How to Copy a Printer's Configuration to Another Machine

Microsoft's Windows Easy Transfer application allows you to move many of your configuration settings and shortcuts from an old computer to a new one. The application also allows you transfer network shortcuts for printers on a remote computer. However, the application does not allow you to transfer the printer driver and custom print settings to a new computer. If you are upgrading from a previous Windows operating system to Windows 7, you must download new printer drivers and reconfigure the printer for use on the new machine. On the other hand, if you want to transfer printer settings from one Windows 7 machine to another, doing so is relatively simple.

Click the Windows "Start" button. Type "MMC" in the search box and press the "Enter" key. Click the "MMC" link the in the "Programs" list on the pop-up menu. Wait for the MMC console window to appear on the screen.

Click "File" and then "Add/Remove Snap-in." When the "Available Snap-ins" list appears, click the "Print Management" link and then the "Add" button. Wait for the MMC utility to install the snap-in and add it to the console. Wait for the "Configure Print Management" window to appear.

Type the network name of your computer in the "Add Servers" box. Alternatively, click the "Browse" button and select the computer name. Click the "Add to List" button. Click "Finish" and then "OK" to complete the snap-in set-up. Once you finish the set-up, the printer or print server to back up will display in the "Print Servers" area of the console.

Click the "Export Printers to a File" link in the Print Management snap-in area of the MMC console window.

Click the "Browse" button in the "Select the File Location" window to choose the folder where you want to save the printer configuration settings. Click the "Next" button.

Click the "Finish" button and wait for the Windows to copy the settings to a file in the selected folder. Copy the configuration file to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

Connect the external hard drive or USB flash drive to the new computer. Wait for Windows to detect the external device and configure it for use on the PC.

Click "Start" and then type "MMC" in the search box. Press the "Enter" key.

Click "File" >"Add/Remove Snap-in." Click "Print Management" and then the "Add" button. Wait for the "Print Management" snap-in to install and the "Configure Print Management" window to appear.

Click the "Browse" button and select the network name of the new computer. Click "Add to List" and then "Finish." Click the "OK" button to complete the addition of the print server. The new computer name displays in the "Print Servers" area of the console.

Right-click the new computer network name in the "Print Servers" list. Click the "Import Printers from a File" link on the pop-up menu.

Navigate to the external storage device and select the configuration file you saved from the other computer. Click the "Next" button.

Click and enable the "Import Mode" option. Click the "Next" button and wait for Windows to import the configuration settings from the file.

Connect the printer to the new computer and use as you normally would.

Things You'll Need

  • USB flash drive or external hard drive
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About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.