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Universal Print integration with OneDrive should help avoid PrintNightmare issues

Surface Pro X
Surface Pro X (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Universal Print will soon work with OneDrive, allowing people to print through the cloud.
  • With Universal Print, people can print to devices without having to install printer drivers.
  • Printer drivers have been in headlines recently in connection with PrintNightmare vulnerabilities.

Microsoft rolled out Universal Print earlier this year. It moves print management to the cloud, which should simplify things for IT admins. Starting this week, Universal Print will work with OneDrive, allowing people to print content directly from the web.

Microsoft explains the benefit of Universal Print in a Tech Community post (opens in new tab). Without a feature like Universal Print, IT admins would have to install printer drivers on devices. In organizations with many PCs or printers, Microsoft says the "experience can range from inconvenient to completely unmanageable."

With Universal Print, "people across the organization can access a printer in the cloud from anywhere with an internet connection and securely print over Zero Trust Networks without the need for a VPN connection to their organization's network," says Microsoft.

Universal Print allows people to print documents without having to install printer drivers. With support for OneDrive, someone could print a document directly from the web to any printer in an organization.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

To use Universal Print, a person needs to select a document and click Print. They'll then see printers hosted by their organization, even if a specific printer isn't installed on their device.

Printers can be difficult to manage across a large organization. They've also been the center of an ongoing security saga. PrintNightmare vulnerabilities have led to emergency patches from Microsoft and a change in which types of users can install printer drivers. Avoiding all of this with Universal Print with OneDrive should simplify the printing process for organizations.

Universal Print with OneDrive will be available later this week. Note that printers have to be compatible with Universal Print to utilize the feature. Microsoft has a list of these devices (opens in new tab) on its website.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

5 Comments
  • Is this similar to the former Google Cloud Print?
  • Sorta. You need to have AzureAD for authentication. Last I checked, you also have to have O365 premium accounts, which means it's for high end paying customers.
  • You can now get universal print license without a sub at $4 a month per user and you still need azure ad which is an additional cost. Plus, there is a print job limit - a pool which is shared by all users. Orgs can buy volume add-ons.... https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/universal-print/fundamentals/universal-... Unfortunately, the way universal print has been structured - IT are still going to be forced to install print drivers. It boggles the mind that universal print has to be licensed and there is a print quota. Especially if it's not using an external network.
  • Universal Print unfortunately does not resolve this saga as it is not available to general consumers nor small to medium businesses either.
  • Cont'd - was typing this on train and pressed send by mistake lol: As at 4 dollars a month per user ontop of Azure AD costs it's not feasible for small to medium-sized businesses.