Knowledgebase: PaperCut > User Client Tool
Working with popup messages
Last modified on 11 August 2020 04:15 PM

Working with popup messages

Questions about messages sent to users

How does PaperCut notify users that they are out of credit/quota?

If the User Client Tool (client software) is installed on the workstation, the user’s credit status will be displayed on login. In addition users can view their account status in detail via the Summary page via the User web interface. The User Client Tool can optionally be configured to display a warning message on login if the user’s credit runs low.

Real-time notifications of denied print jobs (due to lack of quota/credit or printer filter restrictions) are sent using a number of methods depending on the version of PaperCut:

PaperCut NG/ChargeBack: - messages are delivered using a number of methods, including; via the user client software (recommended), by email, by WinPopup , or custom methods.
PaperCut Quota: - messages are send using Microsoft’s WinPopup protocol – also known as ‘net send’. Microsoft have deprecated this messaging system. PaperCut Quota has now reach end-of-life. For reliable messaging, please upgrade to PaperCut NG. Some alternate and now non-supported solutions are explained below.

Popup Messages are not working. How do I fix this?

If running PaperCut NG or PaperCut ChargeBack, please read this article:

If using Microsoft’s WinPopup or netsend service, the most common reasons for users not receiving the message are:

  • Windows 98 or ME:
    • The user is running Win 98 on Win ME. These systems need the "Winpopup" program running to received messages. You will find this on the Microsoft Windows Install CD.
  • Windows NT, 2000 or XP:
    • On Windows NT, 2000 and XP. The "Messenger" service (under Start->Settings->Control Panel->Services) must be "running". With default Windows XP installations, this service is usually disabled. Set the service to Automatic. Note: This service should be enabled on all workstations used by network users. (i.e. not just the server).
  • Windows XP (Pro or Home):
    • The "Messenger" service (under Start->Settings->Control Panel->Services) must be "running". With default Windows XP installations, this service is usually disabled. Set the service to Automatic.
    • On Windows XP, the personal firewall can sometimes disable the windows networking ports preventing messages. You should make sure the firewall does not block local network traffic. Ensure the systems can accept incoming TCP messages on port 135.

Manual testing

You can manually test popup messages issued from your server by using the command prompt as follows:

  1. Start->Run, enter "cmd" and press OK
  2. Type at the prompt: net send <username> Testing123 where <username> is the name of a user currently logged onto the network.
  3. The message "Testing123" should appear on the user's desktop.

Is there any other way to alert students to print rejections other than via Winpopup? The network administrator has disabled this feature due to the abuse of it by students.

PaperCut NG uses its in-build protocol based on XML web services to send messages. This is a better alterative to Winpopup messages. Users running PaperCut Quota may wish to consider upgrading to PaperCut NG to take advantage of the alternate message delivery system.

PaperCut Quota uses the "Messenger" service to send (winpopup) messages to users. This is the only "real-time" notification method available in Windows without the need to install additional 3rd party software on every desktop. The User Inquiry Tool can be configured to display a message when a users quota is low on login. This may be suitable on some sites as an alternative to real-time notification. Please see the Userguide for more information on configuring this message.

There are other approaches to stop student abuse of Winpopup message while still leaving the service available to PaperCut and other server applications. These include:
Option 1) Windows XP SP2 includes a new registry key that can be used to make it so that only administrators can send messages. This is explained in Stopping Net Send / WinPopup Messages on Windows XP.
Option 2) Removing the ability to send messages on the workstations by removing or setting appropriate permissions on the "net.exe" application.
Option 3) If the workstations have "personal firewall" software or are running Windows XP, packet filter rules can be configured to block traffic on port 135 from all IP addresses except these of the server(s).

PaperCut Quota Popup Messages

Some users have shared accounts. When PaperCut sends a "winpopup" message, it sends it the first user that was logged on and not to the relevant computer/workstation. Can I fix this?

Since PaperCut Quota 5.1, administrators can force messages to be sent to the workstation/computer name rather than to the user name. (i.e. "net send <workstation>" rather than "net send <username>"). To change the behaviour:

  1. Start->Run
  2. Enter: regedit and press OK. The registry editor will open
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\PaperCut\
  4. Right-click on the key SendMessagesToComputer
  5. Set the value to "1" (just the number one)
  6. Close the registry editor and either restart the server or manually start and stop the PaperCut Print Charging Service.