While users can browse the network for printers, publishing printers in Active Directory can make it easier for users to identify printers by location, function, responsible party, and so on. In a very large network, publishing printers to Active Directory can really simplify printer access as well as printer management.

By default, Active Directory includes any printer shared on an active domain member. In some cases, however, you might want to include printers hosted by stand-alone computers.

To do so, right-click the organizational unit in which you want to publish the printer, and choose New | Printer. In the New Object-Printer dialog box, enter the UNC path to the print share, and click OK. Along with the print share name, you can use the IP address of the server or the host name in the UNC path.

In some cases, you might want to explicitly prevent a printer from appearing in Active Directory. For example, let's say you've restricted a printer to a small number of users. Publishing this printer in Active Directory will generate too many requests from unauthorized users to print to the printer.

To remove a printer from the directory, open the printer's properties. On the Sharing tab, deselect the List In The Directory check box, and click OK to apply the change.