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Today we're migrating to a new file and print server, which made me wonder, is there a way to see which users are connected to a shared printer? It's possible to see connections to shared folders in Computer Management, but I'm not aware of anything similar for shared printers. I tried a few Google searches, but I can't seem to explain it in a way that returns any meaningful results.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'd love to be corrected on this but, to my knowledge, there isn't a method similar to what you're describing in the "Computer Management" MMC snap-in to see users that are "connected" to printers. The "connection" is ephemeral and only made when the user has actually submitted a print job.

You're probably interested in removing and replacing stale "connections" in each of the the users' registry with the new print server. I've typically handled this by one of two means.

  • In networks I've built "from the ground up" printer "connections" are handled via scripts or Group Policy so it's a matter of changing the scripts / GPOs.

  • For networks that I've "inherited" I deploy startup scripts and logon scripts to gather the per-machine and per-user printer settings and store them on a server. I can grovel through the output and write scripts to remove the "stale" connections (and to transition the network into being more like one of my "from the ground up" networks).

I've been increasingly trying to pre-populate user printer lists in an effort to prevent users from having to manually add printers (and, thus, having "stale" printers in their lists when I decommission print servers). Historically the Spooler has wasted time trying to "connect" to printers on servers that are no longer available, so I've tried hard to make sure that stale printers are purged via some automated means.

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