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Published on 05.18.09 by Brent Trahan

Prevent Browsing a Network for Printers

Learn how to prevent the Add Printer Wizard from browsing the network for printers in Windows 7.

If you enable this setting or do not configure it, when users choose to add a network printer by selecting the “A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer” radio button on Add Printer Wizard’s page 2, and also check the “Connect to this printer (or to browse for a printer, select this option and click Next)” radio button on Add Printer Wizard’s page 3, and do not specify a printer name in the adjacent “Name” edit box, then Add Printer Wizard displays the list of shared printers on the network and invites to choose a printer from the shown list.

If you disable this setting, the network printer browse page is removed from within the Add Printer Wizard, and users cannot search the network but must type a printer name.

Note: This setting affects the Add Printer Wizard only. It does not prevent users from using other programs to search for shared printers or to connect to network printers.

Prevent Browsing a Network for Printers

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu’s search box and then press Enter.

    Note: This guide shows you how to make changes to Windows 7 using Group Policy. Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows 7.

  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, and then select Printers in the left column of the Group Policy editor.


  3. Double-click Browse the network to find printers in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
  4. Select Enable and then click OK to save the changes.


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