Show a list of Network and Local Printers using .Net Framework in C# and Vb.Net

Microsoft’s .Net framework provide the necessary properties and function to get a list of network printers, installed at the server side as well as local printers. These methods are widely applicable and used particularly on Intranet or using Window’s Applications. You can also use these methods for your intranet web (browser based) application, to get the list of printers (with other information) installed on a remote machine.

printers

Here in this article, I am going to explain with examples, two different methods to get the list of printers installed on a server. These printers either are shared on the network or are installed on the server itself.

01) The First Method

The PrinterSettings class of namespace System.Drawing.Printing will provide us with the list of installed printers on the Network. In the below example, I have added two controls a ComboBox and a ListBox on my web page. I’ll store the extracted list of printers in these two controls.

Related: Bind and Show a ComboBox in a DataGridView Cell – Windows Application

Now, drag and drop a ComboBox and ListBox control on the form.

C#
using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;

private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) { 
    PrinterList();
}

private void PrinterList()
{
    // POPULATE THE COMBO BOX.
    foreach (string sPrinters in System.Drawing.Printing.PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters)
    {
        cmbPrinterList.Items.Add(sPrinters);
    }

    // POPULATE THE LIST BOX.
    foreach (string sPrinters in System.Drawing.Printing.PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters)
    {
        lstBoxPrinters.Items.Add(sPrinters);
    }
}
Vb.Net
Option Explicit On

Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
    PrinterList()
End Sub

Private Sub PrinterList()
    Dim sPrinters As String = ""

    ' POPULATE THE COMBO BOX.
    For Each sPrinters In System.Drawing.Printing.PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters
        cmbPrinterList.Items.Add(sPrinters)
    Next

    ' POPULATE THE LIST BOX.
    For Each sPrinters In System.Drawing.Printing.PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters
        lstBoxPrinters.Items.Add(sPrinters)
    Next
End Sub
02) The Second Method

Now this method uses the Windows Management Instrumentation or the WMI interface. It’s a technology used to get information about various systems (hardware) running on a Windows Operating System.

Ref: Learn more about “Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)”.

Note: Before you start writing your code, add the System.Management reference to you project. This can be done by Right clicking the project and select “Add Reference…” from the “Solution Explorer”. On the “Add Reference” window, select .Net tab and search for “System.Management” from the list of “Component Name” and click “OK”.

In this example, I am using 2 separate ComboBox controls to show the Network and Local printers seperately.

Note: To test this method, please check if there are printers installed on the Network.

C#
using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Management;

namespace Printers
{
    public partial class Form1 : Form
    {
        public Form1() {InitializeComponent();}

        private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) { 
            PrinterList();
        }

        private void PrinterList()
        {
            // USING WMI. (WINDOWS MANAGEMENT INSTRUMENTATION)

            System.Management.ManagementScope objMS =
                new System.Management.ManagementScope(ManagementPath.DefaultPath);
            objMS.Connect();

            SelectQuery objQuery = new SelectQuery ("SELECT * FROM Win32_Printer");
            ManagementObjectSearcher objMOS = new ManagementObjectSearcher(objMS, objQuery);
            System.Management.ManagementObjectCollection objMOC = objMOS.Get();

            foreach (ManagementObject Printers in objMOC)
            {
                if (Convert.ToBoolean(Printers["Local"]))       // LOCAL PRINTERS.
                {
                    cmbLocalPrinters.Items.Add(Printers["Name"]);
                }
                if (Convert.ToBoolean(Printers["Network"]))     // ALL NETWORK PRINTERS.
                {
                    cmbNetworkPrinters.Items.Add(Printers["Name"]);
                }
            }
        }
    }
}
Vb.Net
Option Explicit On
Imports System.Management

Public Class Form1
    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
        PrinterList()
    End Sub

    Private Sub PrinterList()
        'POPULATE A COMBO BOX WITH PRINTER LIST.
        For Each sPrinters In System.Drawing.Printing.PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters
            cmbPrinterList.Items.Add(sPrinters)
        Next

        'POPULATE A LIST BOX WITH PRINTER LIST.
        For Each sPrinters In System.Drawing.Printing.PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters
            lstBoxPrinters.Items.Add(sPrinters)
        Next

        ' USING WMI. (Windows Management Instrumentation)
        Dim objMS As System.Management.ManagementScope = _
            New System.Management.ManagementScope(ManagementPath.DefaultPath)
        objMS.Connect()

        Dim objQuery As SelectQuery = New SelectQuery ("SELECT * FROM Win32_Printer")
        Dim objMOS As ManagementObjectSearcher = New ManagementObjectSearcher(objMS, objQuery)
        Dim objMOC As System.Management.ManagementObjectCollection = objMOS.Get()

        For Each Printers As ManagementObject In objMOC
            If CBool(Printers("Local")) Then                        ' LOCAL PRINTERS.
                cmbLocalPrinters.Items.Add(Printers("Name"))
            End If
            If CBool(Printers("Network")) Then                      ' ALL NETWORK PRINTERS.
                cmbNetworkPrinters.Items.Add(Printers("Name"))
            End If
        Next Printers
    End Sub
End Class
Conclusion

Well, that’s it. We just learned how to find network and local printers installed around us, using various .Net framework classes, properties and functions. I hope the article and its codes would help you find a solution.

Thanks for reading.

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