Troubleshooting location-aware printing

Location-aware printing enables Windows 7 to automatically switch the default printer when it detects that your computer has moved to a different network, for example when you go from home to work.  You can enable and configure location-aware printing settings by opening Devices and Printers from your Start menu and clicking Manage Default Printers on the toolbar.

Problem: You’ve opened Devices and Printers from your Start menu but you don’t see a Manage Default Printers button on the toolbar.  As a result, you are unable to enable and configure location-aware printing settings on your computer.

Suggestion: First, is your computer a laptop or a desktop computer?  Location-aware printing is only supported for portable computers that use a battery.  Second, if you have a laptop, what edition of Windows 7 do you have installed on it?  Location-aware printing is only available on Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions.  And third, is your Windows installation virtualized (running in a virtual machine)?  Location-aware printing isn’t available in virtual environments.

Mitch Tulloch is a seven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.


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