The Job Owner is ComputerName$

“Help! I’m a PaperCut administrator and we’ve had reports of users’s jobs not printing, or printing but not charged to the correct account If we look in the job log or application log we see usernames listed that are clearly the names of Windows workstations, followed by a $ character, like Library-PC01$. What is going on and how do we fix this?”

Identifying the problem

Normally when a document is printed through Windows the job owner should match that of the logged in user. PaperCut uses this information to track printing. However, we have seen an intermittent issue can occur where the print job owner matches the name of the workstation that the print job was sent from, followed by a $ character.

In the example below, you can see some of these jobs paused in the Windows print queue. In the Owner column some of the jobs are correctly associated with the user account user3, while and others are incorrectly associated with the computer account alan-test3$.


Depending on how the On Demand User Creation settings are configured in PaperCut, you might see these jobs canceled because the user account is unknown or you may see a new user account be created. In the example below, PaperCut is configured to create the user on demand when the user does not exist. The result is a new user account that ends with a $ character.


This can cause admins a few headaches because…

  • In a Find-Me Printing or Secure Print Release scenario, users won’t see their print jobs available for release.
  • Depending on the On Demand User Creation settings and other factors, the user’s print job may be canceled by PaperCut.
  • In PaperCut’s Job Log and Reports, print jobs will not be correctly associated with the right user.

Why does this occur?

This condition occurs when the print server is unable to validate the user credentials on the domain resulting in the job entering the print system using the Computer account credentials, which is also a valid account. This issue may occur when jobs are submitted to the print server when it is not available due to the Print Spooler service not running or when the Windows “Offline Printing” feature is used.

Once the client connection to the print server is restored, the pending print jobs are submitted in bulk to the server. Note: Jobs with Computer$ credentials generally enter the print system in rapid succession.

The behavior happens outside of PaperCut’s control and is generally only noticed because there is no PaperCut balance for the Computer account or the user who submitted the jobs cannot release them as they are not the Windows job owner thus the jobs are reported as missing.

Preventing the issue

Under the Windows print queue permissions, create a permissions object for “Domain Computers” and then explicitly deny permission for that object to Print. In all cases encountered by PaperCut technical support so far, this will, without any user interaction, prevent Computer accounts from creating the print job, and Windows will automatically switch to the User account.



Still have questions?

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


Categories: Troubleshooting Articles, Print Jobs, Charging


Keywords: job logged as username, computer name, host name, machine name, missing

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