Monday, November 28, 2022

How To Set A Default Printer In Windows 10

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Set Default Printer Option Missing In Windows 10

Windows 10: Setting the Default Printer

Typically, in Windows 10, you can right-click on a printer and then the context-menu will provide you an option to set that printer as default.

Today, one of my Active Directory users reported printing issues and that she could no longer set a printer as default.

Sure enough, whether I log in as admin or as her, the “set as default printer” option is now missing:

Notice that the option to “set printer as default” is missing from the context-menu in the screen-shot above.

Any advice?

You don’t need any utility to do this. As per this Microsoft support page:

To choose a default printer, select the Start button and then Settings . Go to Devices > Printers & scanners > select a printer > Manage. Then select Set as default. If you have “Let Windows manage my default printer” selected, you’ll need to deselect it before you can choose a default printer on your own.

Shameless plug – I wrote the following utility. It is open-sourced on Github if you want to check it out yourself.

You can use my new app, ChangeDefaultPrinter to manually choose a default printer. It does not need to be installed, and can run in a limited user’s context or an administrator context.

With Windows 10, Microsoft wants to default to managing your default printer, based on which printer you printed to last while on that network. If you don’t want Windows choosing this for you, you can disable it .

How Do I Stop Windows 10 From Changing My Default Printer

You can change your default printer in a few steps.

  • Open the Settings app and go to Devices
  • Select the network printer you want as your default printer, and then click Next
  • Type in your username for the computer that is currently using this printer, or select it from a list of users on this PC if there are multiple accounts on one computer
  • If you need to change back, follow these steps again but choose another option for Default Printer in Step 3, such as Local Printer or Network Printer .
  • How To Easily Set A Default Printer In Windows 10

    If you use more than one printer, Windows 10 automatically sets the one you used most recently as the default printer. However, a situation may arise where you would want to change the default printer. There are different methods you can use to achieve your aim, and that is what we will outline in this guide.

    But thats not all. Some users have reported that after setting a default printer, Windows keeps changing it. If you have encountered this issue, just keep reading since weve put together some easy solutions to help you fix it.

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    Force Windows 10 To Set Default Printer

    If you do not know how to fix the Default printer cannot be set error, do not worry. That is the kind of rare issue where you almost should not do anything. In Windows 10 November 2015 Update, Microsoft changed the way Windows 10 manages the default printers. From now on, it automatically sets the last used printer as a default. In other words, all you need to do to set up the default printer in Windows 10 is to use it. Just go ahead and print something. After that, Windows will set the selected printer as default.

    For your information. When troubleshooting printers in Windows 10, always make sure you have the latest drivers installed. Modern printers nowadays are plug-and-play, which means Windows automatically gets the required drivers. Still, it is a good practice to manually install the driver to ensure the best compatibility.

    Go to the manufacturers website and download the newest supported drivers from there. Also, do note that old printers may have a hard time working with modern computers and the latest operating systems. Besides, you may face compatibility issues when using dongles and converters to plug old connectors into modern motherboards.

    Windows 10 sets default printers automatically by default. You can check whether you have this feature enabled by doing the following:

  • Make sure your PC runs Windows 10 1511 or never .
  • Hit Win + I on your keyboard to run Windows Settings and go to Devices Printers and scanners.
  • How To Set The Printer As The Default Printer In Windows

    Set Default Printer in Windows 10

    While trying to print a document, you might receive a warning message that the printer is not set as the default printer. You may also find that Windows is attempting to print to another device. To configure Windows to use your printer as the default printing device, select your version of Windows below and follow the steps.

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    Set As Default Printer In Settings

    Step 1: Click the Start menu.

    Step 2: Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app. Or you can press Windows + I to open it.

    Step 3: Click the Devices option.

    Step 4: Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu. The list of printers and scanners installed on your system shown.

    Step 5: Click the printer you want to set as the default printer.

    Step 6: Click the Manage button.

    Step 7: When the individual printer settings page appears, click the Set as default button.

    Step 8: The change will take effect immediately and the printer you selected will now be set as your default printer. Exit Settings app.

    Disable Let Windows Manage Your Default Printer Option Using Registry Key

    Step 1: Press Windows + R to open a Run box.

    Step 2: Type regedit and press Enter to open up the Registry Editor. Click Yes to grant administrative privileges when prompted by the UAC .

    Step 3: Navigate to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

    Step 4: Check if the Dword LegacyDefaultPrinterMode exists. If it does not exist, right-click on the right pane then select New> DWORD Value. Name the new DWORD as LegacyDefaultPrinterMode.

    Step 5: Double-click on LegacyDefaultPrinterMode and change its value to 1 to turn off Let Windows manage your default printer option. Click on the OK button and close the registry editor.

