Print Jobs Not Being Tracked by PaperCut
Last modified on 13 August 2020 10:50 PM
Help! My users are able to print successfully, but their print jobs jobs aren’t getting tracked in PaperCut at all - what’s going wrong?
There are various scenarios that could lead to PaperCut being unable to monitor users print jobs. Below are some troubleshooting tips to ensure that you are able to capture print jobs correctly.
Note that this article covers the scenario where you can print successfully (the job comes flying out of the printer), but when you look at the user logs, or print logs in PaperCut - you can’t see any record of that job.
The Print Provider is a critical service used to connect to the printing system on the server (the “Print Spooler” in Windows or “CUPS” in macOS/Linux). This service pauses and analyzes print jobs. If it’s not running, you’ll still be able to log into the web interface of your PaperCut server, but new jobs will not appear in the logs.
First check to make sure the Print Provider service is running on the affected server (or workstation in the case of the Direct Print Monitor). Below are the steps you would follow on a Windows machine running the Print Provider. See our article on Stopping and Starting PaperCut Services to learn how to do this on other operating systems.
There are two common reasons why this service is not running. One is that the Windows Print Spooler Service was stopped and started for troubleshooting, this also stops the PaperCut Print Provider Service which is dependent on the Windows Print Spooler. The other reason is that the PaperCut Print Provider Service has been configured to run as a service account, but this account has been disabled or the password expired. If this is the case, you will see a telling error message when you try to start the service.
If the print jobs not being tracked are going through a secondary print server then make sure the Print Provider service on the secondary is running as well as being configured correctly. If it’s already listed as running, restart the Print Provider just as a precautionary measure. Just in case!
We also have great information on how to setup a secondary server in the Secondary Server section of the Help Center, in case you’re printing through an additional Print Server, that doesn’t yet have the PaperCut secondary server (Print Provider) installed.
PaperCut monitors the ‘Print queue’ rather than the actual physical printer. Within the PaperCut Admin Interface, under the Printers tab, you’ll find a list of all the Print queues being monitored. You might have more than one print queue configured to point to the same physical printer - which is why you may see the same printer listed under e.g.
PaperCut can only track these print queues by having the Print Provider (or ‘Secondary server’) running on the same server or machine that is hosting the print queue. You’ll have already seen this if you’ve checked that the service is running on the server, in the step above.
Local print queues may include networked printers, such as those with their own network cards using a local TCP/IP port or physically connected printers attached via LPT or USB. Please double check the print queue on the print server is installed as a local print queue. For more information concerning adding print queues see here.
Now you have checked the print queues are setup correctly you need to make sure your users are printing to the correct print queue. If you have printers installed as local print queues on one or more print servers then the print queue should be shared and your users print to the share.
Users should not be printing directly to the IP address of the printer - everything must pass through a print queue that PaperCut is monitoring.
It is possible to monitor workstation attached printers by installing the PaperCut secondary server on the workstation, but shared network printers are best hosted on a print server and shared to client workstations. Check out the Secondary Server Help Center section for more information on secondary servers.
A great test to check you are printing to the server based print queue is to access the server side print queue and pause printing, on Windows this is done from the
On Windows (and macOS in more recent versions), print queues are automatically picked up and tracked by PaperCut. If you’re using an older version of PaperCut you should check that the print queue is ‘enabled’ in PaperCut - as per the Add/Remove Printer on macOS section of the Help Center.
If the printer is showing up under the Printers tab in the admin console, it’s a good sign that this is working - however it’s worth re-enabling the printer as per the link above, in case someone has disabled it at a later date.
If a user that PaperCut does not recognise prints to a print queue monitored by PaperCut, the “On Demand User Creation” rules kick in. The default
However, if someone has changed the on-demand user creation settings to do not create the user and allow usage or do not create the user and deny usage then the user will not be created in PaperCut under the ‘Users’ tab, and PaperCut will not have a record of that job. In those cases, the user would not be created, but the job would print successfully (in the first case) or not print successfully (in the second case).
Otherwise if you don’t want to alter that setting, make sure that the user you’re expecting to be the owner of the print job, is listed under the Users tab in PaperCut. It’s also worth looking at the
If you find print jobs from a secondary server are not being tracked, then it is important to make sure the version of PaperCut on the secondary server is equal or below the version of PaperCut running on the primary server.
By looking for the job in the master job log in the Admin Console (
When Branch Office Direct Printing (BODP) is enabled on a Windows Print queue, it allows the workstation to send a print job to the physical printer even when the print server is offline. This could potentially allow a print job to go untracked by PaperCut.
The solution is to either disable BODP on your Windows Print Server or to install the PaperCut Direct Print Monitor on your workstation to ensure the print jobs are tracked. To disable BODP, right click on your printer in the Windows Print Management Console and choose “Disable Branch Office Direct Printing”.
Some customers have experienced issues when using GPP to deploy the printer connection. What happens is that the printer is actually deployed as a direct print queue - enabling the workstation to print directly to the Print IP address, rather than through the Server print queue. There’s a good conversation on Technet that illustrates this bypassing the print server behavior.
In short, the solution was to instead use the Shared Printer Item in GPP instead - which distributes the shared print queue on the server as intended. It’s definitely worth testing using a workstation, and pausing the print queue on the server, in order to double check that you’re seeing the test print job going through the server print queue.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for an easier way to deploy your print queues across a range of platforms, it’s worth taking a look at our relatively new Print Deploy product - “a print queue deployment tool that gets the right printer drivers and print queues to the right person in the right location, automatically.”