What is Print Management and How it Works with Examples

What is Print Management and How it Works with Examples. Despite many companies going paperless, organizations in the US still spend between 25 to 35 billion dollars (collectively) on storing, and retrieving paper. Suffice it to say, the need for paper and conversely, printing won’t go anywhere soon enough. Thus, small, medium, and large companies must make a concentrated effort to manage their document creation and processing systems. The concept of Print Management is an important aspect of this. Yet, a surprising number of companies seem to take it for granted. But what exactly is it, how does it work and why is it important? The following guide will answer these questions.

Source of Original Image: PXHere

What is Print Management?

Print management describes the practice of monitoring, tracking, and processing an organization’s printing jobs. However, it is considered a slight misnomer as print management also involves administering a company’s fax, scanning and copier jobs too.

Initially, only computers could create print jobs. While the internet of things (IoT) has made many aspects of business easier, it has also made IT and network management more complicated in some regards. Employees can now print from all types of smart devices including tablets, smartphones, smart watches, etc. Workers send print jobs from remote work environments to local (on premise) ones.

Thus, much of a company’s printing is dedicated to ensuring that all this print enabled hardware communicates with printers (and other related equipment) as efficiently as possible.

The console handles Print Management on Microsoft Windows operating system. Microsoft bundled it as a default part of its Windows Administrative Tools. However, this changed with Windows 10 and 11. Despite it no longer being made available by default, users could add it as an optional feature (for the Pro versions).

Albeit, the best way to understand this management concept is to go through a practical example. The next section of the guide covers how you to enable it for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to Enable Print Management for Windows 10

  • Right click on the Start Menu to open the Windows Power Menu (Alternatively press WinKey + X on your keyboard).
  • Next, click on Apps and Features. It should be the first option on the menu. This will open the Apps and Features section in the Windows Settings screen.
  • Click on Optional Features. Windows may take a few seconds to populate the list on the next screen.
  • Next, click on Add a feature. This brings up a dialog with the title: Add an optional feature.
  • Scroll through the list or use the search bar to find Print Management. Select it from the list of results and then click on the Install button.

Windows will now add Print Management to your collection of management consoles. Again, this option is only available for the Pro edition of Windows 10.

How To Enable Print Management in Windows 11

  • Right Click on the Start Menu button.
  • Select Settings from the list.
  • Click on Apps from the left panel.
  • Next, select Optional features from the main panel.
  • Click on the View features button. It should be located in the Add an optional feature mini section.
  • Next, type print management into the search field. This should retrieve a single result.
  • Tick the checkmark next to the Print Management item in the list of results.
  • Click on the Next button.
Add An Optional Feature Dialog
  • Click on the Install button on the next screen.


Windows will take a few minutes to install this component.

How to Open Windows Print Management Console

After successfully installed this feature on your Windows 10/11 operating system, you should be able to access it from Administrative Tools (or Windows Tools in Windows 11).

Alternatively, you can use the Run Dialog:

  • Hold the Windows key and press R on your keyboard (WinKey + R).
  • Type msc into the Open text field.

Hit the Enter key.

If you’re using one of the latest versions of Windows server (2016, 2019, or 2022), you can run the Print Management console from the Server Manager dashboard. Just click on the Tools menu item and then Print Management.

Understanding the Windows Print Management Console

 In most cases, if you’re implementing Print Management for a sizeable organization, you’ll most likely be using Windows Server. Thus, this section of the guide mainly focuses on the operations of the console for the latest versions of Windows Server. This provides you with a practical example of What is Print Management and How it Works.

The Print console allows you to manage printers across multiple servers. You can use the left tree panel to sort and view your organization’s printers. You may find the Custom Filters node particularly useful. It provides you with a collection of pre built filters allowing you to view and manage all printers and drivers across all of your printing servers.

Underneath the Custom Filters node, you will find the Print Servers and Deployed Printers node. As the name indicates, you can use this node to administrate your print servers.

The Print Servers node allows you to add and remove them through its right click context menu: 

Well, in the PM console is a fundamental tool for administrators because it allows them to manage servers from a single centralized location. Essentially, it saves you from hopping from server to server to migrate and manage printers, drivers, and print jobs.

The interface is simple enough to navigate. This is largely due to it following the uniform Windows console design. Nevertheless, while the usefulness of PM cannot be understated, some power users and administrators may feel that it is not enough. Furthermore, if you are running the Home edition of Windows 10 or 11, you may not feel that the PM console is a feature worth upgrading for. 

Fortunately, there are third party option.

Other Examples of Print Management: Third Party Software

Before you dive into any additional examples of PM (Print Management ) software, you must be able to ascertain what makes good PM software. Ultimately, nearly every print solution fulfils the basics as showcased by the Windows Print Management console. These must include features such as driver, printer, and print server administration from a centralized network location.

 Additionally, the software should be able to provide:

  • Print Job Facilitation: The solution provides clients and devices with seamless and quick printing. This involves creating and queuing print jobs accurately and efficiently. Jobs must be sent to the right printers on the right servers.
  • Security: The solution must facilitate printing that is as secure as possible. Especially, in situations where sensitive data is being printed. Only authorized and authenticated devices and users should be able to send jobs to printers. The ideal PM solution should have features that can verify actors.

More advanced solutions provide PM that reduces wastage and ultimately provides you with greater cost controls.

Types of Print Management

All in all, PM is another area in IT that has been evolved by cloud computing. Organizations now have two options when selecting a solution:

  • Server Based PM: Where print servers are on premise.    

Serverless print management offers more flexibility, scalability, and reliability. However, some may feel that server based option offers more control – or at least the illusion of control.

Regardless, portability is the biggest advantage that serverless print management has over server based implementations. They can be run from a portal provided to you through a web service. As such they are not dependent on the operating system you’re running.

Print Management Recommendations

Many of the following solutions are either cloud based or platform independent (unless specified otherwise). With that being said, some of the best PM tools include:

Thank you for reading this article blog What is Print Management and How it Works with Examples. We will conclude this article blog. 

What is Print Management and How it Works with Examples - Conclusion

Summing up, what is Print Management and How it Works well, ultimately it involves administrating your organization’s entire print infrastructure. It has been said that data (next to money) is the lifeblood of business. Much of this data is still transferred, processed, and consumed through paper. As such, it’s important to have dependable print management for your organization. 

Good print management software can make migrating to a paperless system easier in the future. As it allows you to track each server and printer you’ll ultimately have to decommission one day. With services such as AWS, GCP, and Azure offering virtual print services, it’s now more easier than ever. Nevertheless, we hope that you’ve found this guide to be helpful. If you have any corrections or input, please leave them down below. As always, thank you for reading. 

Explore more of our printing section in our blog here.

Avatar for Mduduzi Sibisi
Mduduzi Sibisi

Mdu is an Oracle-certified software developer and IT specialist, primarily focused on Object-Oriented programming for Microsoft and Linux-based operating systems. He has over a decade of experience and endeavors to share what he's learned from his time in the industry. He moonlights as a tech writer and has produced content for a plethora of established websites and publications - including this one. He's always open to learning and growing.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x