As of Windows 2000, many, but not all, printer settings can be configured from Windows's command line using PRINTUI.DLL and RUNDLL32.EXE.
The list of functions on this page was first generated using the following command in Windows 2000 (Professional), with later additions from Windows 7:
RUNDLL32.EXE PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /?
|Notes:||(1)||I certainly did not test each of these switches myself!
To be honest, I usually prefer to use the (VBScript) printer management scripts that come with Windows 2000 and later (look for
|(2)||In Windows 7,
More information is available at Microsoft's TechNet under Q189105.
Download Microsoft's PrintUI.DLL User's Guide and Reference for more detailed, task oriented explanations of command line options.
RUNDLL32.EXE PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry [ options ] [ @commandfile ]
|/a[file]||binary file name|
|/b[name]||base printer name|
|/c[name]||UNC machine name if the action is on a remote machine|
|/dl||delete local printer|
|/dn||delete network printer connection|
|/dd||delete printer driver|
|/e||display printing preferences|
|/f[file]||either inf file or output file|
|/F[file]||location of an INF file that the INF file specified with
|/ga||add per machine printer connections|
|/ge||enum per machine printer connections|
|/gd||delete per machine printer connections|
|/h[arch]||driver architecture, one of the following:|
|/ia||install printer driver using inf file|
|/id||install printer driver using add printer driver wizard|
|/if||install printer using inf file|
|/ii||install printer using add printer wizard with an inf file|
|/il||install printer using add printer wizard|
|/in||add network printer connection|
|/ip||install printer using network printer installation wizard|
|/j[provider]||print provider name|
|/k||print test page to specified printer, cannot be combined with command when installing a printer|
|/l[path]||printer driver source path|
|/m[model]||printer driver model name|
|/o||display printer queue view|
|/p||display printer properties|
|/q||quiet mode, do not display error messages|
|/s||display server properties|
|/Ss||Store printer settings into a file|
|/Sr||Restore printer settings from a file|
|Store or restore printer settings option flags that must be placed at the end of command:|
|r||Resolve name conflicts|
|i||Driver name conflict|
|/u||use the existing printer driver if it's already installed|
|/t[#]||zero based index page to start on|
|/v[version]||driver version, one of the following:
|/w||prompt the user for a driver if specified driver is not found in the inf|
|/y||set printer as the default|
|/Xg||get printer settings|
|/Xs||set printer settings|
|/z||do not auto share this printer|
|/Y||do not auto generate a printer name|
|/K||changes the meaning of /h to accept 2,3,4 for x86 or x64 or Itanium and /v to accept 3 for "Type 3 - User Mode"|
|/Z||share this printer, can only be used with the /if option|
|/?||help this message|
|@file||command line argument file|
|/Mw[message]||show a warning message before committing the command|
|/Mq[message]||show a confirmation message before committing the command|
|/W[flags]||specifies flags and switches for the wizards (for APW & APDW)|
|r||make the wizards to be restart-able from the last page|
|/G[flags]||specifies global flags and switches|
|w||suppress setup driver warnings UI (super quiet mode)|
Microsoft Knowledge Base articles: How to add printers with no user interaction in Windows XP and How to add printers with no user interaction in Windows (2000/2003).
How to print files from the command line (or batch files).
A tip from Iain Hamilton:
I found this excellent page that gives a LOT of additional functionality to the rundll command (it's near the bottom of the page).
For example, there are commands for:
- changing the sharename for the printer
- switching the share on/off
- adding comments and location fields to the printer!
Also, I might add: when you're using the /Z switch to auto-share a printer, it truncates the name to 8 characters. By using the syntax included on this webpage, you can change the share to be longer than 8. This command is especially useful, since it's cluster-aware.
A tip from Denis St-Pierre:
One of the gotchas was that RUNDLL32.exe and PRINTUI.exe always return Errorlevel=0 regardless of errors.
I needed a reliable means to test for the existence of a printer and this is the result:REM NOTE: RUNDLL32.exe and PRINTUI.exe always return Errorlevel=0 REM The trick: Try to get the printer settings into a file REM If No file is created = The Printer does not exist SET PrinterName=FIT FP-32L Raster SET TESTfile=%TEMP%\PrtExist.txt REM Delete %TESTfile% to avoid false positives DEL %TESTfile% /F /Q REM Try to get the printer settings into a file RUNDLL32.EXE PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /Xg /n "%PrinterName%" /f "%TESTfile%" /q IF EXIST "%TESTfile%" ( ECHO %PrinterName% printer exists ) ELSE ( ECHO %PrinterName% printer does NOT exists ) PAUSE
More RUNDLL and RUNDLL32 commands can be found on my RUNDLL page.
An overview of Registry Entries for Printing by Microsoft.
Sometimes we need to do just alittle more than RUNDLL32 is capable of, like installing a TCP/IP printer port.
In that case, consider buying yourself a copy of the Windows 2000 Server/Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit and use PRNADMIN.DLL and the accompanying sample scripts written in VBScript.
My own AddIPPrn.bat uses these VBScripts to install a printer, its driver and a TCP/IP printer port on a remote computer.
Often the printer configurations of existing computers need to be cloned to other computers, or restored after reinstalling Windows.
In those cases, a backup/export and restore/import with Microsoft's PrintMig 3.1 may be the best (and easiest) solution.
Though earlier versions of PrintMig were GUI only, version 3.1 can also be run without user interaction from the command line or in a batch file:
Microsoft (R) Windows (TM) Printer Migrator 3.1 Copyright (C) 1997-2002 Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved usage: PRINTMIG [options] [server] [-?] Display this message [-b] Backup - followed by CAB file name [-r] Restore - followed by CAB file name [-l] Attempt to convert LPR Ports to SPM [-i] Suppress warning popups. Info still written to log file. If server is not specified then the local machine is implied. Example command line to restore an existing config to a server: printmig -r d:\print\ps1.cab \\prt-srvr1 Example command line to backup a server to the specified file: printmig -b "\\filesrv\store\print server 2.cab" \\prt-srvr2
PrintMig can be used for Windows (Server) 2000, XP and Server 2003.
For Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, use the Printer Backup Recovery Migration tool (PRINTBRM) instead.
PRINTBRM is a great (native) command line tool to backup/restore and migrate printers.
Its command line couldn't be any simpler.
%windir%\System32\Spool\Tools\PrintBRM.exe -s \\sourcecomputername -b -f filename.printerExport
And to restore:
%windir%\System32\Spool\Tools\PrintBRM.exe -s \\destinationcomputername -r -f filename.printerExport
For more help:
With Microsoft's PrintMig tool you can create backups of your complete set of printers, ports, drivers, print processors and print monitors.
Unfortunately there is no way to selectively backup nor restore, so you may want to backup a clean test system with just the printers and components you need to migrate.
If you need to migrate a single printer, use my ExpPrnDr.bat (Export Printer Driver) instead.
It uses Microsoft's DEVCON.EXE to list all files belonging to a specific printer driver, and
PRINTUI.DLL to install that printer driver on any computer.