Windows Server 2003 - Disable automatic printer redirection?

Posted on 2006-04-27
Last Modified: 2009-06-02

We would like it to be where a person's printers, when they remote into a server running Windows 2003 Server Terminal Services, do NOT get sent to the server, because we are finding that they get left there when they log off or end their session.

If a person were to create a Remote Desktop Connection .rdp file to this particular server, and then go to the Local Resources tab, and if they unselect Printers in the "Connect automatically to these local devices" section, it accomplishes what we want.  Unfortunately we have too many users and not many are very computer literate enough to perform this task, even with instructions.  Is there a way to do this on the server itself - stop the local printers the user has on their computer from being sent up to the server with their session?  We want them to use the printers we already added to this Terminal Server from a separate print server.

This is an urgent request, as it is on an important server for my company where a lot of printing is done daily and people keep choosing the wrong, leftover printers from expired sessions.

Question by:navyjax2
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Hi navyjax2,

    Update your GPO to disable printer redirection...  Enable the GPO setting 'Do not allow printer redirection' at Computer Configuration - Administrative templates - Windows Components - Terminal Services - Client/Server data redirection

    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanks for responding.  Unfortunately, though this would work, we don't want to do this as it would affect everything across our domain.  We just want to do it for this server only.  I've been told that adjusting any local security settings on the server would not work because the session looks at the client-side when it connects in and its policies, not the server's local security policy.  This would mean we could adjust the setting on every computer, but we've got 20 computers connecting in that would need changed, all in a remote location.  Not feasible.  Any ideas?

    Thanks, Tom
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Your informants are incorrect :).  I've implemented this hundreds of times....  The GPO setting above applies to TERMINAL SERVERS in the OU it is applied to and does not restrict the client from connecting to another TS that is not restricted and having their printer mapping disabled.  While it is possible, as you point out, to restrict client printer mapping from the client-side, it is not pratical in large environments (I have over 25,000 TS users).

    Create a new GPO with the above setting enabled and apply it to a new OU that contains the TS servers that you do not want to allow client-side printer mapping...

    If this is still not making sense to you let me know and I'll go into more detail.  
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    Forgot to add another way to do this...  Your initial question was phrased in such a way that one would think you want to disable client-mapping anytime a user connects to any server running windows terminal server.  Your response to the solution provided indicates that you do not want this on all terminal servers...So, ...

    On each terminal server that you do not want client-printers mapped do the below:

    1.  Administrator Tools | TS Configuration | Connections, right click RDP-Tcp and choose properties | Client Settings.
    2.  Untick 'Use connection settings from user settings'
    3.  Untick  'Connect client printers at login'

    This is another way to do disable.  End result is the same as using GPO and applying it to a restricted printing TS OU as described in my previous posts,
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    To clarify, we wanted to disable client printer mapping when connecting to a Terminal Server, but only when connecting to this one particular Terminal Server.  Your last post looks to be right-on.  Will give it a shot when I return to work in the a.m. and accept the answer if it works out.  Thanks for all your help.  

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