Enable printer location tracking

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To enable printer location tracking

  1. Open Active Directory Sites and Services.

  2. Create the sites you want, if you haven't done so already. To create a site, see Related Topics.

  3. Associate a subnet for this newly created site, if you haven't done so already. To associate a subnet for the site, see Related Topics.

  4. Right-click each subnet you created, and then click Properties.

  5. Click the Location tab, enter the location of the subnet in the following format based on your location naming convention, and then click OK:


  6. Using Group Policy, double-click the Pre-populate printer search location policy setting, and then click to enable it.

    The following example demonstrates how to set the policy to a group (organizational unit in Active Directory terms) of users that use that printer. However, you can set the policy to a different object using the appropriate Active Directory utility.

    • Start Group Policy from Active Directory Users and Computers. To apply Group Policy to a domain or organizational unit, see Related Topics.

    • Right-click the organizational unit you want to apply the policy to, and then click Properties.

    • Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New to create a new object. Type the name of the new object, and then click OK.

    • Select the newly created object and then click Edit.

    • Expand Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, and then Printers.

    • Double-click the policy setting Pre-populate printer search location, and then click to enable it. When you search the directory service for printers, it automatically fills in your location field using the value specified in the Location tab of the Subnet properties page. If this policy is disabled (default), the location will be empty.

  7. Open Printers and Faxes.

  8. Right-click the printer, and then click Properties.

  9. Type the printer location, or click Browse to find it. You probably want to be more precise in describing the printer location than the subnet location. For example, for the subnet location US/NYC, you might enter US/NYC/Floor42/Room4207.

  10. Repeat the last two steps for each printer in Active Directory.


  • To open Active Directory Sites and Services, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Active Directory Sites and Services.

  • To open Printers and Faxes, click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.

  • To enable printer location tracking, you must have the following:

    • A working directory service with more than one site or more than one subnet.

    • A network IP addressing scheme that corresponds roughly to the physical layout of your enterprise.

    • Client computers that can query the directory service.

    • A subnet object for each site. You can create them using Active Directory Sites and Services.

    • Your own naming convention for printer location.

    • Administrative credentials.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Create a site
Associate a subnet with a site
Establishing a naming convention for printer locations
Manage Organizational Units
Manage Sites