How To Make a Local Printer Available During a Connection to a Remote Desktop in Windows XP Professional


By default, when you try to print from a program that is running on a computer that you are connected to with a Remote Desktop connection, you can gain access to printers that are available to the remote Windows XP Professional-based computer. You can make a local printer (for example, a printer that is on the client computer) available for printing. This article describes how to make a local printer available for printing while you use the Remote Desktop feature.


  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional

How to Make a Local Printer Available in a Remote Desktop Session

The Remote Desktop feature is based on Terminal Services technology. When you use Remote Desktop, you can run programs from any other client that is running Windows XP Professional on a remote computer. When you do this, you can gain access to your Windows XP Professional-based desktop from almost any remote connection, that provides secure access to programs, files, and network resources.

When you use Remote Desktop from a Windows XP-based client computer, many of the client's resources, such as files and printers, are available in the Remote Desktop connection. You can route printing jobs from the remote Windows XP-based desktop to a printer that is attached to your local computer. When you log the client onto the remote computer, the local printer is detected and the appropriate printer driver is installed on the remote computer.

To make a local printer available in a Remote Desktop session:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. Click Options in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.
  3. Click the Local Resources tab.
  4. Click Printers in the Local Devices box.
  5. Click Connect.
After you establish the remote connection and log on to the remote computer, the local printer that is connected to the client becomes the default printer for any programs that are running on the remote desktop. If the client has more than one printer attached to it, the default printer for the computer becomes the default printer on the remote desktop; however, all local printers are available.

Note that when you click Connect, the settings that you specify in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box are used as the default settings for all new connections. On the General tab in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, you can save a collection of settings to a Remote Desktop file. When you do this, you can create different groups of settings for connections to different remote desktops.


Article ID: 312135 - Last Review: Oct 21, 2008 - Revision: 1