When connecting to certain builds of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016 Standard, you might observe that a Control Panel in your remote session does not display any printers connected (even though they were set to be redirected, when connected over RDP). However, if you go to the print menu of any program you are working with, it will show all of your redirected printers there. They will be fully operational, however, this limits your ability to control them if the need arises. According to this blog post, it is most likely caused by a rare Windows bug that affects systems with a Hostname with more than 14 characters. The default Windows Naming scheme for Out Of the Box Experience is DESKTOP-XXXXXXX (15 characters). If systems integrator used their own naming scheme (e.g. DELL-XXXXXXX), this issue will never surface. Another odd thing to keep in mind is that this issue even though is caused by a computer name longer than 14 characters does not affect the computer itself, just a Remote Desktop Session running Windows Server 2016 for example (in our case, it’s Build 14393.5246).
The easiest solution to this is to rename the PC to something other than a default naming scheme or back off a character from a default one and it will work like a charm.
- Select Start > Settings > System > About.
- Select Rename this PC.
- Enter a new name and select Next. You may be asked to sign in.
- Select Restart now or Restart later.
This will resolve this mystery bug and allow full access to redirected printers in the remote session!