Windows Shared Printers Settings

Windows Shared Printers Settings

There are two types of Windows Shared Printers that can be installed on Windows operating systems, user and global.

User printers
User printers are an entry in the user's profile to create a connection to a Windows shared printer and are stored in the user’s profile. Any user with user rights or greater can install a per-user printer because it is only created in the user’s profile.

Global printers
Per-workstation printers are an instruction to the operating system, to create the specified printer as a Per-User Printer in every profile that is loaded (every user that logs into the computer). The instruction is stored in the computer's registry, and requires administrator rights to add or remove. Printer Installer Client runs as a system account and therefore has rights to add and remove the instruction, regardless of what rights the end user has on the local computer.

Problem this option solves: 
Printer Installer enables end users to install and remove per-workstation printers so that the printer is added or removed for all users using the workstation. Without Printer Installer end users only install per-user printers that are installed only for the current user. Subsequent users that login will not see printers that were previously installed by other users. This can be a painful problem if users do not always use the same computer because each time the user logs into a new computer they have to install all the printers. By enabling this option the printer is installed as a per-workstation printer and will be available to all users that subsequently login. If a user deletes the printer it will be removed from the computer so that users logging in later will not see the printer as an installed printer.

Problem this option solves:

When roaming profiles are enabled, Windows shared printer connections are included in the end user's profile. If the end user installs printer A, while on computer A, printer A will remain in the user's profile even when the end user logs onto computer B in a different location. This can get pretty messy as the user goes from place to place installing printers, and all of the installed printers remain in the end user’s profile. If the user is in location A, why do they need printers from location B? In some situations it makes more sense to use the above "Create/Delete Per-Workstation Printers" option in combination with this option to enable end users to install per-workstation printers that do not roam with the user, and are installed to the local computer. That way when the next user logs in the printers are already installed and ready to use.

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