Making Printers Available to All Users

Easier methods to deploy printers

Note that this article is showing its age somewhat - while the technique here still works, we’ve come a long way in helping customers ‘get their printers installed’ with other methods too:

  • Mobility print lets you advertise your printers over the network - great for BYO devices or unmanaged devices!
  • Print Deploy is a feature of PaperCut MF/NG that lets you push out the right printer to the right person at the right time. Almost like a managed device solution, without needing a managed device solution.

The original solution

Windows 2000, XP and 2003 all have the capability to install a printer and have it globally available to all users (Similar to the way printers worked in the old Windows 95/98 days). Unfortunately the Add Printer wizard does not expose this functionality and only adds the printer for the current user. The command-line needs to be used to install and expose a printer globally. The process is as follows:

  1. Log on to the workstation as an Administrator
  2. Start→Run and enter “cmd” then press OK
  3. Type rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /ga /n\\server\printer where server and printer make up the correct UNC path to the printer.
  4. Restart the spooler service with the commands:
    • net stop spooler
    • net start spooler
  5. The printer should now be listed and available to all users that log onto the workstation.

Also see: [Legacy] Automating printer management in a school, university or education environment for more examples.

Categories: How-to Articles, Print Queue Deployment