Microsoft KB Archive/172529

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Printer access with Control Panel disabled by a Policy

Article ID: 172529

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172529

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information on how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" online Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" online Help topic in Regedt32.exe.


Administrators can use System Policies to lock down a Windows NT 4.0 system to a great degree. This ability can include denying users access to Control Panel. However, in taking away access to Control Panel, users can no longer use Add Printer to install or connect to a printer.


The following is a work around allowing users to access the Printers icon part of Control Panel.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" online Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

NOTE: The changes outlined in this article apply to all users of any workstation or server that is modified.

  1. Log on to Windows NT as the administrator.
  2. Run Regedt32.exe.
  3. Go to the following registry key:


    Under RemoteComputer\NameSpace, there will be a key with a CLSID of {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}. The value of the key is <No Name>:REG_SZ:Printers.

  4. Create an exact copy of this key and value in either of the two following places:




    NOTE: The above registry keys are each one path; they have been wrapped for readability.

    To add this key and value, perform the following steps:

    1. Select NameSpace in Regedt32.
    2. On the Edit menu, click Add Key.
    3. For Key Name, type {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} and leave Class blank.
    4. Select the key you just created and, on the Edit menu, click Add Value.
    5. Leave Value Name blank. In the Data Type list, click REG_SZ. Click OK.
    6. In the string editor, type Printers.
  5. After the CLSID is copied with the appropriate value, all users logging on to this computer will have access to the Printer Control Panel.

If placed in Desktop\Namespace, the Printer icon will always be on the desktop of all users, and hidden only if all items on the desktop are hidden with System Policies. If placed in MyComputer\Namespace, the Printer icon will always be in My Computer and Explorer.

Additional query words: print policy spe lock ed restricted

Keywords: kbhowto KB172529