How to Change Default Printer: A Comprehensive Guide

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In the realm of printing, understanding how to change default printer settings is paramount. This guide will delve into the intricacies of altering default printers, empowering you to optimize your printing experience and streamline your workflow.

Understanding Default Printer Settings

A default printer is a printer that is automatically selected by your computer or device when you send a print job. It is typically the printer that is connected directly to your computer or the one that you use most frequently.

There are several reasons why you might want to set a default printer. For example, if you have multiple printers connected to your computer, you can set the default printer to be the one that you prefer to use. Or, if you are working on a document that requires a specific type of paper or print quality, you can set the default printer to be the one that can best meet those requirements.

Different Ways to Set a Default Printer

There are several different ways to set a default printer. The most common method is to use the operating system’s settings. For example, in Windows, you can set the default printer by going to the Control Panel and clicking on “Printers and Faxes.” In macOS, you can set the default printer by going to the System Preferences and clicking on “Printers & Scanners.”

To change the default printer, you need to access the printer settings on your computer or device. Once you have located the printer settings, you can select the printer you want to set as the default. If you need to add a printer to your iPhone before changing the default, you can refer to how to add printer on iPhone for detailed instructions.

After adding the printer, you can proceed to change the default printer settings as mentioned earlier.

You can also set the default printer using the printer’s software. Most printers come with software that allows you to manage the printer’s settings. This software typically includes an option to set the printer as the default.

Changing Default Printer in Windows

Changing the default printer in Windows is a simple process that can be completed in a few steps. By setting a default printer, you can ensure that all your printing tasks are automatically sent to the desired printer without having to manually select it each time.

Steps to Change Default Printer in Windows

  1. Go to the Control Panel. You can access the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu or by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting Control Panel from the menu.
  2. Click on the Devices and Printers icon.
  3. Right-click on the printer you want to set as the default and select “Set as default printer”.

Once you have completed these steps, the selected printer will become the default printer for your Windows computer.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you are having trouble changing the default printer, there are a few things you can try:

  • Make sure that the printer is turned on and connected to your computer.
  • Check the printer’s driver to make sure it is up to date.
  • Restart your computer.

Best Practices for Managing Default Printer Settings in a Multi-User Environment

In a multi-user environment, it is important to manage default printer settings carefully to ensure that all users have access to the printers they need. Here are a few best practices:

  • Assign default printers to specific users or groups.
  • Create a shared printer pool that all users can access.
  • Set up print quotas to limit the amount of printing that each user can do.


  • How do I change the default printer in Windows 10?
  • How do I set a default printer for all users?
  • How do I troubleshoot problems with my default printer?

Visual Flowchart

[Image of a flowchart illustrating the steps involved in changing the default printer in Windows]

Table Comparing Different Methods of Changing the Default Printer

| Method | Description ||—|—|| Control Panel | The Control Panel is the traditional way to change the default printer in Windows. || Settings app | The Settings app is a newer way to change the default printer in Windows.

|| Command Prompt | You can also use the Command Prompt to change the default printer. |

Advanced Settings and Configurations for Default Printers

There are a number of advanced settings and configurations that you can use to customize the behavior of your default printer. These settings can be found in the printer’s Properties dialog box.

Glossary of Terms

  • Default printer:The printer that is automatically selected for all printing tasks.
  • Print queue:A list of print jobs that are waiting to be printed.
  • Print driver:A software program that allows your computer to communicate with your printer.

Changing Default Printer in macOS

Printer default windows set steps simple

In macOS, the process of changing the default printer is slightly different compared to Windows. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on the “Printers & Scanners” icon.
  3. Select the printer you want to set as the default.
  4. Click on the “Set Default” button.

Unlike Windows, macOS does not have a separate “Default Printer” setting. Instead, the default printer is determined based on the last printer used. This means that if you want to change the default printer, you simply need to select the new printer and print a document.

If you want to set a specific printer as the default printer, you can follow the steps mentioned above. However, keep in mind that the default printer setting in macOS is not permanent. It will revert to the last printer used after you restart your Mac.

Troubleshooting Common Issues: How To Change Default Printer

Printer default set dummies

Changing the default printer is usually a straightforward process, but sometimes issues can arise. This section identifies common problems and provides solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve any issues you may encounter.

The following table lists common problems and their corresponding solutions:

The new default printer is not printing– Ensure the printer is turned on and connected to your computer.

  • Check the printer queue to see if any print jobs are stuck.
  • Restart the print spooler.
  • Reinstall the printer driver.
The old default printer is still printing– In the Printers & Scanners settings, make sure the old printer is no longer set as the default.

