Pete Hinchley: New Printers Slow to Appear under the Devices and Printers View within Windows

I recently noticed that it was taking a very long time for newly added printers to appear under the Devices and Printers view in Control Panel on a system running Windows Server 2012 R2. After I added a new printer, it would be immediately accessible via the Print dialog of any application, but it would take minutes to appear within the Devices and Printers view.

After checking Event Viewer, I discovered a series of events (ID 201) in the DeviceSetupManager\Admin log under Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows with the following text: A connection to the Windows Metadata and Internet Services (WMIS) could not be established.

This wasn't surprising, as the server was located in an isolated network with no connectivity to the internet.

After a little more digging, I discovered the following registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Device Metadata. The key included a value named DeviceMetadataServiceURL (set to that presumably defined the online location the server was attempting to query. I also noticed that under the same key was a DWORD value named PreventDeviceMetadataFromNetwork. I changed this value from 0 to 1, and then attempted to connect to another printer. Sure enough, the new printer immediately appeared within the Devices and Printers view. Problem solved!

The same approach should also work on Windows 10.