Use the printer properties for sharing printers on a network. This video looks at sharing and security options in Windows, so techs can set up, maintain, and remove shared printers. Mike also covers how to access shared printers from other computers on a network.
- So I've got this little inkjet that's connected directly to my system here via a USB connection. Now, at this point in time, nobody else can use this printer. The printer is a local connection and anything that's local to your computer, be it a printer or be it a folder, has to actually be shared. Now, we've discussed sharing folders in other episodes. This time, let's go ahead and share a printer. So to do that, let's head over to the Control Panel and let's take a look at My Devices and Printers. All right, so here's my happy little printer. It works great on my own local system, but I want other people to enjoy it. So I'm going to go through the process of sharing this printer. So I go to Printer Properties and we click on Sharing. And what I'm going to do is say, Share this printer. Then I get this big, long name. I could leave it like that if I wanted, but this is going to be showing up on the network, so I want to give it something short. In this case, I'm just going to use Brother. This is really a matter of personal choice. I could render the print jobs on client computers. In other words, if they send a print job, it first gets turned into a print job on the client computer and then sent directly to my printer, or I can actually act as a print server here and handle it and you can actually see it go through my own spooler. I'd leave that on. And obviously, I do want to list this in the directory because I want other people to get a hold of it. You also have this choice for additional drivers. So you can see right now, the only driver that's going to be passed out when people access the shared printer is for a 64-bit Windows. Now, what if I had 32-bit Windows or what if I had a Raspberry Pi or something that used an ARM processor? Well, then I'd want to go ahead and check these. I only have 64-bits, so I'm going to leave that as it is and I'm going to hit OK. The moment I've done this, I have now offered this guy out to the world. By default, Windows is going to set these up so that anyone can access it. You can actually see this if we take a look at the Printer Properties again. First of all, you'll see I've got a little share icon there, lets me know it's being shared. So if we go into Printer Properties, you can go underneath Security and what you can see here, and this is the big one, right now, it's set up for everyone is allowed to print to this. However, there's also some other options here. There's manage this printer and there is manage documents. Those are just for the spooler. The idea here is that if something goes wrong with the printer, I've got 400 documents in the spooler, I can go ahead and delete those documents if I can manage the printer. If I'm managing documents, then I can do stuff like pick individual documents and I can pause them or delete them or whatever I want to do. So make sure that those options are there if you want them. Generally, I just go ahead and set everyone can print to it, but only people who have administrative rights on this local machine can actually deal with this. If you're on a domain, you have to set this all up for domain users. And again by default, it does a pretty job automatically. All right, so we've got it shared. Well, now, the fun part is, well, let's go access somebody's shared printer. So I've got another Windows machine here. Let's take a look at him. So now that I'm on a different system, it's time to go access that shared printer. Now, I can do that from Devices and Printers, but I can easily also do that within Settings. So I can come in here, go down to Printers and Scanners, and add a printer or scanner. Now, if I'm lucky, it might find it. A lot of times it does and I don't panic about that. So the printer isn't listed. I don't worry too much about that. So what I can do here is I can go ahead and select a shared printer by name. So what I can do is type in backslash, backslash, and then this is actually the name of the computer that is sharing that particular printer. And then the shared name of the printer itself is just called Brother. And I hit Next. And I have successfully installed it. I can even print a test page or anything that I want. So setting up a share in a Windows network is actually pretty trivial. We just go ahead and type in the share name. Now, the problem that a lot of people have is when they're working with printers, they kind of treat it like when they're accessing a shared folder. So what they'll do is they'll go into your network and then they'll click around and those shared printers will show up in your network, but you can't really access them. What you can do is you can right-click on there and say, I want to access this shared printer. And it'll go through the same process. All right, now, there's one more thing I want to talk about that's actually kind of interesting and I'm kind of surprised that COMPTIA put this in here. And it's the concept of what we call mapping a printer. So we map folders and that's fairly common. And what we do with a mapped folder is we say, this UNC for some shared folder, I'm going to make it the X drive or something like that. So that can be convenient where you can go to My Computer and just double-click on the X and there's that shared resource. But you can map printers too, although there's less motivation to do that. About the only reason I could think to map a printer would be because you have some ancient DOS program or you're trying to make some terribly old program work and it's trying to use ancient ports with names like LPT1 or something like that and you want to fool it. Well, we can do that, so let's go through these steps. We're going to have to get to a command prompt and use the net use command. So I'm going to use PowerShell, it doesn't make any difference. If I wanted to use the regular command line, that would work just as well. So to do this, I type in net use and then I have to use the name of one of these ancient old ports. Again, I would type this in because this ancient DOS program was looking for something called LPT1. And then I would type in the name of the computer that's sharing. Then I type in the share name. Now, if I want this to stick around all the time, I can add an extra little switch in here. I can say persistent, yes. And that simply means if I reboot the computer, it'll still be here. Ta-dah! So what we've basically done is we've said, look, if there's some ancient DOS program or something like that that uses these old LPT ports, what will happen is if we set up that old DOS program to print to LPT1, it'll go ahead and redirect it for us automatically to that shared printer. The downside to sharing, and you've got to be careful with this, is that there are some serious privacy risks. The privacy risks really boil down to a couple of things. Number one, keep in mind that this is more than just a printer. It's actually a multi-function device. Things like faxes and it'll print to a PDF or all types of things like this, it'll send something to Google Drive, have the risk of putting things in a position where anybody might be able to look at it. So that's something you just need to think about in terms of how you're setting things up for your network. For example, if you don't want people sending things up to Google Drive, then you might want to have to set this printer up to say, turn off that option, which this guy can do. So be aware of those types of features that come into play. Also remember is that you have to have user authentication on the device if you want to work with the print spooler. So again, be careful with these questions that are going to come up where it's like, you know, Janet's trying to stop this print job. How does she do it? Or she opens up the spooler and everything's grayed out. What's the problem? She doesn't have the right permissions. (light music)
This Total Seminars course covers the exam certification topics. For information on additional study resources—including practice tests, lab simulations, books, and discounted exam vouchers—visit totalsem.com/linkedin. LinkedIn Learning members receive special pricing.
This course was created by Total Seminars. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
We are a CompTIA Partner. As such, we are able to offer CompTIA exam vouchers at a 10% discount. For more information on how to obtain this discount, please download these PDF instructions.