Two Minute Drill: Enabling Print Queue Logging

Two Minute Drill: Enabling Print Queue Logging

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Every so often, a customer needs to enable logging on their print queues to capture as much information about print activities on their server.  Configuring the logging options is actually quite an easy administrative task, but there are a couple of different ways to configure the options – through the GUI or through the registry.  First, the GUI method.  To configure the logging options, open the Printers applet on the server from within Control Panel.  Right click on a blank area of the window, select Server Properties and navigate to the Advanced tab.  On this tab, there are three checkboxes that you want to check:

  1. Log Spooler Error Events
  2. Log Spooler Warning Events
  3. Log Spooler Information Events

One caveat – if you are doing this on a Windows Server 2008 (or Windows Vista) machine, you do need to make sure that you use the “Run As Administrator” option to invoke Server Properties – otherwise you will not be able to modify the logging options as shown below:


Once you select the option using “Run As Administrator”, the check boxes are enabled.


Now let’s quickly cover how to modify the options via the registry.  The key you need to modify is HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\Eventlog.  The same options above are available, but you modify the EventLog value to reflect the options.  Thus:

  1. Log Spooler Error Events – set the value to 1
  2. Log Spooler Warning Events – set the value to 2
  3. Log Spooler Information Events – set the value to 4

You can enable these in different combinations by adding the appropriate values and using the sum as the value for Eventlog.  Thus, to enable all three options – set the value to 7.

Once you have your options configured, you will start to see Event Log messages that look like the sample one below:

Product: Windows Operating System 
ID: 10 
Source: Microsoft-Windows-PrintSpooler 
Version: 6.0 
Message: Document %1, %2 owned by %3 was printed on %4 through port %5. Size in bytes: %6. Pages printed: %7

And with that, we are at the end of this post.  Until next time …

- CC Hameed

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  • Good article on the print queue and the logging. I've had many clients with the same issue, some fixed exactly how you described. I also recommend RPM for print queue logging and archiving to most of my host print clients. RPM is now able to print all print files to PDF and automatically store them in a folder, and write to HTML if needed.

    Just an FYI regarding RPM on enhancing the print queue options. Thank you for the tips!

  • Are reporting and Management Tools for this logging in SCOM or MOM

  • By enabling the logging, on a busy server. You should mention the Event log is going to get full fast.  Though it is nice to see what jobs printed and when to help you track down missing stuff.

  • On Windows 7 this seems not to work... :-(

  • This doesn't exist on 2008 r2.

    Even editing the reg entry manually made zero difference! There is no option to enable this in 2008 r2. Had I known this, despite the print service improvements in r2, I would have stuck with 2003.

  • On W2008 R2 try:

    Server Manager > Diagnostics -> Event Viewer -> Applications and Service Logs -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Print Service -> Operational -> Enable log

  • You absolute hero, I've been looking for this for ages!