    Step 6: Restart the PC.

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    Set Default Printer In Windows 10 Automatically

    Windows 10 has an inbuilt feature, Let Windows manage my default printer that when enabled automatically sets the default printer to the one that you have used recently at your current location. This feature ensures that when you are at the office, Windows automatically switches the default printer from home to office.

    You can enable this feature by following the steps listed below:

    1. Click on the Windows Start button and click on the gear icon to open Windows Settings.

    2. In Windows Settings click on Devices.

    3. Now on the next screen, click on Printers & Scanners from the left-pane.

    4. On the right pane scroll down and check mark the setting that reads, Let Windows manage my default printer option

    Now once you have enabled this feature, Windows will automatically set the default printer to the one that you have used most recently at your current location.

    Also Read:How To Fix Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer Issue?

    What Does It Mean When Windows Will Stop Managing Your Default Printer

    How To Easily Set A Default Printer In Windows 10

    Windows will stop managing your default printer if you have a newer version of Windows and it is not compatible with the driver for your printer.

    This can be frustrating and hard to troubleshoot, but we’ll walk you through how to fix it. The first thing you need to do is visit the manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your printer.

    After downloading them, open up Start Menu > Devices & Printers > right-click on “your computer” > click Printer Properties from there.

    Once that window pops up go ahead and find where it says “Set as Default Printer.” Click that option then hit OK or Apply at the bottom of the page. When everything has been set up correctly, close out of all windows.

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    How To Change The Default Printer In Windows 10

    With default settings, Windows 10 automatically manages your default printer by setting the most recently used printer as your default printer.

    Since Windows 10 automatically manages the default printer, most users never need to think about settings or changing the default printer. That said, at times, you might want to change the default printer or make your newly installed printer as the default printer in Windows 10.

    There are no less than four ways out there in Windows 10 to change or set your default printer.

    Follow the directions mentioned in one of the four given below methods to change the default printer or set a printer as the default in Windows 10.

    Method 1 of 4

    Fix : Reinstall The Printer Drivers

    As mentioned earlier, Windows could be changing your default printer because it detects an issue. Thus, make sure that the software for all your printers is up to date and compatible. Begin by uninstalling the drivers and then install their updated versions. Follow these steps:

  • Once you are in the Device Manager window, locate your printer device and right-click on it. Then click on Uninstall Device from the contextual menu.
  • Confirm the action by clicking on Delete the driver software for this device and then click on Uninstall.
  • Restart your PC and visit the website of your printer manufacturer. Search for the latest driver for your printer model and download and install it.
  • Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater

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  • Open the Settings app by pressing the Windows + I keyboard combination.
  • Scroll to the section on the right pane where your printers are listed. Select the printer you no longer need by clicking on it.
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    Fix Operation Could Not Be Completed Double Click The Printer Name And Make Sure That The Printer Is Connected To The Network Error

    This is where things may go sideways. As we described above, sometimes a user may encounter weird issues when trying to set up the default printer in Windows 10. If nothing helped and you still cannot set up the default printer, try to use the Windows registry to bypass the nasty error.

    Warning. Follow the procedure strictly and do not change other registry branches and values, otherwise you may end up with serious software problems and data loss.

  • Disable the Let Windows manage my default printer options in Windows settings.
  • Press Win + R and enter the regedit command. Press Enter. This command launches the built-in Registry Editor.
  • Expand the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows.
  • Right-click on the Windows key and select Permissions.
  • Select Administrators, then check the Full Control and press OK.
  • Next, assign Full Control permission for your user.
  • Close the permissions windows and go back to Registry Editor. In the right pane, find the registry parameter called Devices and change its value to the printer name you want to set as a default one. For, example if your printer has the name HP Color LaserJet 5550 PCL6 Class Driver, you need to set the value to HP Color LaserJet 5550 PCL6 Class Driver,winspool,TS001.
  • After saving the settings, the new printer will be marked with a green circle in the Control Panel. Also, you will see the Default string next to the printer in the Windows Settings.
  • Set The Default Printer As The Last One Used

    How to set the Default Printer in Windows 10  Next ...

    One other handy option on Windows 10 is to set your default printer as the last one you used at that location. So if you travel between your home and physical office, for instance, you can have the default printer set as the one you used most recently at that spot.

  • Click the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen and select Settings.

  • Choose Devices at the top.

  • Pick Printers & Scanners on the left. Below the list of printers on the right, check the box for Let Windows manage my default printer.

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    Change Default Printer Using Notepad

    An easy way to change the default printer in Windows 10 is by using the Notepad App.

    Open Notepad App or right-click on the Desktop and select New> Text Document option.

