Print commands are no longer installed by default

When migrating or transitioning a Server Core-based Print Server from Windows Server 2016 to Windows Server 2019, you might be in for a surprise.


Managing Printers in Server Core

A couple of years ago, I wrote a series of articles on 4Sysops, detailing how to configure a Server Core Print Server.

In that article, I detailed three ways to configure printers:

  1. Use the (old) Printing Admin scripts.
  2. Use the Print Server-related PowerShell cmdlets.
  3. Use the Graphical User Interface (GUI) with printui.exe /il.


What has been going on?

In the following Windows Server versions, the Printing Admin scripts were made available after installing the Print Server role:

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

However, in Windows Server 2016, the Printing Admin scripts were available, by default, as part of Server Core installations.

For Server Core installations of Windows Server 2019, Microsoft returned to the previous model: The Printing Admin scripts are no longer installed, by default.



There are a couple of consequences for organizations migrating and/or transitioning from Windows Server 2016 to Windows Server 2019:

  • By default, there is no C:\Windows\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts folder.
  • By default, scripts and admin actions using the following commands will fail:
    • Prncnfg.vbs
    • Prndrvr.vbs
    • Prnjobs.vbs
    • Prnmngr.vbs
    • Prnport.vbs
    • Prnqctl.vbs
    • Pubprn.vbs


How to resolve these issues

To get the Printing Admin scripts, and the Print Server features, install the Print Server Role.

Use the following lines of Windows PowerShell to accomplish this goal:

Import-Module ServerManager

Install-WindowsFeature Print-Server


Further reading

Install and manage a Print Server in Server Core
Features removed or planned for replacement starting Windows Server 2019
What’s new in Windows Server 2019
Pricing and licensing for Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019 System Requirements

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