  • Restart the print spooler.
  • Reinstall the printer driver for the old printer.
I can’t change the default printer– Check if your user account has administrator privileges.

  • Make sure the printer you want to set as default is installed and connected to your computer.
  • Restart the print spooler.
  • Reinstall the printer driver.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips

If you are still having trouble changing the default printer, try the following additional troubleshooting tips:

  • Check the printer queue to see if any print jobs are stuck. If there are, cancel them and try printing again.
  • Restart the print spooler. To do this, open the Services app (type “services.msc” in the Run dialog box), find the Print Spooler service, and click Restart.
  • Reinstall the printer driver. To do this, open the Printers & Scanners settings, select the printer you want to reinstall, and click Remove Device. Then, click Add a Printer and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the driver.

Managing Multiple Printers

How to change default printer

Organizations and individuals often have multiple printers connected to a single computer to meet diverse printing needs. Managing multiple printers involves setting up, configuring, switching between them, managing print queues, and troubleshooting common issues.

Benefits of Using Multiple Printers

  • Increased Productivity:Multiple printers reduce wait times and increase efficiency by allowing users to print documents simultaneously on different printers.
  • Reduced Downtime:If one printer experiences technical difficulties, users can switch to another, minimizing downtime and ensuring uninterrupted printing.
  • Improved Print Quality:Different printers may specialize in specific types of printing, such as high-quality photo printing or large-format printing. Using multiple printers allows users to choose the best printer for each job, resulting in optimal print quality.
  • Cost Savings:By assigning specific printers to different tasks, organizations can optimize ink and toner usage, leading to cost savings.

Considerations for Using Multiple Printers

  • Space Requirements:Multiple printers can take up significant physical space, especially in smaller environments.
  • Maintenance Costs:Each printer requires regular maintenance, including ink or toner replacements, which can increase overall operating costs.
  • Compatibility Issues:Ensuring compatibility between multiple printers and different operating systems can be challenging, especially with older or specialized printers.
  • Security Concerns:Multiple printers connected to a network may pose security risks if not properly managed and secured.

Scenarios Benefiting from Multiple Printers

  • Large Office Environments:Departments with different printing needs can benefit from dedicated printers, such as high-volume printers for bulk printing and specialized printers for presentations or graphic design.
  • Home Offices:Individuals with diverse printing requirements, such as regular document printing, photo printing, and occasional large-format printing, can benefit from having multiple printers.
  • Schools and Universities:Educational institutions often require specialized printers for student projects, research papers, and administrative tasks, making multiple printers a necessity.

Tips for Managing Multiple Printers Effectively

  • Set Default Printer:Designate a default printer for general printing tasks to avoid confusion and ensure smooth printing.
  • Create Print Queues:Establish separate print queues for each printer to organize and prioritize printing jobs.
  • Monitor Print Jobs:Regularly check print queues to ensure jobs are printing correctly and address any errors promptly.
  • Troubleshoot Common Issues:Be familiar with common printer issues, such as paper jams, ink or toner depletion, and connectivity problems, and have troubleshooting steps in place.

Network Printer Configuration

Printer set default windows settings tutorials tap click screenshot below want manage side

Configuring a network printer as the default printer involves connecting the printer to a network and configuring it on a computer.

Advantages of network printers include shared access, remote printing, and centralized management. Limitations include potential security risks, network connectivity issues, and higher costs.

Connecting a Network Printer

  1. Connect the printer to a power source and turn it on.
  2. Connect the printer to a network using an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.
  3. Find the printer’s IP address using the printer’s control panel or network configuration tools.

Configuring a Network Printer as the Default Printer

Once the network printer is connected, configure it as the default printer on each computer that will use it:

  1. Open the Control Panel or System Preferences on the computer.
  2. Navigate to the Printers or Print & Scan section.
  3. Add the network printer by entering its IP address or selecting it from a list of available printers.
  4. Set the network printer as the default printer.

-Line Methods

Printers dummies

-line methods provide a convenient way to change the default printer from the command line. This can be useful for automating tasks or for quickly changing the default printer without having to go through the graphical user interface (GUI).

There are several different -line methods that can be used to change the default printer, depending on the operating system. The most common -line methods are:

  • Windows: net use
  • Mac: lpadmin
  • Linux: lpoptions

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using

Line Methods

Using -line methods to change the default printer has several advantages:

  • Automation:-line methods can be easily automated using scripts or batch files.
  • Speed:-line methods are often faster than using the GUI to change the default printer.
  • Convenience:-line methods can be used from any command line interface, including remote access tools.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using -line methods:

  • Complexity:-line methods can be more complex to use than the GUI, especially for users who are not familiar with the command line.
  • Error-prone:-line methods are more error-prone than the GUI, especially if the user makes a typo or enters an incorrect command.
  • Limited functionality:-line methods may not provide all of the functionality of the GUI, such as the ability to set printer preferences.

