How to See Your Printed Document History in Windows 10

Are you using your printer a lot?

How to See Your Printed Document History in Windows 10

Monitoring the history of a printer to see what was printed can be a bit tricky. Since the toner level doesn't show how much the printer has been used, you'll have to turn on logging in Windows 10. Here's how to do it.

Turning on Printer History Logging for Recently Printed Documents

By default, the list of documents you've printed gets erased after each print job is done. But you can make it so you can see the list of things you've printed recently in the print queue for your printer. You just have to do this separately for each printer you have.

Access Your Print Queue to Enable Logging

To see what you've printed recently, do this: Right-click on the Start menu button in Windows, then pick "Settings." After that, click on "Devices" and then "Printers & Scanners."

Access Your Print Queue to Enable Logging

Look for your printer in the list under "Printers & Scanners," click on it, and then click "Open Queue" to see what's been printed.

Access Your Print Queue to Enable Logging

You'll find your current and upcoming print jobs in the printer queue, but not the ones you've printed before. To see the old ones, you have to turn on a setting.

To turn on this setting, go to your printer queue, then click on "Printer" and choose "Properties." Or, you can pick your printer and click "Manage" in the "Printers & Scanners" settings.

Access Your Print Queue to Enable Logging

In your printer settings, go to the "Advanced" tab, and check the box that says "Keep Printed Documents." After that, click "OK" to save your changes.

Access Your Print Queue to Enable Logging

Once you've turned on document history, your printed papers won't vanish from the print queue after they're done printing.

Turn on Long-Term Print Records in Event Viewer

The print queue shows recent print jobs. To see a longer history, use Windows Event Viewer. Right-click the Start menu, select "Event Viewer."

Turn on Long-Term Print Records in Event Viewer

To see older printed files, use Event Viewer, but first, make sure Windows is set to keep a long-term printer history. In Event Viewer, click on "Applications and Services Logs" > "Microsoft" > "Windows" in the menu on the left.

Turn on Long-Term Print Records in Event Viewer

You'll see many Windows services listed. Scroll down until you find "PrintService." Then, right-click on "Operational" and select "Properties."

Turn on Long-Term Print Records in Event Viewer

Check the box that says "Enable Logging" and pick how much space you want for the log. More space means a longer print history. Hit "OK" to save.

Turn on Long-Term Print Records in Event Viewer

Now, Windows will save your printer history to a log file in Event Viewer for all your printers.

View Print History in Event Viewer

After enabling printer history, you can always check it in Event Viewer. Find "PrintService," and open the "Operational" log.

View Print History in Event Viewer

You'll see a list of everything that's happened with your Windows printer, from when it first started printing to whether it finished successfully or had problems.

In the "Task Category" section, when you see "Printing a Document," it means documents that were either printed successfully or had printing problems. So, it covers both successful and unsuccessful print attempts.

View Print History in Event Viewer

To help you organize things better, you can group your print log by categories. This means you can put all the "Printing a Document" events together in one place. To do this, just right-click on the "Task Category" heading and then click on the "Group Events by This Column" button.

View Print History in Event Viewer

Now, your stuff will be sorted into different groups. You can hide the other groups and keep only the "Printing a Document" category visible. This way, you'll see only the list of documents you've printed before.

View Print History in Event Viewer

Try Using External Print Tracking Tools

Although Event Viewer works, it might not show your print history very clearly. Instead, you can use another program like PaperCut Print Logger to see your print history over time.

PaperCut Print Logger gives you a list of your printed documents with timestamps. It also tells you who printed the document, the document's name, and how many pages and copies were printed.

Try Using External Print Tracking Tools

You can get to the admin page by going to the regular PaperCut Print Logger folder.

On Windows 10, it's usually at C:\Program Files (x86)\PaperCut Print Logger. Just double-click the "ViewLogs" shortcut, and you'll see your printed documents listed by date.

Try Using External Print Tracking Tools

After you've opened the PaperCut Print Logger admin page, look for the "View" section, and then click the "HTML" button. This will let you see your print history for that date right there.

You can also press the "CSV/Excel" button in the "Date (Day)" or "Date (Month)" sections to save your daily or monthly print history as an Excel file.

Try Using External Print Tracking Tools

You can also find these logs in the "Logs > CSV" folder within your PaperCut Print Logger installation directory.

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