Printer Operators Permissions

image I went to a neighborhood picnic this week.  After a delicious T-bone steak and some home made chocolate ice cream I had some time to talk with a friend that I have know for a number of years.  Brian works in IT and manages a fairly sizeable piece of an enormous network.  He asked about the printer operators group and more specifically how to modify the default permissions given to that group.  He wants to be able to give the members of the printer operators group the right to add printers locally to a Windows Server 2003 Server. He is running a network that is based in Windows Server 2003 servers and wanted to know what will happen with printers in Windows Server 2008.

I told him the basics of how to do what he wanted and then told him I would post the full details here on my blog. 

How do I give Printer Operators the permissions to add printers to a local print server? 

KB Article 940724 presents the solution.

There were some changes made to the default rights and permissions given to the printer operators group in Windows Server 2003 and one of them is that they cannot install printers on a local server.  Do not despair.  It is not hard to assign those permissions.  It is just a little work with some policy. 

1.In the domain, create a domain global group for users who manage printers.

2.Add the users who manage printers to the domain global group.

3.Add the domain global group to the domain local Print Operators group and to the local Power Users group.

4.Click Start, click Run, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.

5.Expand Computer Configuration, and then expand Windows Settings.

6.Expand Security Settings, and then expand Local Policies.

7.Click User Rights Assignment, and then double-click Load and unload device drivers.

8.Click Add User or Group, type Print Operators in the Enter the object names to select box, and then click Check Names to resolve the Print Operators group name.

9.Click OK two times.

10.Expand Computer Configuration, and then expand Windows Settings.

11.Expand Security Settings, and then expand Local Policies.

12.Click Security Options, and then double-click Devices: Prevent users from installing printer drivers.

13.Click Disabled, and then click OK.

14.On the File menu, click Exit.


What happens to printer management in Windows Server 2008?

Oddly enough most of what we see in changes to printer management in Windows Server 2008 actually occurred in the release of Windows Server R2.  There is a tool called the Print Management Console that really simplifies the management and maintenance of your network printers.  Second when you start using Windows Server 2008 you will actually need to install the print services role using Server Manager.  I would recommend a blog post done back in February by the performance experts at TechNet as the treatise on this subject.  Spend some time and enjoy the reading. 

AskPerf Blog Post


Brian, thanks for the questions on Printer Management. 

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