Windows – How to see a log of printed files


In my office, we have a great laser printer/hole puncher/stapler/duplexer that I use for 99% of my printing. Unfortunately, it is at the other side of the building. While the exercise is obviously good for me, I was hoping there was some way to see a log of recently printed files. Frequently I will think I printed a number of documents and then go to the printer to find that some are printed, some are not and some are printed twice. This is no fault of the printer, I just tend to forget things easily so I was hoping there was some easy solution where I could see the time and title of files printed. Basically exactly like the print dialog that you can see before and during printing something, except that as soon as a document is complete it is deleted. I am using Windows 7.

As I see it, I can either set the printer to "Keep printed documents" which some websites say has to be cleared regularly especially if files are large.

Or, (and this is what I'm doing now) I'm using the Event Viewer and told it to enable logging under Applications and Services > Microsoft > Windows > PrintService > Operational. The problem with this method is that I have to open Event Viewer and click through the hierachy to get to the operational print logs … and even then, for each print event, there are 6 logged activities, only one of which is the actual printing of the document.

There is also the print auditing feature but after turning it on I realized I don't know how to view the audits (if I even have permission to do so since I'm not an administrator); this I gave up on rather quickly.

Ideally, I would like the print dialog (that shows up in the notification section when you print something) to remain active with all the documents I've printed that day (or since reboot) still listed. Is there an easy way to do this or even some sort of script or something? It seems right now, I could set my printer to "Keep printed documents" and then maybe have something run at startup/shutdown that clears the print log. Or is that something that happens automatically on shutdown?

Best Answer

Not sure if it will help, but many printers that are connected via ethernet/Wi-Fi can be accessed using a web browser.

If you know the IP address or hostname of the printer, you can type http://<ip address of printer>:631/ in your browser and see if it gives you a web page. If it does, often you can find a print history or some other useful information that can help you out.

But in truth, it's very hard to answer your question without knowing the exact printer make and model. Most printer companies allow you to download Windows-based applications that allow you to interact with network printers in a more interesting way. Check the website of the printer manufacturer for software downloads.

Related Question