HowTo: Publish the classic Printers folder in Citrix virtual Apps and Desktops

Starting with Windows Server 2012 R2 Citrix Administrators have to face the problem, that the new Device And Printers view doesn’t work as expected. Connected network printers are invisible. To face that issue, it is a valid workaround to publish the classic Printers Folder.

Invisible printer

Starting with Windows Server 2012 R2 Citrix Administrators have to face the problem, that the new Device And Printers view doesn’t work as expected. Connected network printers are often not visible, or to bring it on point: Invisible to the end user. There are several sources on the internet, that describe this pain, for example:

To face that issue, it is a valid workaround to publish the classic Printers Folder known from Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, to your end users. In this view, the problem with the invisible printers doesn’t exit. Additionally we give the users the possibility to get access to the session network printer mapping and the default printer settings.

We have several ways to offer the classic Printers Folder to our end users:

  1. Create a shortcut in the public start menu or on the public desktop
  2. Create a published application in Citrix Studio
  3. Create a managed application shortcut in Citrix Workspace Environment Management (WEM)
  4. Give the users access to the WEM Manage Printers application

Create a shortcut in the public start menu or on the public desktop

First go to either:

  • c:\Users\Public\desktop
  • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Create a new shortcut:

New Shortcut
New Shortcut

Fill in the location:
C:\Windows\explorer.exe ::{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}

Location of the item
Location of the item

Give it a name:

Shortcut name
Shortcut name

And you are ready to go!

Printer folder shortcut
Printer folder shortcut

Optionally you can change the shortcut icon in the properties:

Change icon
Change icon

Create a published application in Citrix Studio

Open Citrix Studio and create a new application:

Create Application
Create Application

Choose your Delivery Group:

Delivery Group
Delivery Group

Add a new application manually:

Add application manually
Add application manually

Path to the executable file:
C:\Windows\explorer.exe ::{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
Name: Classic printers folder
The other fields stay empty.

Add Applications manually
Add Applications manually

Optionally you can switch into the application properties and adjust the shortcut icon:

Change shortcut icon
Change shortcut icon

Select Browse (1)
Select the administrative share of the c:\ partition (2)
Switch to the path C:\Windows\system32\ (3)
Choose the file shell32.dll (4)
and confirm your selection (5)
Now you are able to choose a symbol that fits your desire.

select shell32.dll
select shell32.dll

Now you confirm all open dialogs and are ready to go!

Create a managed application shortcut in Citrix Workspace Environment Management (WEM)

Classic Printers Folder

Open your WEM Administration Console and connect to your WEM Infrastructure Broker:

WEM Administration Console
WEM Administration Console

Create a New application and configure it as follows:
Name: Classic Printers Folder
Description: Classic Printers Folder
Application Type: Installed application
Command Line: C:\Windows\explorer.exe
Working Directory: -
Parameters:  ::{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
Take caution that the Parameter has a leading space!

New WEM Application
New WEM Application

In the Applications Options you can once more select a icon that fits your needs from the C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll if you like.

WEM Application Options
WEM Application Options

In the Advanced Settings you should consider enabling Automatic Self-Healing:

WEM Application Advanced Settings
WEM Application Advanced Settings

WEM Manage Printers

As a Citrix Workspace Environment Management eligible customer you have an additional fourth option available. WEM provides several tools to make the Administrators life much easier. One of them is the Manage Printers GUI for the end users.
(Pingback to EUC expert James Kindon who has a great blog post about these tools available! Read it!)

WEM Manage Printers
WEM Manage Printers

This tool is available to the end users in a published desktop through the WEM tray icon.

Manage Printers from the WEM tray icon
Manage Printers from the WEM tray icon

If your end users work with published applications or you disable the tray icon you can instead publish it as a WEM managed application shortcut or as a Citrix Studio published application. I will show you the first one:

Create a New application and configure it as follows:
Name: WEM Manage Printers
Description: WEM Manage Printers
Application Type: Installed application
Command Line: C:\Program Files (x86)\Norskale\Norskale Agent Host\PrnsMgmtUtil.exe
Working Directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Norskale\Norskale Agent Host
Parameters: -

New WEM Application
New WEM Application

Additional notes

This article was previously published on my blog written in German in the year 2015. As I find it still relevant today in 2019, I translated and extended it to include up-to-date information:
XenApp 7.6: Druckerverwaltung Classic als Published Application zur Verfügung stellen

This blog article was previously published on mycugc.org:
mycugc.org

Source: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX884335

Author: Marco

Marco is an IT-System administrator and IT-Consultant with 10+ years experience. He is specialized in the delivery of virtual Apps and Desktops with Citrix solutions. In 2017 he has been awarded Citrix Technology Advocate by Citrix for his community work (#CTA). His second core area is availability & performance monitoring with Zabbix, a leading open-source solution. His employer is the German IT-Company ANAXCO, which is developing a Transport Management Software (TMS) based on Microsoft Dynamics AX. More about Marco

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