Zebra Setup Utilities: Downloading ZSU and Configuring Printer Settings

Article ID: 60616372

Issue / Question

How to configure printer settings using the ZSU?

Applicable To

Zebra Printers (excluding ZQ110, EM220, EM220II), Zebra Setup Utility

Resolution / Answer


The Zebra Setup Utilities (ZSU) can be used to configure printer settings.


NOTE Download and install Zebra Setup Utilities (ZSU) to a supported Windows PC. 


  1. Launch the Zebra Setup Utilities.
  2. Select your printer and click Configure Printer Settings.


NOTE The options available on each screen may vary depending on the printer model.


  1. Set the Label Size and Orientation in the Label Parameters window. 
Units: cm, mm, inches.
Width: The width of the label using the Units selected above.

NOTE An error will occur if you exceed the maximum allowed by the printer model you are configuring.
Height: The length of the label you are using.
NOTE For ZPL Printers Non-Continuous Media (Gap, Notch, Hole, or Black Mark) length is internally set when the printer is calibrated. Use of Continuous Media may use this value but the label length is often included in the format.

Orientation: The labels normally print bottom first but can be inverted to be top first. For more information, refer to this article: Label Rotation and Orientation for ZPL based Desktop and Tabletop Printers.

  1. Click Next. Select the required Speed and Darkness.
Speed: The values are limited to the printer capabilities. The media and ribbon (if used) should be matched to the speed you are expecting to use in your printing application. As a note, slower speeds are recommended for resin ribbon applications or when the print quality needs to be improved. 

Darkness: The values are limited to the printer capabilities. There may be limits to the darkness you can set especially when using ribbon. Wax ribbons use lower values while resin ribbons and polyester labels use the higher ranges. If your ribbon is tearing or distorting, your Darkness setting is too high. 

  1. Click Next.
  2. From Media Window, perform the following steps:
    1. Set Print Mode as Thermal or Direct
    2. Set Media Type as Web Sensing, Continuous, or Mark Sensing

Print mode: To select the type of media you are using in the application) 

  • Thermal: Thermal Transfer (using Ribbon).
  • Direct: Direct Thermal (not using Ribbon). The media has a heat-sensitive coating that darkens when heated. 

This video demonstrates how to differentiate between Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal:


Media Type: The selections are based on the printer media sensing options.

  • Web Sensing: Used for media with inter-label gaps, notches, or holes.
  • Continuous Sensing: Media that does not have or need a top of form indicator. The printer is told to print a specific length on the labels without automatic top of form correction.
  • Mark Sensing: Used for media with a black mark on the back of the liner or labels. 
NOTE If you are unsure what media you have, refer to Media and Ribbon Identification.


Tear off adjust: This modifies the resting position of the label to fine-tune the tear, cut, or peel resting position.  

Label Shift: This alters the horizontal position of all the printed fields. This is normally used to slightly compensate the horizontal position if sending a single format to multiple printers.
If you are only using one printer, adjust your label format field positions and leave this value at zero (0).


  1. Under Advanced settings, you can configure additional printer configurations:

Media Handling: This sets the way the label is presented after printing.
  • Tear Off: The label stops with the top of form at the tear bar. This allows for the gap to rest on the tear bar for easy tearing. 
  • Rewind: Disables backfeed and is typically used when the printer has the Rewind Spindle Option 
  • Peel Off: Used when the printer is equipped with the Peel Off Option. It enables take label sensors to detect a peeled label. Printing is halted until the peeled label is removed from the take label sensor path. 
  • Cutter: Used when the printer is equipped with a cutter option.  
  • Applicator: Used when the printer is using an Applicator Port for external device control of the printing 
  • Stream: Used with the ZE printers in applicator environment. 
Every X Labels: Typically used for Pause or Cut applications to print X number then Pause or Cut.

Media feed options: This configures the printer for action after power on or error recovery. 
By default, the printer will calibrate to the labels when un-paused and assures that the sensors and label lengths are optimized.   

The Feed to Next Label is by default. Change it if you wish to have the printer measure labels after opening the printhead or powering on the printer.  

Refer to this article for more details and recommended settings: Media Feed (Power Up Action/Head Close Action.

  • Feed to Next Label: Detects the first top of form (gap/mark/notch/hole) and feeds to the resting position.
  • Calibrate Media: Sets the sensor values and measures the labels then feeds to the resting position.
  • Set Label Length: Measures the labels length of the feeds to the resting position.
  • No Feed: No motion after error recovery or power up. 


Backfeed: Set the backfeed sequence. 

  • Default Settings: Backfeeds before printing the label. 
  • No Backfeed: Printer never feeds the label back under the printhead. There will be a dead band where you cannot print when this is enabled. 
  • Before Print: The label backfeeds before it starts the next print cycle.
  • After Print: The Label Prints and then immediately backfeeds. 

Mirror image: Flag the checkbox if you wish to print with a reversed image.

  1. If your printer has a Real Time Clock option you can set the time format:

  1. For printers with an LCD display you can define Front Panel Protection:

These selectively Enable/Disable printer button response or setup function. The response varies by printer model. If in doubt, leave these all checked.

  1. Sensor Settings is the next screen. Unless you are familiar with these values, it is best to leave these blank and allow printer calibration to set these values.


  1. On the last screen, you have the option to Save settings to a file by selecting the checkbox.
  2. Click Finish to send the changes made to the selected printer.


Helpful Information:

+ Product Codes

  • 105SLPlus Industrial Printers
  • 105SLPlus Industrial Printers
  • 110PAX Print Engines (disc.)
  • 110Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 140Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 170Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 220Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 2824 Plus Series
  • 2824-Z Series
  • All Surface RFID Label Solution
  • Desktop Printers
  • Discontinued Printers
  • G-Series GC Desktop Printers
  • G-Series GK Desktop Printers
  • G-Series GX Desktop Printers
  • GC420d Desktop Printer
  • GC420t Desktop Printer
  • GK420 Healthcare Desktop Printers
  • GK420d Desktop Printer
  • GK420d Healthcare Desktop Printer
  • GK420t Desktop Printer
  • GK420t Healthcare Desktop Printer
  • GT800 Desktop Printer
  • GX420Rx Desktop Printer
  • GX420d Desktop Printer
  • GX420t Desktop Printer
  • GX430d Desktop Printer
  • GX430t Desktop Printer
  • HC100 Wristband Printer
  • HC100 Wristband Printer
  • Industrial Printers
  • KR403 Kiosk Receipt Printer
  • LP 2824 Plus Desktop Printer
  • R110Xi4 RFID Printer
  • RP4T RFID Printers
  • RP4T RFID Printers
  • TLP 2824Plus Desktop Printer
  • Xi Series Industrial Printers
  • ZD410 Series
  • ZD410D
  • ZD420 Series
  • ZD420-HC
  • ZD420C
  • ZD500 Desktop Printer
  • ZD500 Desktop Printer
  • ZD500R RFID Printers
  • ZD500R RFID Printers
  • ZE500 Print Engines
  • ZE500 Print Engines
  • ZE500R RFID Print Engine
  • ZE500R RFID Print Engine
  • ZM400
  • ZM600
  • ZT200 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT210 Industrial Printer
  • ZT220 Industrial Printer
  • ZT230 Industrial Printer
  • ZT400 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT400 Series RFID Printers
  • ZT410 Industrial Printer
  • ZT410 RFID Industrial Printer
  • ZT420 Industrial Printer
  • ZT420 RFID Industrial Printer
  • Zebra Setup Utilities