How to Retrieve Your Print History on Windows 10

Being able to access your print history on Windows 10 can be useful for several reasons. You may want to check if a document printed properly, see who has been printing from your computer, or determine your monthly printing volume.

Windows doesn’t keep a log of your print jobs by default. However, you can enable print logging so you can view your print history both short-term and long-term. Here’s how to do it.

Enable Short-Term Print History

You can enable your print queue to display a history of recently printed documents. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners
  2. Right-click your printer and select Manage
  3. Go to Printer properties > Advanced
  4. Check the box for Keep printed documents
  5. Click OK to save

Once enabled, previously printed documents will remain in your print queue instead of being removed.

To view your short-term print history:

  1. Open Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners
  2. Select your printer
  3. Click Open print queue

This will display your print queue, including recently printed documents. However, records do get overwritten eventually as new prints are added. For long-term history, use the Windows Event Viewer.

Enable Long-Term Print History with Event Viewer

The Windows Event Viewer keeps a detailed log of various system events and activities, including printing. Here is how to enable long-term print logging:

  1. Open Event Viewer
  2. Go to Applications and Services Logs > Microsoft > Windows > PrintService
  3. Right-click Operational and select Enable Logging
  4. Set log size and overwrite method
  5. Click OK

Windows will now save a detailed print log that you can access at any time:

  1. Open Event Viewer
  2. Go to PrintService > Operational
  3. View print history under Task Category

You can also group print events to make them easier to browse.

Use Third-Party Print Logger Software

There are also several third-party print logging utilities you can use, such as:

  • PaperCut Print Logger: Provides detailed printing history and statistics on users, documents, costs, etc.
  • Print Job Manager: Tracks all printing activity on a network. Handles chargebacks and identifies high-volume printing.
  • Print Audit: Logs detailed information on print jobs including time, user, application, document name, pages, etc.

These specialized tools provide more robust print tracking and management capabilities compared to the built-in Windows options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I see my older print history?

Print logging must be enabled before print jobs are tracked. If you didn’t have it turned on already, your older history won’t be available.

How much history is retained in Event Viewer?

This depends on the maximum log size you configure. The larger the log, the more historical data it can hold before older events get overwritten.

How long does print history last in the print queue?

It varies on factors like volume of print jobs, queue size, etc. Generally print queues only retain jobs from the past few hours or days. For long-term tracking, use Event Viewer.

Can I see who printed documents on my computer?

If you have print logging enabled, both Event Viewer and third-party software will log the Windows user account that issued each print job.

How can I determine my monthly printing volume?

Enable print tracking with Event Viewer or third-party software. Both will provide date/time stamps on print jobs so you can tally monthly pages.

Conclusion

Having access to detailed print logs can be useful for reviewing past activity as well as managing future usage.

The easiest options are enabling the print queue to retain job history short-term, or using Event Viewer for permanent long-term logging. Third-party tools also provide advanced functionality.

Just remember you need to proactively turn on print tracking in order to have the history available later on.