The other day while troubleshooting our printer install script, I showed a co-worker how you could “view remote printers” on a computer from Windows 7 to see if the computer had successfully installed the printer. He mentioned it to another co-worker who was also interested in seeing how this could be done. I sat down to show the second co-worker at a Windows 8 computer and unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as easy on a Windows 7 machine. It seems Microsoft left the function out of an easy to access spot. Fortunately, the functionality is still there, just a bit more buried.
If you had a computer on the network named ComputerA that you wanted to check its printers, in Windows 7, you could go to Start, Run… and type \ComputerA. If the computer had any shared printers or folders, they would be listed in the resulting window and if not, it would just be blank, as long as the computer was reachable. When you got to that window, there was also a button below the address bar called “View remote printers”.
Clicking that button would show you all the printers installed on that computer. It would be useful to see which printers they have installed or perhaps to find the model information of a printer, so you could replicate the setup on another computer.
In Windows 8, if you go to \ComputerA in the address bar or using Windows Key+R to bring up the Start, Run… box, the resulting window would be the same. However, with the Explorer redesign to use the Ribbon look, there is no longer a button to view remote printers.
If you still need the functionality, the method instead is to go to Start, Run and type ‘printmanagement.msc’ and click OK. You can also search Print Management on the Start Screen or find it under the Administrative Tools on the Control Panel.
Once you answer yes to the resulting UAC prompt that follows launching Print Management, the console will open and you will get something like the window that follows.
From there, you can right-click on Print Servers and choose ‘Add/Remove Servers…’
In the resulting window that pops up, type in the remote computer’s name and then click the ‘Add to List’ button. This will make it show up in the list below, under Print servers. Then hit ‘OK’ to close the window.
This should bring you back to the main Print Management console. Now, you can see your Remote Computer is listed under the Print Servers, along with the local computer you’re sitting at unless you removed it from the above list.
From here, expand the remote computer and select Printers. The center pane will now show you details about the printers installed on that remote computer.
Windows 8 covers the whole spectrum regarding old features. Some things were removed, hidden, improved, or updated for the worse. It’s just going to take some time and reasons to explore where they are now. This is certainly a lot more clicks and settings to remember than just clicking a button but at least the functionality still exists some where.