SOLVED: What Does Print and Document Services Actually Do?

add print and document services to Server 2016 2019If you have a Windows Server (or even the desktop client), you can add a Role named PRINT AND DOCUMENT SERVICES.  The questions are:

  1. What does Print and Document Services add?
  2. Do I need Print and Document Services to get the Print Management app?
  3. Does installing Print and Document Services make printers run better?
  4. Do I have to install Print and Document Services on a server that hosts a printer?

The short answer is, for most companies, the Print and Document services role can be (and probably should be) ignored.  Here are the longer answers:

What does Print and Document Services add?

Print and Document Services:

  • Installs the Print Management app if it has been removed
  • An ability to have your server receive scanned documents from various devices like your large office multifunction (printer, copier, fax, scanner)
  • An ability to manage faxes, which almost no-one cares about anymore

Windows Print Management App ToolDo I need Print and Document Services to get the Print Management app?

In a word no.  The very useful PRINT MANAGEMENT tool (as shown in the screen shot to the right), is now built in to Windows and installed automatically with or without  Print and Document services.

Does installing Print and Document Services make printers run better?

In a word, no.  Print and Document Services will add complexity and increase your servers attack surface for hackers, but it will not enhance the performance or functionality of your printers or plotters.

Do I have to install Print and Document Services on a server that hosts a printer?

In a word, no.  Print and Document Services is now a legacy role that is of little value to most companies.  It is not on Microsoft’s deprecated list, but I am quite sure they are not adding functionality any more.

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