AutoPrint as a Windows service
AutoPrint is ready to be optionally installed as a service. This allows AutoPrint operating completely unattended on any Windows desktop computer or professional server system. The procedure consists of only a few clicks. Special attention is only needed, if the chosen input folders or printers are not visible or not accessable for the service (see below).
NOTE: The Free and the Standard licenses will switch the service into a demo mode, which activates all other Professional features for evaluation.
In the demo mode the service will be adding a logo-stamp onto the printed page center.
NOTE: The service will be installed with the auto-start option at system boot time. You may change this through the Windows SCM (service control manager).
STEP 0 - Recommendation
Please first fully setup and thoroughly test AutoPrint and all print channels in the normal application mode before finally activating the service operation.
STEP 1 - Install
Close and restart AutoPrint (application) as administrator.
This is only necessary once for the initial install process of the service instance.
- Open the Setup > System tab. There you will find the Windows service setup panel.
Leave the two fields Account name and Password empty, if you will dedicate the service
to the computers Local System account (default).
The default IP-Port for the communication between the AutoPrint service and the application
can be changed, if the port-number is already occupied on your system.
- Click the Install service button and wait for system response.
STEP 2 - Start service
- Click the Start service button to start the service manually now.
The blue light at the Install button indicates the started and running service.
After a few seconds the green light at the IP-Port signals a proper connection to the service
for the further control and the online print channel process monitoring.
If your pre-defined print channels had been set to ‘Autostart’ before (default), the service will
now stop the application activities and takeover all printing-jobs.
You may close the application now or watch the screen for monitoring the service:
Monitoring the successful
AutoPrint service start-up
All 4 print channels show
green lights and are
active in idle state,
waiting for new print files.
Challenges ahead if one or more…
- input file folders are local or remote shares with well defined account based access privileges,
- input file folders are located on mapped cloud drives like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and many others,
- target folders for after-print file storage have only limited access,
- local or remote printers are dedicated to defined users only.
All situations have in common, that the Local System account, which is default for almost all Windows services,
does not see or has no sufficient access privileges to these resources.
The results: affected print channels may stop processing and show orange/red lights.
There are two alternative approaches to get the situation solved:
Solution A (recommended for AutoPrint)
- Choose an existing or create a new named Windows user account, especially for the AutoPrint service,
for example ‘AutoPrintUser’. The user will need full write/read access privileges to all input and target folders
and the right to normally use the related printers.
- Check and test-run AutoPrint thoroughly, while logged-in to this (new) named account with AutoPrint
running as application.
- Go back to Step 1 above, stop & uninstall the current service and then reinstall after entering the user
credentials into the two related fields.
- Alternatively, you may use the Windows SCM for replacing the Log On account.
With the Windows Group Policy Editor or further standard right-click-security settings for related folders and printers, check and make sure
that the Local System account is given the needed access privileges (see Solution A).