Implementing Printer Locations
Enabling printer locations makes it easier for users to find printers near them. With printer locations, you can setup the location of a printer based on the subnet it is on. The location will prepopulate for the printers.
The first step is to map out your locations. A location is a string separated by / characters. For example, your site might be NorthAmerica/Detroit/Marketing or /Florida/Miami/Floor1. You can create the location structure however you want.
There are some limits to your naming structure. Any single level cannot be more than 32 characters, there is a maximum of 256 levels, and the maximum length of the entire location is 260 characters. You can use any character but the / character.
Sample Location Structure
As you can see from the example, you can have location names in any order you want. In example 1 and 2, the city is at level 2 but in example 3, the city is in level 3. This allows you the flexibility to design your location codes however you wish.
The format of example 3 would be NorthAmerica/Ohio/Columbus/HR/East if you were entering this into a location field.
Configuring Printer Locations
A broad overview of the process is:
- Create a list of the printers and their locations. Create a list of the locations you want to enter.
- Create sites.
- Configure the printer locations.
- Enable Group Policy change.
The first step in the process is to setup a site code and location in Active Directory Sites and Services. This allows the printer to be easily found based on a computer’s IP address.
- Open the Active Directory Sites and Services administrative tool.
- Right-click on Subnets. Click New Subnet.
- Enter an IP address and a subnet mask. Select the site object you want this subnet associated with.
- Click OK.
- Your new subnet is listed.
- Right-click on the subnet you created and choose Properties.
- Click on the Location tab.
- Enter the location of the subnet.
- Click OK.
The next step in the process is to set group policy to pre-populate the printer search location.
- Open Active Directory Users and Computers.
- Right-click on the Organizational Unit you want to apply the Group Policy to. Click on Properties.
- Click on the Group Policy tab. If you have installed the Group Policy Management snap-in, click Open. If you did not install the snap-in, click New to create a new object. Name the object and click OK. Click on the new object and select Edit.
- If you did install the Group Policy Management snap-in and you clicked Open, select the new policy and right-click. Choose Edit.
- The Group Policy Object Editor opens. Browse to Computer Configuration: Administrative Templates: Printers.
- Double-click on Pre-populate printer search location text. Click on Enabled. Click OK.
- Close Group Policy Object editor.
The final steps in the process setup the location strings on the printers.
- Open the Printers and Faxes control panel.
- Right-click on the printer you want to set a location for. Choose Properties.
- Click Browse next to the Location field. Select the location for the printer.
- Click OK.
You can test by trying to add a printer on a machine on the subnet you specified earlier.
- Double-click on Add Printer.
- Choose Network Printer and click Next.
- Click Find a printer in the directory and click Next.
- The Find Printers dialog box opens. The Location field is autopopulated.
- Click Find Now to list your printers.
Location search for your printers is very useful for your users. We recommend using a consistent location string to make it easier for users to find printers near their location.
Web Resource: Microsoft Resource