Comparison of

Line Methods for Different Operating Systems

The following table compares the -line methods for changing the default printer on Windows, Mac, and Linux:

Operating System-Line MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
Windowsnet use
  • Easy to use
  • Supports all Windows versions
  • Can be used to set the default printer for all users
  • Requires administrative privileges
  • Does not provide all of the functionality of the GUI
  • Can be error-prone
  • Easy to use
  • Supports all Mac versions
  • Can be used to set the default printer for all users
  • Requires administrative privileges
  • Does not provide all of the functionality of the GUI
  • Can be error-prone
  • Easy to use
  • Supports all Linux distributions
  • Can be used to set the default printer for all users
  • Requires administrative privileges
  • Does not provide all of the functionality of the GUI
  • Can be error-prone

Example Code Blocks

The following code blocks show how to use -line methods to change the default printer on Windows, Mac, and Linux:


net use lpt1: \\computername\printername /persistent:yes


-d printername


-d printername

Setting a Printer as the Default for Specific File Types

-line methods can also be used to set a printer as the default for specific file types. For example, you could set one printer as the default for all PDF files and another printer as the default for all Word documents.

To do this, you can use the -Poption with the -line method. For example, the following command would set the printer named “HP LaserJet” as the default for all PDF files:

net use lpt1: \\computername\printername /persistent:yes

Common Errors and How to Resolve Them

The following are some common errors that can occur when using -line methods to change the default printer:

  • “The system cannot find the file specified.”This error occurs if the printer name is incorrect or if the printer is not connected to the computer.
  • “Access is denied.”This error occurs if the user does not have administrative privileges.
  • “The parameter is incorrect.”This error occurs if the -line command is not formatted correctly.

To resolve these errors, check the following:

  • Make sure that the printer name is correct.
  • Make sure that the printer is connected to the computer.
  • Make sure that the user has administrative privileges.
  • Make sure that the -line command is formatted correctly.

Provide examples of different printer management tools available for various operating systems (e.g., Windows, macOS, Linux)

Printer management tools are software applications that provide a centralized interface for managing and monitoring printers and print jobs. These tools are available for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Some of the most popular printer management tools include:

  • Windows:Print Management, Group Policy
  • macOS:Printer Utility, CUPS
  • Linux:CUPS, System-config-printer

These tools offer a range of features, including:

  • Adding and removing printers
  • Configuring printer settings
  • Managing print jobs
  • Monitoring printer status
  • Troubleshooting printer problems

Choosing the right printer management tool depends on the specific needs of your organization. Some tools are more suitable for small businesses, while others are designed for large enterprises with complex printing requirements.

Advanced Configuration

Advanced configuration options provide granular control over default printer settings, allowing users to customize the printing process according to their specific needs. These settings enable the modification of various parameters, including print quality, paper size, orientation, and duplex printing options.

By accessing the advanced configuration menu, users can fine-tune the printer’s performance and optimize printouts for different purposes. For instance, high-quality printing can be prioritized for important documents, while draft mode can be selected for quick and informal prints. Additionally, advanced settings allow users to configure duplex printing, which prints on both sides of the paper, saving paper and reducing waste.

Printer Properties

Printer properties provide a comprehensive overview of the printer’s capabilities and allow users to configure various settings. These properties include:

  • General:Basic information about the printer, such as its name, model, and status.
  • Paper/Quality:Options related to paper size, type, orientation, and print quality.
  • Layout:Settings for margins, scaling, and duplex printing.
  • Advanced:Advanced printing options, such as color management and printer-specific features.

Printer Properties

When changing the default printer, you can modify various printer properties to customize the printed output. These properties include:

  • Paper size
  • Orientation
  • Resolution
  • Color mode
  • Duplex printing

These properties significantly impact the printed output, as explained below:

Paper Size

Paper size determines the physical dimensions of the printed document. Common paper sizes include A4, letter, and legal. Selecting the correct paper size ensures the document fits properly on the paper and avoids cutting off important information.


Orientation determines whether the document is printed in portrait or landscape mode. Portrait mode is the standard vertical orientation, while landscape mode is the horizontal orientation. The orientation should be chosen based on the layout and content of the document.


Resolution determines the quality of the printed image, measured in dots per inch (dpi). A higher resolution produces a sharper and more detailed image, while a lower resolution produces a coarser image. The optimal resolution depends on the intended use of the printed document.

