Windows Print Management – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 1.4

Managing printers can be one of the more challenging aspects of any operating system. In this video, you’ll learn how to use the Windows Print Management utility to manage the printing process of every printer in your organizations.

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If you’re administering a network, then certainly you are also administering the printers that are connected on that network the people are using to output their information, and almost always this is done across the network. To be able to administer these printers, you need to then access the print management capabilities of the operating system.

If you’re on Windows XP, you can find this in the Control Panel under Printers and Faxes, and in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, it’s located in the Control panel under Administrative Tools, and then you’ll find Print Management. This is a great place to centralize all of your print management, because you can connect to every single printer on your network and get a status and update of all of your printers from this one central console.

Makes it a perfect place to go to to see everything all with one glance. This also makes a very nice, central place to be able to manage all of your print drivers. If you’ve ever worked with printers, especially a large number of different kinds of printers on a network, you know that finding the right driver for the printer can often be a challenge.

And you don’t want to leave it to your end users to have to go out to a manufacturer’s website, find the proper driver for them, make sure they download and install the proper driver. Instead you can have these drivers ready and waiting for them, so that when they connect to a printer that’s now on the network, they’ll have the drivers immediately downloaded and available to their computer.

And it doesn’t matter whether they’re running a 32-bit operating system or a 64-bit version of an operating system. You have already pre-loaded the drivers for both of those, and this makes it very easy for your end users. They can bring in a brand new computer, they can simply browse the network, point to a particular printer, and the drivers will automatically download, and they can start using that printer immediately.

I’m in Windows 7, so we’ll find our Print Management in the Control Panel. I’ll choose Administrative Tools, and you’ll see there’s a printer right there with the little wrench for Print Management. The print management utility is a pre-loaded version of the Microsoft Management Console type layout, where you have all of your options on the left column, the selection of what you’re currently looking at in the middle, and your actions are on the right side.

You see print management’s right here at the top, and I have a list of some custom filters that are built in here. You can see all printers, all drivers, printers not ready, and printers with jobs are listed. These are the default filters. That way if you have 100 different printers on your network, you can add them and see them in different ways.

If you just wanted to immediately find all the printers that were not ready, you can go to one view and click it, and you can see all of the printers on your network that might be having problems. There are also print servers listed, so you can see exactly where your different print servers might be, and deploy printers is also listed. And this gives you different views and different ways to see what’s happening with printers in your environment.

If I look at all of the printers, you can see every single printer that may be defined. You can also see all of the drivers that you currently have configured for all of your systems, and you can see exactly what type of environments that you’ve configured this for. In my environment, I have a brother MFC 845 CW, and I’ve only installed drivers for a 32-bit operating system.

If I knew that there was a 64-bit operating system that I would need to provide this driver for, then I can load them right into this view, and they’ll be available when that person connects to the printer. You’ll notice on my network that I do have a printer that is not ready. It tells me that it’s the brother MFC 845 CW. It tells me that I am low on toner and ink.

So this printer is still working, but now I’m getting feedback from this print management view that tells me this might be a problem, you might want to change out the printer ink. You might want to order so new printer ink if you don’t have any, because eventually you’re going to run out of this particular ink, and someone’s going to call and say that their printer isn’t working. This gives you a way to be a little bit more proactive.

If we right mouse click on any of the printers, we’ll see a lot of different options available for us. You can do everything from opening the printer queue so that you can manage the print jobs that are inside of that printer. You can pause the printing on this, or you can look at all of the properties for this printer. You can see there are a lot of different options here, and you’ve got different sharing options. You can see what ports are configured.

You can even see, in this case, the exact IP address that I’m using to communicate to this printer. You’ve got some advanced options for this particular printer, some color management capabilities, since this is a color printer. The security of who may have access to print to this printer.

You can also change who might be able to manage the printer, manage documents, and even set special permissions for this printer and the device settings themselves, which of course will be specific to every individual printer. By using this centralized print management view, you can see everything at a glance, and it really makes it easy for managing a lot of different printers that may be located anywhere in your environment.