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Remote Desktop Printer Redirection

Olga Weis Olga Weis Nov 23, 2021

Remote Desktop Printer Redirection is the functionality required to enable a local printer to be mapped to a remote RDP session. It enables users to print from a Remote Desktop across the Internet or a corporate network.

There is no direct support for using a USB printer over RDP. A subset of USB devices can be accessed under RDP, but additional support is required to print over an RDP connection. The Electronic Team offers a third-party solution that makes it easy to configure and use a USB printer over RDP.

USB Network Gate is a software tool that solves the problem of how to redirect a printer over RDP. With Remote Desktop printing software, users can access any network-attached USB printer from within their RDP session. The software employs advanced port virtualization technology to enable Remote Desktop printing as well as making it possible to access any other USB devices connected to a shared USB port. Sharing a USB port over the network makes any attached device available to anyone on the same network. Devices can easily be swapped in and out without requiring any additional configuration.

How to set up RDP printer redirection

With USB Network Gate, RDP remote printing can be implemented by following the steps outlined below. Once the configuration is complete, users can print over RDP as well as access other USB devices connected to the shared USB interface.

To enable printer redirection in RDP sessions, USB Network Gate has to be installed on the machine with the physical connection to the USB device and the remote machine that needs to access the peripheral.

  1. On the local machine with an installed client for Microsoft RDP, install USB Network Gate Server. Configure the application to share a USB printer over RDP. The Remote Desktop Connection acts as the client for the Microsoft RDP protocol.

  2. Both USB Network Gate and Terminal Server need to be installed on the remote computer that will use the Remote Desktop print facility. Without both pieces of software, you will not be able to use a redirected printer in the Remote Desktop session.

Note: For ease of use, the server and client components of USB Network Gate are all included in a single application. Only the server portion needs to be registered when you want to redirect a local network printer to use with RDP. The client does not need to be registered.

Shared USB devices can be accessed and used by any Network Gate client with the same level of functionality as that of a direct physical connection to the peripheral. The printer will be recognized by Device Manager and will be handled in the same way as a local device.

Improves and Simplifies RDP Printer Redirection Issues

Learning how to install a shared printer over RDP may entail overcoming some obstacles. In addition to using USB Network Gate, there are native methods of implementing RDP printer redirection. But several issues can potentially impact your ability to perform a successful configuration. Read on our guide to resolve the printer redirection issues.

Among the problems that might get in the way of successfully implementing RDP printer redirection are:

  • The server may not recognize the printer;

  • The remote machine is not configured properly to be a print server;

  • Printer redirection is disabled;

  • Group Policy has been configured to block printer redirection.

These issues need to be resolved before you can print with a redirected USB printer in an RDP session.

The advantages of using USB Network Gate rather than native functionality when configuring printer redirection for RDP sessions include:

  • Eliminating concern over any issues that may be hindering the operation of Windows printer redirection;

  • Minimizing driver installations on the terminal server;

  • Reducing unnecessary network changes;

  • Resolving problems with slow printers and issues with print spoolers crashing.

USB Network Gate offers enhanced functionality and the ability to easily implement RDP printer redirection. It also enables any type of USB device to be shared over a network.

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