Color Mode

Color mode determines whether the document is printed in color or black and white. Color printing is suitable for documents with images or graphics, while black and white printing is more economical for text-based documents.

Duplex Printing

Duplex printing determines whether the document is printed on one or both sides of the paper. Duplex printing can save paper and reduce printing costs, but it may not be suitable for all types of documents.

Security Considerations

Changing the default printer can pose security risks if not handled cautiously. It’s crucial to be aware of potential vulnerabilities and take appropriate mitigation measures.

One primary concern is unauthorized access to sensitive information. If a malicious user gains control of the default printer, they could potentially intercept and access printed documents containing confidential data, such as financial records or personal information.

Mitigating Risks, How to change default printer

  • Restrict Printer Access:Limit access to the default printer only to authorized users through authentication mechanisms, such as passwords or physical security measures.
  • Monitor Print Jobs:Implement logging and monitoring systems to track print activities and identify any suspicious or unauthorized attempts.
  • Use Secure Printing Protocols:Employ secure printing protocols like IPP over SSL (HTTPS) to encrypt print data during transmission, preventing eavesdropping.
  • Disable Unnecessary Services:Disable any unnecessary printer services or ports that could be exploited for unauthorized access.
  • Regular Security Audits:Conduct regular security audits to identify and address any vulnerabilities in the printer configuration and network.

Tips and Best Practices

Effectively managing default printers requires adherence to specific guidelines and recommendations. By following these best practices, users can optimize printer performance, enhance productivity, and minimize potential issues.

When changing your default printer, it’s important to ensure that the new printer is properly configured to print your documents correctly. Once you have changed your default printer, you can proceed to print multiple pictures on one page. To do this, open the document containing the pictures you want to print and navigate to the print settings.

Within the print settings, you will find options to adjust the layout of your printed document, including the ability to print multiple pictures on a single page. For more detailed instructions on how to print multiple pictures on one page , please refer to our comprehensive guide.

After adjusting the print settings, you can proceed to print your document with the new layout.

Implementing these tips not only streamlines printing tasks but also reduces the likelihood of errors, ensuring seamless and efficient printing operations.

Establish Clear Default Printer Policies

  • Define clear guidelines for selecting and changing default printers within the organization.
  • Communicate these policies to all users to ensure consistency and avoid confusion.
  • Regularly review and update policies as needed to adapt to changing requirements.

Regularly Monitor Printer Status

  • Proactively monitor printer status to identify potential issues or performance degradation.
  • Set up automated alerts or notifications to inform administrators of any printer problems.
  • By addressing issues promptly, you can prevent disruptions and maintain optimal printing operations.

Educate Users on Printer Management

  • Provide training or documentation to users on how to change and manage default printers.
  • Empower users with the knowledge to troubleshoot common printer issues.
  • Educated users can resolve minor issues independently, reducing the need for IT support.

Utilize Printer Management Tools

  • Leverage printer management tools to simplify printer configuration and administration.
  • These tools provide centralized control over multiple printers, enabling efficient management.
  • By automating tasks and providing advanced features, printer management tools enhance printer performance and reduce administrative overhead.

Consider Network Printer Configuration

  • When configuring network printers, ensure proper network connectivity and firewall settings.
  • Use static IP addresses for network printers to avoid IP address conflicts.
  • Configure network printers with appropriate security measures to prevent unauthorized access.

Implement Security Considerations

  • Enforce security measures to protect printer data and prevent unauthorized access.
  • Use strong passwords for printer accounts and enable encryption for sensitive data.
  • Regularly update printer firmware and software to address security vulnerabilities.


How to change default printer

This guide has provided comprehensive instructions on managing and changing default printers in various operating systems. By understanding the default printer settings, troubleshooting common issues, and exploring advanced configuration options, you can optimize your printing experience and ensure seamless operation.

  • Remember to regularly review and update your default printer settings to maintain efficiency and avoid printing errors.
  • Consider using printer management tools to streamline your printing tasks and enhance productivity.

With the knowledge gained from this guide, you can effectively manage your printers and enjoy a hassle-free printing experience.

Expert Answers

How do I change the default printer in Windows?

To change the default printer in Windows, navigate to the Control Panel, select “Printers & Scanners,” and click on the “Set as default” button for the desired printer.

How do I change the default printer in macOS?

In macOS, go to the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” click on “Printers & Scanners,” and choose the “Default Printer” option.

What are some best practices for managing default printers?

Best practices include regularly updating printer drivers, ensuring printer compatibility with your operating system, and setting up multiple printers for specific printing needs.