MS Printer audit , printer usage monitor / tracking / accounting  in print server

Posted on 2009-12-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-15

I'm looking for printer audit / usage monitor tha's bundled
with MS Win 2003 & not  3rd party tools.

Is it possible to track which domain userid / logon id
prints to a specific color laserjet, the volume of printing
and the files / content the user is printing?

This is to :

a) account how much is being printed so that it can be charged to the
    specific department / user

b) prevent abuse of printing resource for personal use

Using mainly HP color laserjets that are network mapped thru a
Win 2003 print server.

How to configure this

which file in the print server shows/holds these printing information?
Question by:sunhux
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    It would be worthwhile if you checked the logs in your printer.  Large copiers keep these sorts of logs and may also have a report feature to make things easy.

    I don't know of any bundled software within Windows at all.  However, you could parse the event logs since that's where this information is stored.  Could use 3rd party tool to do this (off of the server), or WSH.

    Users may know how to get around it if they print directly to the printer IP address.  Keep that in mind if your users are saavy.

    Author Comment


    How can savvy users bypass it?
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    Assuming it's a network printer, they can print directly to the IP address instead of using the printer spool on the server.  Just change their printer settings.

    Also easy to make personal documents look like work documents when all that's being recorded is the document name.

    Regardless, if you have a policy in place you can use the event logs to show people that you are serious about it.  Follow up with the offenders.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    It depends on your vendor of the printer that you have, Normally for tracking purpose, it will use the third party software that use by vendor to monitor the printing job on the printer machine. the other way, you can check the log by typing the ip address of printer that you have and check with the logs

    Author Comment


    What about the link below, would it help with my requirements above?

    Author Comment


    Btw it's a HP Color laserjet 5550
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    So long as user access is set correctly and your users do not have permission to change printer drivers, you don't need to worry about users changing the port from a shared network printer to a direct IP address. Most large copiers come with a cost accounting or departmental counter that can be internally enabled and configured, but since you are working with HP network printers, I don't think they have that capability. When on the print server, you can set up auditing in windows. If you go to the properties of the printer, go to the security tab, then click advanced. From there, you can go to the auditing tab, then click add. type the group/individual that you want to audit (if you were to set this up departmentally you would want to set up a security group for each department you'd like to audit). Once you add the group/individual to be audited, you can define what actions are to be audited. Once that's applied, each time there is a success or failure audit it will be logged into the event log under Security.

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