Exceeding the license limit (user count exceeded)

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What happens when/if I exceed my license limit?

PaperCut NG is licensed on the number of user accounts hosted in the PaperCut database - that is the number of users listed in the user-list under the Users section. If this limit is exceeded:

For 5 users free license:

The admin console will request a registration key and prevent use.

For other licenses:

The admin console will warn that an additional license is required and needs to be entered within the next 40-days. The warning message will display on every admin login during this period. You can also set up the application to automatically email you if/when the license is exceeded. See the Options → Notifications section.

After the warning time is up, and if the user count has not been reduced, the system will prevent selected administration tasks. Printing and tracking will continue as normal and you will not lose any data. The reduced functionality will however require you to secure an increased license or reduce your user count. You’ll be able to access the Options → User/Group Sync section to modify user sync settings.

In addition, if you have purchased the Advanced Print Enablement Pack for use with Print Deploy, it will now show as unlicensed until you reduce the number of users in your PaperCut instance or purchase a new PaperCut NG license with the correct number of users.


From 1st April, 2019 - our PaperCut MF licensing has changed slightly. Reach out to your reseller or ASC (you can find their contact information on the ‘About’ tab in the PaperCut Admin console) - or reach out to us at sales@papercut.com if you prefer.

How did I exceed my limit? I have fewer users in my sync source than PaperCut is saying it has imported!

There are a couple of things to check when working out why you may have gone over your licensed limit. Note that both of these reference the Options → User/Group Sync tab - which is the only tab (apart from the ‘About’ tab) that you will be able to access - even when locked out of the console:

  • Sync process only adds users: The Sync process configured under Options → User/Group Sync will perform a sync nightly that adds any new users to the PaperCut users list. If you remove a user from your sync source, the user will not automatically be removed from PaperCut. If you want to delete the users that you’ve removed from the sync source (e.g. AD, LDAP etc) then take a look at Deleting Users from PaperCut - remember… backup before deleting!
    A video on how to delete users is available here - skip through to 45 seconds into the video, to skip to the section on deleting users by using the ‘Delete users that don’t exist in the selected sync source’ option.
    Note: You will be able to access this page (under Options → User/Group Sync) - even when you’re locked out of the rest of the admin interface tabs
  • On-demand user creation: Take a look under Options → User/Group Sync → On Demand User Creation - if that is switched on, then if a user who doesn’t exist in your sync source prints a job, that user will get created automatically in PaperCut. Follow the same Deleting Users from PaperCut instructions to delete any users that you don’t want included in the user count.

I’ve exceeded my license limit, and I am now locked out of the admin console - what can I do?

  • Add Users to your license using our online order system if you’re using PaperCut NG, or you can contact your Reseller or Authorized Solution Center if you’re using PaperCut MF.
  • Reduce the number of users listed in the system as detailed below.
    Note that you will still have access to the Options → User/Group Sync tab (specifically that one tab) and also you will have access to the ‘About’ tab which will allow you to see the ‘Licensed Users’ section to see how many users you are licensed for, and how many are actually in the system.

Reducing the number of user accounts in PaperCut
There are several methods for reducing the number of users in PaperCut, depending on how users are created in your system. It’s always a good idea to take a backup or if using the Sync options below, use the ‘Test Settings’ button under Options → User/Group Sync to make sure that the expected number of users will be removed prior to making the change ‘live’.
If you’re using AD/LDAP or some other User Directory source sync:
PaperCut works by “mirroring” the user list in your network domain. Delete inactive or unused user accounts from your sync source, then perform a sync with the “delete users” option enabled (after removing the accounts from your sync source, perform a Synchronize Now via Options→User/Group sync, and make sure you select the option Delete users that do not exist in the selected source before performing the sync).
PaperCut also has the option to not import disabled Active Directory users, as well as allowing you to select specific individual groups in your sync source to import only the groups that you need.
If you have system accounts or other user accounts that should be excluded:
Some accounts may not be used by real users. They may exist for other reasons such as:
  • Used by special applications such as databases or web servers
  • “Template” accounts used by system administrators
  • “Virtual” accounts used to represent “resources” in applications such as Microsoft Outlook.
In this situation we recommend using Import users from selected groups to import only the groups that you need.
Manually removing users by using Server Commands:
If you have a list of users that can’t be removed from the system, it is possible to remove these users in PaperCut NG / ChargeBack using a script utilizing server-command. Here is an example Windows batch file:
file: delete-old-users.bat
cd c:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\server\bin\win
server-command delete-existing-user chris
server-command delete-existing-user matt
server-command delete-existing-user tom
server-command delete-existing-user christine
This script based approach is useful in a higher-education environment as often deleting the user account from the domain is difficult or maybe against policy. Note that this script has to be run not just once, but again after each sync (e.g. after automated overnight sync) as sync adds all the deleted users from the directory again. It is therefore only an interim solution until the physical account can be removed.

What if I can’t reduce the number of users in my Sync Source?

If for technical reasons, the number of users can not be reduced using option 2, you may Apply for a License Exception. Organization’s who are issued an exception must agree to run a report once a year to verify that the active user count remains below the license limit. Active user count is defined as the number of users that print at least once a year.

Is there any technical limit on the number of users?

PaperCut has no design limit. The maximum number of users is a function of hardware and system capacity - a constantly moving target as computers get faster. Our largest customer has over 350,000 users in the database.

What if I am in a small office and have 5 users or less printing?

If you are in a small office and only have five users or less printing you can follow these steps:

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Change to the PaperCut directory using cd c:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\server\bin\win
  3. Type server-command delete-existing-user <username>
  4. Repeat as necessary.

Then on the PaperCut administration console, on the Options tab, under User/group Sync, un-check the check box from Import new users and update details overnight. This will stop PaperCut from re-importing the accounts you just deleted, so you will only need to delete the accounts once. If you need to add new users at a later time you will want to manually add new users on the Users Tab of the Admin console.

Categories: FAQ, User Management

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