Reading Printer Properties (Part 3)

by Aug 9, 2021

In previous tips we looked at how you can use Get-PrinterProperty to read printer properties for locally installed printers. This cmdlet is part of the PrintManagement module which ships with all Windows operating systems.

Important: Since property names are print driver specific, this cmdlet can be awesome if you need to manage the same types of printers throughout your enterprise. It is not a first choice if you want to create detailed printer inventories for a large number of different printer types as you would have to identify the exact property names for each printer driver in use. Likewise, in the below examples make sure you replace the printer property names with those that are supported by your printers.

In a nutshell, to read a particular printer property, you provide the name of the printer (run Get-Printer to find out printer names). The cmdlet then lists all available printer properties which again may vary depending on printer driver and model:

PS> Get-PrinterProperty -PrinterName 'S/W Laser HP' 

ComputerName         PrinterName          PropertyName         Type       Value
------------         -----------          ------------         ----       ----- 
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:AccessoryO... String     500Stapler
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:ActualCust... String     431800_914400
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:AutoConfig... String     NotInstalled
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:Auto_install  String     INSTALLED
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:BookletMak... String     NOTINSTALLED
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:CombineMed... String     Installed
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:DeviceIsMo... String     Installed
                     S/W Laser HP         Config:DuplexUnit    String     Installed

You could then for example filter property names and get a list of installed and uninstalled printer accessories:

PS> Get-PrinterProperty -PrinterName 'S/W Laser HP' | Where-Object Value -like *installed* | Select-Object -Property PropertyName, Value

PropertyName                         Value       
------------                         -----       
Config:AutoConfiguration             NotInstalled
Config:Auto_install                  INSTALLED   
Config:BookletMakerUnit_PC           NOTINSTALLED
Config:CombineMediaTypesAndInputBins Installed   
Config:DeviceIsMopier                Installed   
Config:DuplexUnit                    Installed   
Config:EmbeddedJobAccounting         NotInstalled
Config:EnvFeed_install               NOTINSTALLED
Config:HPJobSeparatorPage            NotInstalled
Config:HPPinToPrintOnly              NotInstalled
Config:HPPunchUnitType               NotInstalled
Config:InsLwH1_install               NOTINSTALLED
Config:InsUpH1_install               NOTINSTALLED
Config:JobRetention                  Installed   
Config:ManualFeed_install            INSTALLED   
Config:PCCFoldUnit                   NOTINSTALLED
Config:PCVFoldUnit                   NOTINSTALLED
Config:PrinterHardDisk               Installed   
Config:SecurePrinting                Installed   
Config:StaplingUnit_PC               NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray10_install                NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray1_install                 INSTALLED   
Config:Tray2_install                 INSTALLED   
Config:Tray3_install                 INSTALLED   
Config:Tray4_install                 NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray5_install                 NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray6_install                 NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray7_install                 NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray8_install                 NOTINSTALLED
Config:Tray9_install                 NOTINSTALLED
Config:TrayExt1_install              NOTINSTALLED
Config:TrayExt2_install              NOTINSTALLED
Config:TrayExt3_install              NOTINSTALLED
Config:TrayExt4_install              NOTINSTALLED
Config:TrayExt5_install              NOTINSTALLED
Config:TrayExt6_install              NOTINSTALLED    

Once you know printer name and a particular property name, you can query individual properties and retrieve the value to use it in your scripts. Here is an example to check whether a duplex unit is installed or not (make sure you adjust printer name and property name to your printer model):

PS> Get-PrinterProperty -PrinterName 'S/W Laser HP' -PropertyName Config:DuplexUnit | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Value

PS> $hasDuplexUnit = (Get-PrinterProperty -PrinterName 'S/W Laser HP' -PropertyName Config:DuplexUnit).Value -eq 'installed'

PS> $hasDuplexUnit

To query printers remotely, Get-PrinterProperty has the -ComputerName parameter. It accepts a single string so you can only query one printer at a time, and there is no -Credential parameter so you cannot authenticate as someone else. You could try this though to query your own machine, and once that works, replace the computer name with a real remote system:

PS> Get-PrinterProperty -PrinterName 'S/W Laser HP' -ComputerName $env:COMPUTERNAME   

Since the cmdlet uses Windows Remote Management service for remote access, the target print server should have WinRM remoting enabled (which is the default for Windows Servers), and you should be Administrator on the target side.

For all practical uses, you also want to be able to query multiple servers and authenticate as someone else. For remote access, use New-CimSession first to specify all servers you’d like to query, and submit a credential if you want.

Next, submit this session to Get-PrinterProperty. Provided you have appropriate access, all servers in your session are now queried in parallel which saves a lot of time. The -ThrottleLimit parameter determines how many sessions are actually contacted at a maximum. If you specified more servers than the number of maximum connections, PowerShell will automatically queue the rest:

$session = New-CimSession -ComputerName server1, server2, server3 -Credential mydomain\remotinguser

Get-PrinterProperty -PrinterName 'S/W Laser HP' -CimSession $session -ThrottleLimit 100

Remove-CimSession -CimSession $session

Extra Tip: You can use Get-Printer to find out remote printer names as well. Get-Printer also accepts the -CimSession parameter so you can use the same network session to query all printer names from one or more remote servers.

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