    In New Text Document, click on the File tab and select Print option in the drop-down menu.

    On the next screen, right-click on your desired Printer and select Set as Default Printer option.

    Setting Default Printer In Windows 10 When Hp Smart App Is Installed

    12-11-201911:46 AM

    In Windows setting\Devices\Printers& Scanners, when the HP ENVY 7155 is selected, instead of “manage” button, Windows states “App available for this device” and then “Open printer app.” But I can’t find anything in the app, including printer settings, that lets me set it as the Windows default printer, Except for this, printer is working fine, & I can select it each time I print but that’s an extra step I’d like to avoid. Thanks in advance for any guidance on this issue.

    Welcome to the HP Support Community!

    I reviewed your post and I understand that you are unable to set the default printer in Windows 10.

    Dont worry, I assure you I will try my best to get this sorted.

    I recommend you follow the below steps and check if it helps.

    • To choose a default printer, select the Start button and then Settings. Go to Devices > Printers & scanners > select a printer > Manage. Then select Set as default. If you have Let Windows manage my default printer selected, you’ll need to deselect it before you can choose a default printer on your own.
    • In Windows 10, your default can be the printer you last used. To turn on this mode, open Start and select Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners. Select the checkbox beside Let Windows manage my default printer.

    Let me know how it goes and you have a great day!

    If you wish to show appreciation for my efforts, mark my post as Accept as Solution.Your feedback counts!

    Here is how it is done.

    2.) Select your HP Printer

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    Set Default Printer Windows 10 Command Line

    I recently had to set the default printer on my Windows 10 machine. I thought it was as easy as clicking “Printers” in the Control Panel but that just brought me to a list of printers, not changing which one is the default.

    After some searching I found out how to change it you simply need to go into Settings > Devices and Printers > Choose Default Printer and select whichever printer you want.

    How To Stop Windows 10 From Automatically Changing Your Default Printer

    How to change your default printer in Windows 10

    First, open Settings by clicking the Start menu and selecting the gear icon on the left. Or you can press Windows+i on your keyboard to open it quickly.

    In Settings, click Devices.

    In Devices, select Printers & Scanners in the sidebar menu.

    In Printers & Scanners settings, scroll down and uncheck the box beside Let Windows manage my default printer.

    After that, you might want to stay in Settings to manually change your default printersee the instructions below. Otherwise, exit Settings, and the change you just made will take effect immediately.

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    Set Your Default Printer In Windows 10

    Now go set your default printer. You will see the entire list of printers a little above this setting. Select the printer and click the Set as default button. It will show a green tick/checkmark.

    • Windows 10 will not change it again, even if you use another printer.
    • If its a wireless printer, make sure it is connected to your wireless network.
    • The easiest way to do this is to re-do the wireless setup.
    • If its wired over a USB Port, run the printers setup and re-add the printer. install the drivers as well.
    • Open Settings, then go into Devices > Printers and Scanners Set Let Windows manage my default printer to Off

    How Do I Change The Default Printer In Cmd

    This is easy to do. Follow the steps below:

  • Open the Power User menu by pressing the Windows icon key + X keyboard combination.
  • Confirm the action by clicking Yes when the User Account Control box appears on your screen.
  • Once you are in the Command Prompt window, copy and paste the following line and then hit enter to run it:
  • RUNDLL32 PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /y /n Printer name

    Note: Make sure that you replace Printer name in the above command with the name of the printer you want to set as your default printer. If you dont know the name of the printer, open Notepad or Microsoft Word and press Ctrl + P to invoke the Print dialog. There, you will find the name of your printer.

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    Changing The Default Printer

    – You should choose the Smartcard-PCL driver on Windows computers.- Only Smartcard-PS works on Mac computers, so you should choose it.

  • Open the Start menu and find Printers & Scanners.
    • A window will open containing a list of all installed printers. The default printer is marked with the grey text Default under it. If you wish to change the default printer, find the printer you want to use on the list, click its name and select Manage.
    • Select Set as default in the new window that opens.
    • Now you can close the settings window by clicking the X in the top right corner of the window.

    How To Have Your Default Printer Switched Automatically Based On Your Location


    As already mentioned, you can configure Windows 10 to manage your default printer automatically. The advantage is that the OS chooses a default printer based on your location. So, when you are in the office, the office printer is used as the default printer, and when you go home, your home printer is used.

    To enable this setting, all you have to do is go to the Settings app and click on Devices > Printers & Scanners. Then enable the option that says Let Windows manage my default printer.

    Once youve allowed Windows to manage your default printer, the OS will always set the most recently used printer in a particular location as your default printer. So when you are at home, the last printer you used at home will be set as the default printer. And when you are in the office, the printer you last used there will be your default printer.

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