Use Printer Migration Tool When Switching to New Windows PC

When switching to a new Windows Machine or Deploying a new Windows Print Server, Reinstalling Printer Drivers and adding all the existing printers on the network again is time-consuming. This post will show how you can use the Printer Migration tool to migrate printers and drivers to a new computer or Print Server. It applies to both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

What Is Printer Migration?

It is a built-in tool from Windows Team that allows you to export and import printer queues and drives to a file. When exporting, the settings on the existing computer remain untouched. However, when importing it to another PC, you can overwrite everything or create new entries.

You can use this tool to transfer the printer listing and its settings to another computer, Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Migrate Printers Using Printer Migration Tool to New Windows PC or Print Server

Windows offers an in-house utility called Print Management. It has been available since Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 R2. It allows you to manage and watch all printers over a network and helps you move to a new Windows 11/10 PC. You can use it to move all printers and drivers using the Export and Import method or the Printer Migration Tool to a new PC or Print Server.

Printer Migration tool Windows

Print Management Console

  • Log in with an administrator account that allows you to manage Print Servers.
  • Type in Print Management in your Windows Start Menu. It will list the Print Management Console.
  • Click to open the console and navigate to Print Management > Print Servers
  • For a standalone home computer, you will see your laptop listed, and for Server Environment, you will see the server accordingly.

Use Printer Migration Tool When Switching to New Windows Machine

  • If you like the command-line interface, you can locate the Print Migration command-line tool in %WINDIR%System32\Spool\Tools\Printbrm.exe

Use Printer Migration Tool When Switching to New Windows Machine

Export Printers & Drivers from Old Machine or Old Print Server

You can use the Windows interface or command line to export all the printers and drivers.

1] Using Windows Tool

  • Right-click on the Print Server
  • Export Printers to a File.
  • Give a name and save this file. The extension for this file will be .printerExport

2] Using the command-line tool :

Printbrm -s \ -b -f .printerExport

Importing Printers & Drivers in the New Machine or New Print Server

You can not only use it to migrate to a new computer but also migrate to a new printer server saving yourself from the hassle of installing drivers and other features.

1] Using Windows Tool

  • Right-click on the Print Server > Import Printers from File
  • Review the list of the printer.
  • The next screen gives you the option to either overwrite or keep existing printers.
  • If you overwrite, you will lose settings, drivers, etc., on the existing machine. It will replace everything with one that comes from the backup.
  • The option that says List in the directory means publishing the print queues to the Active Directory Domain Services. It is useful if you have imported any spooled queues while importing.
  • The last option says Convert LPR Ports to Standard Port Monitors. It means converting Line Printer Remote (LPR) printer ports in the printer settings file to the faster Standard Port Monitor.

Printer Migration import Options

Click on the Next button to start importing all the printers with drivers, print queues, etc. In case of any error, you will be given the option to check with the Event Logger. Performance and Information tool is another good option in Windows to check for conflicting drivers etc.

2] Using Command Line tool

Printbrm -s \ -r -f .printerExport

Migrating Printer from Windows 2000?

If you migrate from Windows 2000 or Windows NT to Windows Server 2008 R2, the migration process will not work as said above because of the difference between the versions. The best way to migrate these machines is to migrate them to a Windows Vista Machine and then to Windows Server 2008 R2.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Does performing this migration REMOVE the printers from the old server or just ADD them to the new server? We are doing a test deployment of a new application server and I’d like to use this tool to save some time; however, I cannot (CANNOT) accidentally remove the printers from the old server, so I need to be certain before I attempt this. Thank you!

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