Windows Printer Pooling

Microsoft Windows Logo    You may run into a situation where you need to pool a bunch of printers together and have the jobs printed to them spread out amongst different printers.  One example is if you company prints a bunch of reports on a regular basis.  Printing to just one printer (depending on the size of your reports) could take forever, yet if you spread the jobs out over several printers, you can make everything work faster.  That is the idea behind printer pooling in NT, 2000 and XP (might be in Vista or 7, but haven’t checked yet), plus it may be cheaper for your company to print to a bunch of smaller printers than a couple giant ones.
Configuring Printer Pooling is very easy, you start by configuring the printer as you would a standard printer. Then by using the Ports tab of the Printer Properties you can check the “Enable Printer Pooling” option at the bottom of the dialog box. This will allow you to add and select ports for each of your additional printers.  If these are network printers, they will need to be added first, before they appear in the ports box.
Now something to consider when creating a printer pool, all the printers in that pool will print off of one driver.  This isn’t too bad when all the printers are the same model, but when they are different models, you’ll need to find a driver that will work with all the printers.  If you have the same make of printer, but different models most cases the oldest printer model driver should work for all the printers.  Yet, if it’s a mix bunch like Xerox, HP and Dell, then you need to experiment and make sure you find the driver that will meet you needs.  I have heard that some mixes pairs like Epson inkjet and a HP laser printer wont work together because these two devices have distinct data streams which are incompatible with each other.  So make sure everything is tested and work together before you make this pool public.
Now something to remember, the printer pool will always print to the first printer in the pool, and then to every other one.  If you do a lot of printing, it is a good idea to keep all the printers in the pool in the same general area, because in a heavy printing enviroment, it is impossible to predict where the print job will end up, so save the workers the hastle of running around the office to see where their document printed, and keep them all in the same area.


  1. This sounds very good.

    So lets say I need to run off 300 flyers using 5 different Epson stylus color 900 printers…these are older 4 color printers not the newer 6 color photo printer but the color 900 was the fastest printer Epson ever made for text. About 5 to 7 seconds per page

    Soo all I do is pool all 5 and I just send a single print job and they all will be used?

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