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Windows Printing Priorities

In this video we are going to discuss how printer priorities work in Windows. Using printer priorities in Windows allows multiple printers to be created, providing some control over the order in which print jobs will be printed by the printing device.

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Printer Prioritizes
By default, Windows will print jobs in the order in which they have been received, or arrived at the printer. By assigning a priority value to a printer, this allows print jobs to be prioritized. However, having a single printer with a high priority does not produce any result as, if there are no other printers, this printer could be any priority and it will be the one that is printed to. In order to use printer priorities, printers of identical type need to be created. Although the printers are going to be identical, which use the same device driver, each printer that is created will need to be assigned a different priority. When multiple printers exist in an environment, the one with the highest priority will print the job first.

How it works
0:58 – We’ll now dive into taking a deeper look at how this process works. Let’s consider that you have a print device or physical printer. This print device will need a printer, the software Windows component, made for it so users can send jobs to the print device. If the administrator were to determine that they have the need to prioritize print jobs, basically which print jobs will print first, the administrator would create a second printer. Now that two printers have been created, the administrator would then assigned different priority values to control which software printer gets to print to the print device first. The first printer created will be given a default priority of 1 whereas the second printer created would receive a printing priority of 10. Now with two printers created, let’s see an example of what would happen. Notice what happens when there are print jobs in both queues and they are waiting on both printers. When this occurs, the high priority queue will be allowed to send the print jobs to the print device first. That is, the printer with the priority of 10. Notice that the jobs in the lower priority print job queue were not sent to the print device. They will not be sent to the device until all of the jobs from the high priority print queue are processed. If a job was sent to the high priority print queue, the lower priority print queue would stop sending jobs to the printer to allow the high priority to start and finish processing before it continues.

Locating the Printer Priority in Printer Properties Demonstration
2:16 – To demonstrate how to configure printer properties, we will open the control panel and select ‘View devices and printers’.
2:25 – As you can see in our illustration, there are two identical printers listed.
2:28 – First, we’ll take a look at the lower priority printer. To open it, we’ll double click the low priority printer.
2:35 – Next, from the printer dropdown menu we will select properties.
2:40 – From the available options, we will select the Advanced tab.
2:49 – You can see that the priority for this printer is set to 1.

If any other printers exist with a higher priority value, then those printers will be able to send documents to the print device over this one. We’ll now close this window and return to devices and printers. Next we will double click the high priority printer by double clicking on it, like before. Again, we can access the properties through the ‘Printer’ dropdown menu then we’ll select the Advanced tab to look at the printer priority. In order to give this printer priority over the other printer, we will increase the priority for this printer to 10. Unless another printer has higher priority, this printer will always be able to print first. This is all that is necessary to configure and use printer priority, but with the way the defaults are setup, anyone can print to either printer. This means that if a user wants to use a higher priority printer, they could simply directly print to the higher priority printer. If you don’t want this to occur, you can configure the security so that only selected users can print to the high priority printer.

Configuring Security on the Printer Demonstration
3:50 – To configure security, we will select the ‘Security Tab’.
4:00 – By default, everyone will have access to the printer. To remove everyone’s access, I will select ‘Everyone’ from the securities list and press ‘Remove’.
4:08 – We will now press ‘Add’ to add the group ‘Sales Users’ from the Active Directory domain.
4:15 – The sales users jobs will now come out of the print device before the other jobs. The Sales users will also be the only users that have access
4:23 – Select ‘Ok’ to apply the changes to the printer.

We applied a higher priority than the other printer and made this printer only available to the sales users. This gives the administrator some control over which documents are printed first. You can see how printer priority can be used in your organization to control how jobs are printer by the physical printer.

References
“Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2 Exam Ref 70-410” pg 104-105

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