About Printer Pooling
When Windows 8 is installed on a computer that is used in production environments, it is likely that it would also have a printer connected to it, and the connected printer would be shared on the network so that it can accept print commands from other users in the network as well. When a printer is connected to Windows 8 computer in home offices or small scale industries, installing and sharing just one printer for all users is quite sufficient. On the other hand, if an organization falls anywhere between medium and large scale industry, it becomes essential for it to have multiple printers to equally balance the print load. One of the greatest challenges in the later scenario is that users are required to be educated about the printers so that they can know which printer software they should select if they want the printout from their desired printing device.
The above discussed issues can be resolved by enabling printer pooling feature that is available in Windows 8. When printer pooling is enabled, the print commands are sent from different users and are equally load balanced among each printer connected to the network on the round-robin basis. For example, if there are three printers in the network, the first print command is sent to the first printer, the second command is sent to the second printer, and likewise the third print command is sent to the third printer. When the fourth print command is initiated, it is sent to the first printer, and the fifth command is sent to the second printer, and so on.
Requirements and Recommendations While Enabling Printer Pooling
In order to enable printer pooling for the printers, all the printers that administrators plan to use in the setup must be from the same vendor, and must be of the same model. Moreover, it is strongly recommended that all the participating printers should be kept at the same place (in the same room) in order to avoid printout confusions.
Enabling Printer Pooling
To enable printer pooling in Windows 8, administrators must follow the steps given as below:
- Log on to Windows 8 computer with the account that has elevated privileges.
- Click Desktop tile from the Start screen to reach the desktop.
- Once on the desktop screen, hover mouse to the bottom right corner of the window.
- From the displayed options, click Settings.
- On the Settings pane, click Control Panel.
- On the Control Panel window, click Hardware and Sound.
- On the Hardware and Sound window, from the right pane, click Devices and Printers.
- On the Devices and Printers window, from the Printers category, right-click the printer on which printer pooling is to be enabled.
- From the displayed context menu, click Printer properties.
- On the opened printer’s properties box, go to Ports tab.
- From the bottom of the selected tab, check Enable printer pooling checkbox.
- On the same tab, from the displayed port list, check all the checkboxes on which the printers that are to be added to the printer pool are installed.
- Click OK to save the settings when done.