Installing BarTender

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Remember: Your browser communicates with the BarTender server over your local network

BarTender is a third-party label printing software application used to design and manage labels for printing. Before you can connect BarTender to Benchling, BarTender Enterprise Edition of version 2019 or newer must be installed on your servers.

If you already have BarTender installed, we recommend reviewing these instructions to ensure your setup supports the Benchling workflow. If it does, visit Connecting BarTender to Benchling.

Hardware requirements

Before installing BarTender on your local network, ensure it has access to printers via one of the following:

  • Your network

  • USB

  • Windows printer sharing

Server recommendations

Benchling’s integration with BarTender takes advantage of BarTender’s centralized server capabilities. The BarTender server(s) must be able to access your printers and must be accessible to any computer that wants to print labels. You can install BarTender on a Windows machine in a traditional on-premise environment connected to your local network or in the cloud and connected via Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

We recommend one BarTender server in most cases, but the integration works if you have multiple servers. Printers and label templates are local to each server, so BarTender servers are a way to group printers and labels by building or region. If you have sub-networks for each building, localizing BarTender servers in the building sub-networks is a way to ensure users don’t accidentally print labels to printers in different buildings.

Install BarTender on your local network

This section covers points of clarification during installation. If you have questions about BarTender installation that aren’t covered in this article, contact BarTender.

If your Windows device is in S mode, you must switch out of S mode to install BarTender.

Note: Benchling integrates with BarTender Print Portal which runs on Windows IIS. If Windows IIS is not already installed, the BarTender installer installs it.

After initiating installation:

  1. On the opening screen of the BarTender Setup Wizard, check Specify advanced installation options.

  2. On the Advanced Installation Options screen, select BarTender with Print Portal, and leave Add Microsoft SQL Server Express checked.

  3. Ensure the location in Install to is correct.

  4. Follow the prompts to complete installation.

After installation, Windows Defender Firewall might raise an alarm. You must allow access to private networks but BarTender doesn’t need access to public networks.


Installing printer drivers

Any computer that will be printing labels needs the correct drivers installed or they must be made available to the BarTender server via Windows printer sharing. Printers that connect via USB and can’t physically be connected to the BarTender server will need to connect via Windows printer sharing.


To download the printer drivers, visit

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