The printing experience on Windows has remained relatively unchanged for decades. However, Microsoft is now revamping printing on Windows 11 to make it safer and more convenient for users. With the latest Windows 11 insider preview, a new “protected print” mode is being introduced, offering a modern print stack with a plug-and-play experience.

This update eliminates the need for third-party drivers, which can be outdated, insecure, and prone to performance issues. Instead, Windows 11 will provide a single, updated print stack that is compatible with various printers. This change addresses long-standing vulnerabilities, such as those exploited by attacks like Print Nightmare, and reduces potential entry points for malicious actors.

To take advantage of this new printing experience, you can manually enable it by following these steps:

  1. Press Start.
  2. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers.
  4. Right-click on ‘Configure Windows protected print’ and click ‘Edit’.
  5. Select the ‘Enabled’ radio button.
  6. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’.

Please note that this new print stack will only work with Mopria-certified printers. Fortunately, there are thousands of Mopria-certified printers available from manufacturers like HP, Samsung, Canon, and Xerox. If you have a relatively recent printer, chances are it’s Mopria-certified and compatible with the new stack. However, older models may still require third-party drivers until you upgrade your printer.

This revamped printing experience will be rolled out to all Windows 11 PCs next year. Keep an eye out for this update on your machine to enjoy a safer and more convenient printing process.

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