Windows Vista / Getting Started

Print Management

To round out the discussion on printer troubleshooting, now learn how you can manage your printers. Solving a problem may be as easy as deleting the file from the print queue and asking the user to resend it.

Starting Print Management

The Print Management tool is part of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). To start it, you can either type printmanagement.msc at the command prompt or you can follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Administrative Tools and then click Print Management.

Viewing Printers

There are three places where printer information is stored on the Print Management console tree:

Custom Printer Filters
This file contains the All Printers, Printers Not Ready, and Printers With Jobs objects. If you create your own filter for your printers, it will be contained in this folder as well.

Print Servers
This file contains your network's print servers, all of which are given four objects that serve as filters for the servers' printer information. Those objects are: Drivers, Forms, Ports, and Printers.

Deployed Printers
This file maintains a list of all the printers located in Print Management that are managed by Group Policy objects.

Offline Print Servers

You can easily tell if a print server goes offline, because the server's icon will change and "(Offline)" is added to the end of the server name. Also, all the printers on that server will be hidden from view until the server comes back online.


When you click a printer, its details are listed in the Jobs pane of the console.

Displayed are such details as:

  • Printer name
  • Queue status
  • Jobs in queue
  • Server name

The snap-in allows you to add and remove columns to show the characteristics you want to see. You can also filter among the print servers in your organization to show only printers with the characteristics you are looking for.
When you double-click a printer, more details are displayed, that allow more granular management of your printer.

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