS pin on HP printer without forcing you to operate on a timer, access the router and do all that other stuff when you just want to be printing.
You can download the HP Smart App from different places, such as HP’s own downloads section or the Microsoft Store page. After that, simply ask it: “Where can I find the WPS pin on my HP printer?” and it will answer like a genie from a bottle. While it sounds dandy, it doesn’t always work that way, and the app doesn’t support all the printers and all the operating systems. Still, if you’re looking to go the easiest route, this might be a good option to try and see if your PC, router and printer are all compatible with the smart app.
If nothing works, try updating the drivers
The printer setup isn’t going well. The LCD won’t show the WPS pin for HP printer. The router won’t accept it. The HP Smart App isn’t doing anything. You’re in the whole HP Printer Not Printing business. Don’t freak out: you might simply need to update the printer’s drivers before trying the above steps. For Windows, go to the HP Software and Driver Downloads section, find your printer model, and get all the latest drivers.
If you’re using Mac, head over to the Apple AirPrint (macOS and OS X) section for an in-depth explanation of how AirPrint works without the need for drivers. Yes, they’ll also tell you how to find WPS pin on HP printer on a Mac as well. They might even answer the age-old, heart-warming question of: why is my HP printer offline?
While all PrinterHeadlines contributors are printer specialists with many years of experience in the tech industry, we will sometimes refer to other articles and websites. This gives our users a chance to both verify the information they’re getting and gives them a chance to explore additional venues of knowledge.
To cite this article, please use:
Bazmarov, Anya in “How to find the WPS PIN on your HP printer” on PrinterHeadlines.com, Published 2/07/2019, Last Accessed 22/08/2019, https://printerheadlines.com/where-to-find-wps-pin-on-hp-printer/
References and additional resources (4):
- HowStuffWorks: WiFi Printers
- PCMag: How to Access Your Wi-Fi Router’s Settings
- Actiontec: How to create a Secure WiFi Password
- Norton: 5 reasons why general software updates and patches are important
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- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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