Setup local printer to use through Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) – KB1039900

KB1039900

Description:  Print to local computer through remote desktop session.

Common customer description: I can’t print to my local printer from my Remote Desktop.

Probing questions:

Were you able to print and now it no longer works?
Has anything changed recently?
Did you get a new printer?

Steps to isolate: Make sure the local computer can print to the local printer.

Steps to resolve:

To make a local printer available in a Remote Desktop session:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Click Options in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.
  3. Click the Local Resources tab.
  4. Click Printers in the Local Devices box.
  5. Click Connect.

Additional considerations:

There are some limitations to this feature.  The printer in question must be capable of having its drivers installed remotely.  A lot of store bought “office” printers that are on the low cost scale cannot do this.

Example: HP LaserJet Pro P1102W is a sub $100 printer.  This printer will not install drivers remotely.  The drivers, while installing, will ask to have the printer connected to the computer you are installing the drivers on.  If you are remotely connected to another computer that does not have a physical connection with the printer the drivers will not install.

Sometimes there is a work around to this problem.  If the client is willing to have the printer taken to the remote desktop location, and install the drivers while the printer can obtain a physical connection, some of the lower priced printers will work via RDP connections.  But not all will.

Good way to make sure is, can the drivers be installed remotely and/or is the printer above $400 in price?  If you answer no to either or both it probably cannot perform printing through RDP.

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