Is it possible to for network printers for specific Windows profiles?

Posted on 2012-08-29
Last Modified: 2012-09-01

I would like to know if it is possible to perform the following in Windows XP/7 Professional:

A workstation with 2 user profiles (Both are of "Users" group) are setup with somewhat identical settings of the software installed.  Now a network printer (connected to network port with a fixed IP set) is connected and the computer would like to connect it using TCP/IP port. This is simple enough, and I know how to do that. However, the most tricky part is that I would like to have only one user profile to see that printer when they try to print in applications (e.g. notepad). The other user profile in the same computer will not be able to see that printer when they try to print in applications.

Thanks a lot.
Question by:Peter Kwan
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment


    Not sure what sort of environment you're running, but have a look at group policy preferences. It should be able to add a printer for you. You can then use a filter so that it only applies to that one user and not the second one.
    LVL 16

    Author Comment

    by:Peter Kwan
    Hi, barrymercer.  Thanks for your response.

    The computer is a public workstation in a library which is used to browse the Internet and perform some simple printing.

    No AD or even domain is set up for that computer.
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    You may be able to identify the registry entries associated with that printer. Save them and create a .reg file that you can use in the startup  folder of each user - One to delete the entries and one to add them.

    Save each instance of the printer - then delete it  - see if the printer shows up in the printer list

    The other way you could handle it would be to simply restrict which user can actually use the printer - then name it AdminOnly  as the printer name - The legit user will now that they can use it but the public user will get an error if they try to use it.  Install Cutepdf Writer (Free)  and put up a small sign that says "CutePDF may be used to print to a pdf file (Please insert your Thumbnail drive in the USB slot - ( The Library could then  charge the user say $0.10-$0.25 per B/W page and $1.00 for Color print pages. Great way to generate revenue
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    You can do this, if printer is shared printer (from another computer). You have 2 types of printers in windows. 1. Local (USB, LPT, TCP/IP port) 2. Network printers (\\pc\printer). Information about Network printers are stored in user profile, so users can´t see mapped network printers of other users

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