Getting the right printers to the right users has been a challenging task for print management admins ever since the first network printer went online. Even more challenging is ensuring that those users get the right printer driver. Traditionally, printer driver deployment has been accomplished largely through group policy objects (GPOs), yet instances of the GPO not installing the printer driver properly for one reason or another abound. There are multiple root causes for this as well as similar GPO printer problems, making it hard to isolate a single one-size-fits-all fix.
However, if you're having trouble with the GPO not installing a printer driver, there are two basic troubleshooting paths you can take.
1. Adjust Point and Print Restrictions: This is a significant source of wider GPO printer problems in environments that rely on print servers running certain versions of Windows. In the Group Policy Management Console, you'll need to look under both the User Configuration and the Computer Configuration trees for the "Printers" options. There you can either disable the Point and Print Restrictions policy altogether (this method is clearly less secure), or you can edit the respective policies to better complement your organization's unique deployment method and infrastructure.
Unfortunately, this doesn't always solve issues with the GPOs failing to install printer drivers, and some admins have resorted to delicate registry fixes as workarounds.
2. Re-examine your group policy settings: Group policy is rigidly hierarchical, with objects nested within ever larger objects. One small omission or oversight could result in a user or client device being omitted from the correct pool, thus causing printer driver deployment issues and other GPO printer problems. Double-check to ensure that the target is in the right domain or organizational unit (OU), then double-check to ensure that the printer driver is indeed supposed to be delivered to that grouping with or without the necessary permissions, such as admin rights. This might seem self-evident, but you'd be surprised how often the strictures of group policy end up excluding a target because of a tiny permissions or elevation setting.
But here's a definitive solution to GPO printer problems that you might not have considered: PrinterLogic. Our enterprise print management solution does away with printer related group policy completely. At the same time, it allows for more reliable, precise and dynamic printer and driver deployments than you ever thought possible using GPOs, and with a great deal more flexibility than traditional print management solutions.
This is because PrinterLogic's next-generation software integrates easily with common domain services like Active Directory but isn't subject to the same restrictions as group policy. When you're seeing a GPO fail to install a printer driver under your current print management solution, PrinterLogic will allow you assign and automatically deploy that same driver according to more finely tuned criteria with just a few simple clicks in its centralized management console.
Furthermore, PrinterLogic doesn't force you to abide by strict rights requirements. Admin rights are almost always necessary to make any changes to GPO deployments in traditional print environments, but PrinterLogic allows any IT staff of your choice, including support staff, to alter printer and update driver deployment assignments without risk to the security or stability of your network.
If you're tired of printers and their drivers failing to get to the right users, maybe it's time to stop struggling with GPO printer problems and implement a print management solution that works for you, not against you. PrinterLogic is fast and easy for organizations of any size to implement, requires minimal infrastructure compared to print servers, and offers cutting-edge features like Mobile Printing and Secure Printing on top of its effortless standard print management functionality.
With nearly 20 years of experience in delivering market leading IT solutions to Fortune 500 companies, Devin prides himself on driving simplicity into products that solve extremely complex IT problems. For years he has been focused on the end-user computing devices and delivering technology that provides valuable services to the end-user which enable them to be their most productive self. As Vice President of Product Management at PrinterLogic, he focuses on increasing the value customers get from the company's Enterprise Printer Management solution.