CCT-201410082 – Mapped Printers Disappear from a Citrix XenApp Desktop Session


Problem Definition:

Users report they are unable to print from their Citrix Virtual Desktop to a local printer.  The printers have disappeared and are not visible in “Devices and Printers” or in any Print Menu.  The issue affects all users working from a specific Citrix Desktop Host.


There are two possible causes:

The affected user is connecting to their Desktop using the Citrix HTML client and not the Citrix Receiver/Workspace App/ICA Client.  Client Printer redirection is not supported when using the Citrix HTML client.

If the affected user is not using the HTML client, then this issue is most likely caused by the Citrix Print Manager Service being stopped.  This generally will occur when a program is installed or updated, and the installation requires stopping and then starting the Windows “Print Spooler” service.  Stopping the Windows Print Spooler service crashes the Citrix Print Manager Service.  Because the installer is unaware of the Citrix Print Manager Service dependency on the Windows Print Spooler, the Citrix Print Manager Service remains in a crashed state, causing all locally mapped printers to disappear.  This issue commonly occurs with the installation or update of Adobe® software products.

Resolution 1 - User is connected using HTML Client:

Login to the Citrix Server the user is connected to as an administrator and open the task manager.

Select the "Users Tab," then hover over the "User" column header.  Right click the header and select  the "Client" column header.

If the affected user's Client name begins with the prefix "HTML" (as shown in the image below) then the user is connected using the HTML client and mapped printers will not work.  Instruct the user to sign out, and connect to their Citrix Server using the Citrix Workspace or Receiver App.  If the user is connecting from a PC, instructions are detailed here: Access from a PC.  If the user is connecting from a Mac, instructions are detailed here: Access from a Mac.

If the printing issue persists after you have confirmed the affected user is not connected using the HTML client, proceed to Resolution 2 (below).

Resolution 2 - Citrix Print Manager Service has stopped:

Verify the Citrix Print Manager Service has crashed on the affected Desktop Host.  Using the “support” account, access the Citrix Desktop Host.  From the start menu or run dialogue box, open “services.msc” as shown below:

If the “Citrix Print Management Service” does not report a “Started” status as shown above, proceed to Start the service.  Once the service is started, all currently logged on users will have to fully Sign Out of Windows (not disconnect), and log back on to their Citrix Virtual Desktop.  The logon will recreate all mapped printers.  In some cases, it may be simpler to ask all users to logoff and simply reboot the Citrix Server.

Additional Information:

It is imperative that users logoff and log back on in order for the printers to re appear.  Users tend to confuse “logoff” with “disconnect” in their Windows start menus.  If a user still reports they are unable to see their locally mapped printers in the virtual desktop, it is likely the user did not fully logoff and rather disconnected and reconnected to their session.

If the issue occurs repeatedly, it could be due to Adobe Acrobat's automatic updates. In this case, switch to manual updates and start the Citrix print manager service. Additionally, reboot the Citrix server after finishing a manual update.

Applies To:

Microsoft Windows Desktop and Server Operating Systems XP/2003 and later

Citrix XenApp 6.5, Citrix XenApp 7.X

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