Deploying Printers Through Group Policy

Posted: March 28, 2010 in Active Directory, Printers, Server, System Information
Tags: ,

Problem

You want to deploy printers to a group of users or computers using a GPO.

Solution

Using a graphical user interface

To deploy a printer using Group Policy, you must first push the printer installation settings to a GPO as follows:

  1. Open the Print Management MMC snap-in. Double-click on the print server you want to manage and then click Printers.

  2. Right-click the printer you want to manage and select “Deploy with Group Policy.”

  3. From the Deploy with Group Policy dialog box, click Browse to select a GPO and click OK.

  4. Select one or both of the following:

    • The users that this GPO applies to (per user), to allow a printer connection to follow a user to multiple computers
    • The computers that this GPO applies to (per machine), to allow a printer connection to be available to any user who logs on to a particular computer
  5. Select Add and then OK when you’re finished.

    Using a command-line interface

    After you’ve created the appropriate GPO, add the following to a startup script (for per-machine printer connections) or to a logon script (for per-user printer connections):

    	> pushprinterconnections.exe -log

    Discussion

    A common complaint with previous versions of the Windows Server operating system was the inability to easily push printer settings to clients using Group Policy. This has been greatly improved with the Print Management Console in R2, as you now have a “Deploy with Group Policy” option built right into the MMC console. You can deploy printers on a per-user or per-computer basis; the former is useful for users whose printer connections need to follow them from computer to computer, while the latter is useful in a branch office or lab setting where all users of a particular computer need access to the same printer.

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