Windows 7: Where are my printers?

Hello again, Aamer Shedam here. I have recently come across a Windows 7 behavior, that while it is intentional and is meant to ease printer management, may be less than intuitive to many. The behavior is that if you install multiple printers that use the same driver and are installed on the same port (e.g. LPT1), they will appear as one in the Devices and Printers window. As an example, I have installed two printers and called them HP Color LaserJet 2800 PS -1 and HP Color LaserJet 2800 PS -2. Both of these are installed on the same port and use the same driver. Here is how the printers appear within Devices and Printers:




If I right-click on the printer icon and choose any of the options in the menu that follows, I’ll be able to see all printers, like this:




If you don’t like this behavior, we do have a work-around which will show all the printers separately in a custom folder which will reside on the desktop. To do this, we need to add a key and value to the registry, so as always, we have a couple of disclaimers: First, modifying the registry is dangerous and if something is changed that shouldn’t be, we can’t guarantee that you won’t break your machine. Second, any undocumented feature like this is subject to change at any time and may not work in the future. So, if you still want to do it, here is how:


Open the registry editor and navigate to the following location:


Right click on NameSpace and choose ‘New Key’

Name the key: {2227a280-3aea-1069-a2de-08002b30309d}   …be sure to include the {brackets}

In the right pane, edit the value of ‘Default’ and change it to ‘Printers’:




Close Registry Editor and refresh the desktop. You should see a new folder called ‘Printers’ which will show all the printers separately:




Till next time, Aamer Shedam

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