On Page 1 of our Deploying Printers with Group Policy Preferences guide, we covered the prerequisites needed and how to deploy a computer side printer. Let’s now look at user side printer, default options, and troubleshooting!
User Configuration: Shared Printer
For our example, we are going to setup a user side shared printer. Navigate to User Configuration/Preferences/Control Panel Settings and select Printers. Right click and select New – Shared Printer.
As you can see, Shared printers are very easy to setup! Simply change the Action to Create and enter in the Shared printer path. If needed, set the printer as the default printer. Finally, select the Common tab and set any Item Level Targeting (if needed).
Preferences stored in a single GPO process from the top down. Let’s say that you create three preferences and set all three to be the default. Preference 3 will run last and will be the default printer for your users.
What About Logging and Errors?
If a Group Policy Printer Preference fails, it will record an event in the Application Event Log. Possible errors include: unknown printers (check your printer name/UNC), unknown print processors (check your driver and print processor – should be Win Print/RAW), unknown name (set your printer to create – make sure printer is online).
Having a printer fail to deploy can be a big problem! If you don’t currently monitor for these errors, you can setup a free and simple monitoring solution with Scheduled Tasks. Here is a guide on doing that.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it – the quick way that you can start deploying printers with Group Policy Preferences! One final note though – Printer Preferences process in the background. This means that you can set up a new print preference, run a remote GPUpdate, and the printer will install silently (even if the user is logged in). If you still have questions, check out this guide that covers best practices for Printer Preferences.
We covered considerations before you deploy your first printer and Administrative Templates you must set. We also covered two method of deploying: shared and TCP/IP.