How to log print jobs in the Windows Event Viewer

By default, print jobs on Windows Server are not logged in the Windows Event Viewer, but can be extremely helpful when trying to troubleshoot issues that rely on tracing a job from the start to finish of it’s print trip! It can also be useful to assist with troubleshooting printing/driver related problems.

Windows Server 2012

To enable this option go to: Start → Server Manager → Tools → Event Viewer.

From here, you will want to expand Applications and Services Logs, then go to Microsoft → Windows → PrintService → Operational. Then, right click and select Enable Log.


The default log size is 1024 KB, which typically leads to events getting overwritten after a short period. You may want to right click Operational, select Properties, and increase the Maximum log size ( KB ): setting based on the usage on your print server.

Windows Server 2008

To enable this option go to: Start → Administration Tools → Event Viewer → Applications and Service Logs → Microsoft → Windows → Print Service → Operational. Right click and select Enable log.

You may want to right click Operational again and create a custom view for the print jobs. We suggest you enable all the different information to be logged.

I’ve enabled this on Windows Server 2008 R2 but I see no increase in the logging?

This is more than likely due to a hotfix from Microsoft needing to be installed. Please see the Microsoft KB Article 979241 described as: No event is added to the System log or to an operational channel when a print job is canceled or deleted.

In simple terms, this means that the Pausing, Resuming and Deletion of print jobs in Windows Server 2008 R2 may not be logged. This can be exceptionally useful in tracking down where print jobs are deleted, especially if you haven’t tightened security on your print queues.

Please liaise with your Microsoft Vendor / Advisor and see if this hotfix is suitable for your environment.


Categories: Troubleshooting Articles, Print Jobs, Logs


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