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Cannot see Manage Default Printers in Windows 7 Enterprise

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-07-22
manage default printers
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Question by:hindmagr
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40212353
Open Devices and Printers and manage the printers.

Are you the administrator of the machine?  If not, then you may not be able to manage the devices. I thought, however, that a standard user could set the default printer.

You can get to Devices and Printers in Control Panel (and usually from the Start menu as well).
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by:hindmagr
ID: 40212363
I am the Admin, but what I am looking for is the tab at the top for Manage Default Printers. It shows up on my Windows 7 Pro but not on the Enterprise for some reason. I want to turn off changing default printers when on another network. When my users work from home and then come back in they have to change their default printer. Just trying to appease the masses.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40212376
Try this for Windows 7:  Click once on a printer (any printer in your setup). That brings up a sub-menu. Does the feature you want appear in the sub-menu?

You can only have one default printer and I normally do that at the printer itself.
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Author Comment

by:hindmagr
ID: 40212403
I think we are not on the same page here. In Windows 7 there is a feature called Location Aware Printing, where it allows you to choose a default printer for each network you are connected to. This can also be turned off in Manage default Printers tab, but I cannot see this on my Windows 7 Enterprise PC. See screenshot attached for more details on the screen I am looking for. I would love it if I could just find the actual Registry setting and I can change it there.
2014-07-22-14-05-00.jpg
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40212435
The Microsoft TechNet article below more or less suggests the technique I suggested above.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee424302(v=ws.10).aspx

It also says that the feature you want is in Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise.

So if the article above does not help you, then we need to see if something has gone wrong with the operating system.

First step would be to run System File Checker. Open an admin command prompt and run SFC /SCANNOW. Allow to complete, run again and then restart. Now check to see if the function has returned.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40212449
I do not have a Windows Ultimate machine to test on, but the method in the TechNet Article also works for Windows 8 Pro.

Windows-8-Manage-Default
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Author Comment

by:hindmagr
ID: 40212468
That is the tab I am looking for but in my Windows 7 Enterprise PC it does not show up. It shows up in my Windows 7 Pro. I just found the actual registry, this may be the way I have to go.

•The spooler checks the value of HKCU\Printers\Defaults\Disabled to verify if Location Aware Printing is enabled.  If this value is set to 1, then the option “Always use the same printer as my default printer” has been set (see the screenshot below – the first radio button disables Location-Aware Printing).  The current default printer that has been selected is the default printer.  If the value is set to 0, then Location Aware Printing is enabled and the spooler moves to the next step in the process to determine if there is a default printer selected for the network to which the user is connected.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40212478
That is not the default registry setting so it got changed somewhere along the way, it would appear.
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Author Comment

by:hindmagr
ID: 40212675
I think I may be chasing my tail on this one. I just found out that the setting for Manage Default Printers will only show up on Laptop devices. That is why I am not seeing this on my desktops. The other issue I have going is that these are Virtual desktops, so the printers change defaults when you sign in from the office or from home. I am trying to get them not to change when signing in from out side our network. Thanks for your help on this.
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 40212757
Location Aware Printing is only available on mobile devices and not desktops by design. If I had known it was a desktop, I would have mentioned this.

The function is not available in my virtual machines because they are not network aware like a true mobile device.

So I do not think you can achieve what you want on virtual machines on desktop computers. People will have to know what they are printing to.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40212938
@hindmagr  - Thanks and I was happy to help you with this.
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