Can't add printer when logged is as a regular user

Posted on 2009-05-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Our staff log into their laptops as regular users,  not administrators.  The problem that we have is that they need to be able to add a printer at the site where they are going to.  Is there a workaround to this?  We want to maintain the limited rights but they need to be able to add a printer.
Question by:cruzs
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Expert Comment

ID: 24341373
Regular users should be able to add shared networked printers no problem.  Open up Printers and Faxes -> add printer -> from network -> then either search or type the \\servername\printername and it will add.

Author Comment

ID: 24341495
They are able to browse and see the available printer but cannot complete the add printer because it is saying that they need to have admin rights to do so.

Expert Comment

ID: 24341659
Hey. You can have them as Power Users to install printers. Just check out the below Knowledge base article from Microsoft to get more info,


It says,

To install or to modify a local printer, either of the following conditions must be true:
You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group.
You must be logged on as a member of the Power Users group and have the Load/Unload Device Drivers user right. The Load/Unload Device Drivers user right is a Group Policy setting.

Note To assign this user right, follow these steps:
Click Start, click Run, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
Click Computer Configuration, click Windows Settings, click Security Settings, click Local Policies, and then click User Rights Assignment.
By default, only administrators have this user right. In Windows XP, Power Users can obtain the same user right to install or modify a local printer as they had under Windows 2000 if the administrator explicitly grants this user right to them.
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Assisted Solution

msn-expert earned 400 total points
ID: 24342538
either give your staff admin priveledges or go thru gpedit.msc

Author Comment

ID: 24343760
If I give my staff  Power User rights, what security issues can come up?

Expert Comment

ID: 24344160
If your staff is computer savvy they can even change/delete your admin password anyway (you can search ee for the solution to do that).
My question is why are you limiting their privledges? they are not children are they?
If you do not even know what you are limiting then why limit it?
Some people put those limits on it so users can not install any new programs for example, but what if there is a new driver software for the printers? then they can not even install it themselves and will have to keep bringing the laptop/desktop back to you for servicing.
If you are concerned about viruses, most viruses are smart enough to work around the limitations and will sometimes even set up limits to lock you out instead.
If your staff are computer competitant, and you have antivirus/antispyware installed then I say set them free. If there is a particular person who keeps messing up their computer and bringing it back to you then I would then impose a limit or deal with it. If your whole staff is messing up their computers then I gave your staff too much credit.

Author Comment

ID: 24366927
I made the staff a member of the Power Users local group. When I plugged in an HPLJ 1020 on the USB port, it gave a message stating that "You have to be a member of the Administrators group" to add the printer. I entered her login name and password and the action failed. One option that I am thinking of is giving her own administrator  account so she can add printers but would have to advise her to log off and use her regular account after the printer is added.  This is not the most effective security measure to implement unless someone has a better suggestion.  (Please note:  This staff does a lot of travelling and wants to connect to outside printers locally and on the network to do her work, ) Thanks.

Author Comment

ID: 24367134
I also added the user in Group Policy to load and unload drivers. I didn't see the option to add the Power Users group in there.  Anyway, when I tried adding the printer, it again asked that the user be made a member of the Administrators group.

Expert Comment

ID: 24369667
Do the networked printers that are being browsed to have security restrictions on them?  Have you made sure that your print server is sharing the printer(s) for everyone.

Accepted Solution

sharkbot221984 earned 1600 total points
ID: 24738077
Depending on how often this needs to be done, you could just grant Admin rights to the user account, have them logon add the printer, then you can strip away the admin rights, and have them logoff then back on.  Down & dirty but would get it done.

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