My Windows 2008 R2 domain based network has 25 users running Windows 10 on their workstations. Our Lanier printer is NOT joined to the domain (not sure if this is the correct terminology) - and each workstation must install this printer's driver and be configured with the printer's IP address.

My question: Should I add this printer to Active Directory or should I leave the printer stand-alone ? What are the pros and cons of making the printer a member in Active Directory ?

I assume that once the printer is a made a member of Active Directory then users can refer to the printer as \\servername\Lanier-printer ??

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    What you probably need to do is "Share as a network printer from a Windows server". When you do this, you can browse to \\SERVER\PrinterShareName, right-click and select Connect. This activates the Point and Print feature of Windows, and the driver is automatically downloaded to the Windows clients. – Greg Askew Aug 17 '16 at 17:55

Pros: Printer doesn't have to be manually added on every computer. If the printer is replaced, you can remove it without people trying to print to something that isn't there. You can also apply the computer to only certain computers that make sense, or set the default so users don't accidentally print to the wrong printer.

Cons: Some group policies are slow to take affect, but running gpupdate /force should make it work.

Deploying printers with active directory is probably the way to go. I would install the print manager feature if you can. Create a GPO for the computers that the printer should be installed on. Install the printer onto Windows Server, then in Print Manager, the printer should be in the printers section under your server. Right click on it and select Deploy With Group Policy and type in the name of the GPO you added. All the settings should be automatically changed. The printer should also be visible in the Deployed Printers section. To test this, open a command line on a client computer and type gpupdate /force, then reboot. the printer should be available as printername on servername. You can easily remove the printer again if you replace it by deleting the printer from the deployed printers section.

I recommend this method, but printers can be added directly to group policy but this has always been finicky for me. Hope that's not to much information.

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