Hide Document Names on Windows Printers

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“Our organization is concerned about maintaining our users’ privacy, and we need to find a way to hide document names from other users or administrators. Is there a way to do this?”

Prior to Windows server 2012, it was extremely easy to see what everyone else is printing. You only needed to right click on a printer, choose “See what’s printing…” and then you could see every user’s print job along with their username as the jobs flickered through. Normally these details would only be visible for an instant, but the problem becomes a little more apparent when using PaperCut and with hold and release because users print jobs stay in this view for even longer.

Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to ensure your users’ privacy. These methods do work differently though, so read below to figure out what solution is best for your environment.

Hide document names from other users

  • This is a Windows feature, available starting with Windows Server 2012 and is enabled by default.
  • When this is active, only administrators and job owners can see their document name. Other users will only see the document name listed as “Print Document”.
  • The only way to disable this would be to give Everyone admin rights to the print queue.

According to Microsoft : “When printing to a Windows Server 2012 print queue, only users with administrator permissions on the print queue (full system administrator or delegated print administrator, see Assign Delegated Print Administrator and Printer Permission Settings in Windows Server 2012) will see readable document names when viewing the print queue. Users can still view the queue from their client computer and will see their own document name in full, but for other user’s print jobs they will see Print Document for the document name. Additionally, in most cases in the event log on the server, the document name will also appear as Print Document. However, in some job failure cases, the document name will be listed in the failure event.”

Change document names to [HIDDEN] using PaperCut

  • This is a PaperCut feature available only with Windows Printing
  • The way it works is that PaperCut will rename the print job to [HIDDEN], preventing admins and users from being able to see the true document name.
  • This method should come with a small dose of caution. Because Windows printing clients receive a spooler notification every time a print job is renamed, this can end up causing resource issues on large print server such as when you have thousands of clients sending print jobs to a single queue.
  • We have two methods to hide the document names of jobs yet to be printed, depending on whether you just want to set this for one printer or for an entire print server.

Change document names to [HIDDEN] for a particular print queue

Starting with PaperCut version 15.1, each queue can be configured to hide document names, allowing the Administrator to apply the feature selectively.

  1. Log in to the PaperCut Admin Interface.
  2. Navigate to the Printers view.
  3. Search for and select a printer.
  4. In the Advanced Configuration section, enable Hide document names for jobs in this queue
  5. Click Apply.

Change document names to [HIDDEN] for all the print queues on a server

System level hiding is applied to an entire Print Server, hiding document names on all queues. Be aware that you will need to edit the print-provider.conf file on each print server where you want to make this change. If enabled, this will override the print queue queue level hiding setting described above.

  1. Open the print-provider.conf located in [app-path]\providers\print\win\
  2. Locate HideDocumentNames=off and change to HideDocumentNames=on.
  3. Optionally locate HideDocumentNamesText=[hidden] and change [hidden] to a value of your choice.
  4. Save the changes to the print-provider.conf file.
  5. Restart the PaperCut Print Provider Service.

Prevent PaperCut from logging job names

This change won’t affect how users are able to see the jobs in the Windows print queue as described above, but will prevent PaperCut from logging job names.

To make this change, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to the PaperCut Admin Interface.
  2. Navigate to Options, then Privacy Options.
  3. Check the box next to Omit document names from the Job Log.

Still have questions?

Let us know! We love chatting about what’s going on under the hood. Feel free to leave a comment below or visit our Support Portal for further assistance.


Categories: Windows, Release Stations


Keywords: change document name, hide document name, hide doc name, confidential document, security, clear document name, log, hide print jobs

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Article last modified on July 19, 2018, at 09:10 PM
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