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Connected printers not showing in 'Devices and Printers' - Windows 8

    General discussion

  • Ok, I'm probably not the first person to ask about this.

    Why on earth, can I not see any of my connected network printers under 'Devices and Printers' of Windows 8? The devices are without question, 100% connected and registered with the OS, as evidenced from their presence within the 'Print Queues' section of Device Manager, and various software packages, when accessing the 'Print' dialog. I can't even find any evidence of the printers within Print Management! What is going on?

    Thursday, February 07, 2013 12:19 PM

All replies

  • HI,

    I suggest to temporary disable firewall and antivirus program, and re-connect the network printer for test. Also update the printer driver to the latest version

    Or you can try to create another administrator account and login to see if the same issue occurs.


    Leo Huang
    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, February 11, 2013 2:36 AM
  • Hi Leo. Both of your options failed miserably, I'm afraid!
    Monday, February 11, 2013 1:59 PM
  • Hi!

    I'm having the exact same Problem here.

    It happens on all of our Win8 Enterprise machines: Printers not showing up in "Devices and Printers" but in all other Software (like Office Word). Users can print fine. All Printer Options are available. It's just not possible to set the Default Printer using the GUI.

    Key Setup of our environment:

    - created master Image of Win8 Enterprise sysprepped /generalize

    - captured Image and put into WDS

    - deployed master Image to Destination PC in Audit Mode, finalized all Drivers and finally sysprepped

    - After OOBE, PCs are automatically added to the domain

    Regardless of what platform the PC is, always having this issue. Can someone help please?

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:47 PM
  • I have the same issue. Not to mention the  devices and printers windows takes a long time to open
    Thursday, August 01, 2013 2:47 PM
  • I have the same issue. If we perform the power shell command get-printer , the printer is listed. We can also choose the printer under applications as word or excel. For me was the question how to get this printer as default.

    1. start Power Shell as administrator and perform  the following command :

    (New-Object  -ComObject WScript.Network).SetDefaultPrinter(‘your network printer’)

    see Microsoft Document dd347648

    2.The second method is only a trick to get the Printer properties. Take the printer offline, try to print a document, double click in the taskbar on the printer icon you can get the printer properties and there you can define the printer as default.

    Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:41 AM
  • I found this depends on how you setup the printer.

    If it's in the list when you want to add a printer and select it, it will show up. If you tell it, it's not in the list and set it up manually using \\server\printshare then it may or may not show up.

    When you choose to print in an app, it's listed. It's also listed under Device Manager as a print queue.

    However, to get it to show up, change the view to some other view. My view was details. I changed it to large icons and the printers showed up. I could then change it back to detail and they would still be listed. Restarting the print spooler, disabling/re-enabling Bluetooth Support, restarting Devices and Printers, right-clicking and clicking refresh, pressing F5 for a refresh, logging out and logging back in, restarting the computer ALL have no effect but changing the view, does. Ridiculous?

    The only one that is NOT listed is one setup as a TCP/IP printer and that is because SNMP was turned off, is my guess. You can still print to it from any app but you cannot select it as the default from Devices and Printers because it doesn't list. I'm going to turn SNMP back on, on the printer, to see if it will then show up and if so, see what happens when I remove it. The reason SNMP is turned off is because on TCP/IP enabled printers in Windows 8, the printer will show offline unless you delete and recreate it. At some point it loses communication and thinks it went offline.  Turn off SNMP and that problem is resolved.

    For \\server\printershare I have found if you remove spaces from the share name, that will resolve those printers from showing offline sometime later. You have to create the share manually because Microsoft will offer the description name with spaces.

    What it looks like is one development group at Microsoft isn't talking to another one. Microsoft, here's a clue. Go back to your old philosophy of:

    Microsoft, making it simple.
    Ease of use.

    Hope that helps some of you.

    Thursday, October 03, 2013 7:01 PM
  • Without warning, 8.1 is thrust upon us and with virtually no choice. We are forced to change, but that is a minor indignity to not being able to do your work, because your printer no longer has the software matching the operating system. Microsoft deserves a big "thumbs down" for insensitivity and disregard of its users. 
    Wednesday, November 06, 2013 4:22 PM
  • Same issue on Win8.1, my printers are added via GPO.

    restart services, fail

    restart PC, fail

    wait 60 minutes and they appear.

    word list them and so does command ;

    C:\Windows\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts\en-US\> cscript prnmngr.vbs -l

    ..shows the printers...

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 2:30 AM
  • OK I had the same issue. I used Powershell to get rid of it.  from powershell as an admin I did a "Get-Printer | Select name" then I found the name of the printer I wanted. With the name I entered "Remove-Printer %myprintername%"   after that I just re-added and it all looked good.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:42 PM
  • this worked for me! Thanks. 
    Wednesday, February 12, 2014 1:59 PM
  • Didn't work for me.
    Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:46 AM
  • Once this policy is in place, go to Regedit and create this following Entry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\
    Create a New Key {2227a280-3aea-1069-a2de-08002b30309d}

    And Reset PC

    This will create a folder on the Desktop as Printers which when opened gives only the Printer listing.

    Sunday, June 08, 2014 7:00 AM