I install the same printer several times to allow easy selection for users. They just choose the desired printer to have the corresponding functionality (instead of going to printer properties and change them back and forth): one with double-sided printing, one for draft quality, one for upper tray, etc.

On Windows 7, when I install a printer several times, the control panel's printers icons are merged.
I then have only one icon for two or three identical printers. I can right-click on the icon to display the usual menu, and some items of the menu have an arrow to access each printer.
This is very misleading for some users and admins.

I have this behavior in some computers, when others don't exhibit this.
I didn't find what is the difference between computers with and without the problem.

Anyone know how to prevent this ?

  • Well i really don't know why this happening but what is the different between those PCs related to control panel settings stuffs like that – poqdavid Jun 25 '13 at 13:45
  • @idavid: if only I knew :) Question updated. – Bertrand SCHITS Jun 25 '13 at 15:46
  • 1
    I seen the same thing. And even with different printers, but in this case this only lasted for several seconds. – Gregory MOUSSAT Jun 25 '13 at 15:49
  • What make are the printers ? Are they identical in both cases? How are the printers connected ? What is your procedure to install the printer multiple times ? Is this a domain ? Which version of Windows 7 ? – harrymc Jun 28 '13 at 17:15
  • Try to add printed but its IP address – itmilos Jul 2 '13 at 4:01

This by design. Look at this information from Microsoft - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2015694. The link has an workaround for the problem.

Alternatively, my suggestion is to use different port names for each of your installation. I am assuming that you are using network printer and you install the printers using "Add printer wizard". In each of your installation, you can change the port name (not the ip address or hostname) to a different name. This will ensure that the OS does not group the printers together in one icon.

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    So simple, thanks! Sadly the proposed workaround is not a workaround. It only display the printers on the desktop, which is not desirable. – Bertrand SCHITS Jul 3 '13 at 17:22

Two points:

  1. In the case of HP printers with DOT4... ports, I don't know how to have two ports with the same data and different names. I can't even see that data because Configure Port gives an error in this case. Anyone know a workaround?

  2. I have found out how to control WHICH printer name is the one used to display the merged printer icons. If you make the one you want to see be the Default Printer, it will be "on top". Then restore the printer you really want to be the Default Printer. Then do a refresh (in the Context menu). I haven't exhaustively tested this, but it worked for me in a couple of cases.

  • Your second point is not correct – Paul Verschoor Oct 16 '14 at 20:15

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