Connection to a New Network Printer

If you're a network administrator, you occasionally find yourself installing new printers and connecting network users to a new shared printer. In "How to Add a Default Printer for All New Users" at and "Guide To Windows NT 4.0 Profiles and Policies (Part 1 of 6)" at, Microsoft describes how to create a Default User profile and distribute this profile on a network server. However, this process is only for new users. How do you perform this process for existing users? Annoyingly, NT 4.0 stores network printer definitions in users' profiles.

I accidentally discovered a timesaving workaround to this problem. You must install the printer locally (i.e., on each workstation as a directly attached printer rather than a network-attached printer). After the printer is installed, click Start, Settings, Printers. Right-click the printer in the Printers dialog box, then select Properties, Ports, Add Port. In the resulting dialog box, you can select a new Local Port and use the \\servername\printers\sharename format to enter the port name. You'll probably want to change the name of the printer (i.e., append the server name or location to the printer name), but otherwise the process is finished. Every user, existing or new, now has access to this network printer.

TAGS: Windows 8
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