One of the top requests we see in the Universal Print Tech Community is the ability to deploy printers with Microsoft Intune. We take your feedback seriously and are excited to now deliver the Universal Print printer provisioning tool, which can be used to deploy Universal Print printers with Microsoft Endpoint Manager!
Universal Print simplifies adding printers for users by:
- Allowing users (standard or local administrator) to add printers to their Windows 10 devices without requiring any downloads or printer driver installation.
- Allowing print administrators to add location attributes to printers. When configured, users can find the printer nearest to them based on GPS or other location attributes of the printer.
As many schools and organizations manage Windows devices with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, an integration between Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Universal Print is a natural requirement. You may, for example, need to automatically add printers to your Windows devices. A cloud-based print infrastructure does not change that need for Azure AD joined devices. Many users expect printers to come pre-configured on their Windows devices and leave it to the IT team or office manager to identify the best printer(s) for them. The ability to pre-configure printers, therefore, can reduce helpdesk calls about printer installation and give you more control. This becomes even more important when employees are working from home, but still need to send print jobs to an office printer to keep certain business processes going.
Although IT admins can, of course, control which printers a user can add, pre-configuring printers on user devices remains a useful, high-demand feature. The Universal Print printer provisioning tool allows administrators to do exactly this!
Before you begin
Before using the tool, please ensure that the following steps have been completed:
- Meet the requirements outlined in Get started documentation.
- Install the following update, or later, for your Windows 10 devices:
Accessing the tool
Administrators can download the Universal Print printer provisioning tool from the Microsoft Download Center and learn how to use it by referring to the Universal Print printer provisioning tool documentation.
The download contains:
- An Intune Win32 application package.
- Samples and templates:
- A sample printers.csv configuration file that may be used as a reference to create printers list to be deployed on users’ devices.
- A command-line script that copies the printers.csv file to appropriate file location on users’ Windows 10 devices.
How the Universal Print printer provisioning tool works
To deploy Universal Print printers via Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the steps are as follows:
- Using Microsoft Endpoint Manager, publish the downloaded Intune Win32 application package to all Windows 10 devices where printers need to be deployed. This will install the Universal Print printer provisioning tool on all target Windows 10 client devices.
- Create a “printers.csv” configuration file with list of the printers that need to be added to the target user devices.
Note: Name of file cannot be localized or changed. It needs to be “printers.csv”.
If different user groups need to have a different printer list, a second “printer.csv” must be created. You will have to repeat this step for each such user group.
- Generate a new custom Intune Win32 application package that contains the printers.csv file and the command script (downloaded as sample).
- Using Microsoft Endpoint Manager, deploy the custom package to the target user group.
The Universal Print printer provisioning tool is added as a very light background service on the Windows 10 device. When users sign in to their Windows 10 device, this background service receives a user login event notification. This event triggers a workflow that looks for the “printers.csv” file. When the file is found, printers from the file are added one-by-one to the Windows 10 device
Configurating a default printer
When creating the “printers.csv” file, you can specify one printer as the default printer. If the policy to let Windows manage the default printer is turned off on the user’s Windows 10 device, then corresponding printer in “printers.csv” is set as default printer on their device.
More detailed instructions on how to use the tool can be found in the Universal Print documentation.
We want to hear from you!
We hope you will download and try the Universal Print printer provisioning tool today—and we would love to hear your feedback on how we can make this tool even better. This is just the first step and we hope it will help you evaluate the Universal Print public preview for your organization.
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the Universal Print Tech Community!