I have a printer that is shared over my network from my Windows 7 PC. Several other computers in the network print to it, and I would like to be able to go back and see what they've printed.

I know that I can see print jobs in the event log, but this only shows the document name and the printer it was sent to. In most cases that isn't enough information. I would like to be able to actually see the document itself. The event log method also requires that I get on the PC that the print job was sent from.

I'd prefer to be able to see the actual documents printed in the past. Is there any way to do that?

  • 1
    Are you looking to dig up past documents that have already been printed? Unless you're printer has that functionality built in, I don't think that is possible. However, there are methods that will save all future print jobs as PDFs. What's the printer make and model? – SenorButtons Apr 29 '14 at 19:44
  • @PeterFitzgerald It's a Canon MFP 8580cdw. It would be awesome if that functionality were available. I would save all print jobs as PDF for a time range and be able to go back. Is that done through the printer's software or is that something 3rd party? – user201262 Apr 29 '14 at 20:02
  • @PFitz, What's the difference between "dig up past documents that have already been printed" vs "save all future print jobs as PDFs"? Why is the second one possible but not the first one? – Pacerier Jun 6 '15 at 1:14

Is the printer directly connected to the network or is it shared from a PC?

Ethernet Printers

A lot of times, ethernet printers will have a web interface in which you can see event logs (including the user/machine) a job was sent from.

enter image description here

PC Shared Network Printers

I'm not too sure about the history on this view, but msinfo32 does have information about the Print Jobs.

Type msinfo32.exe at the (Start menu and click Run) on the computer that has the share.

Expand the "Software Environment" category on the left pane.

Click on "Print Jobs" from the list of options. You will see the print jobs that are currently in your print queue on the right pane.

  • The web log doesn't give much more information than the event log or msinfo32. I was hoping there might be a way to actually see the document itself. – user201262 Apr 29 '14 at 20:01
  • Some printers will save a cached copy of the document for a bit just in case it's printed again. But I don't know of any way to access the actual printed document from a computer. – tbenz9 Apr 29 '14 at 21:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy