How to Set Default Printer

If you print many documents and have multiple printers, it can be annoying to select the printer and print settings every time manually. Setting a default printer can save a lot of time and provide you with fast printouts. In addition, you can adjust the print settings according to the situation and set them to convenient defaults. This blog will guide you on how to set default printer and also show you how to change default printer settings.

Index:

I. Why Set Default Printer?

A default printer is the printer that your computer or other device automatically selects when you print a document, helping users simplify the printing process. Instead of having to select a printer for each print job, the default printer is pre-selected each time you print. 

This is useful in a busy office environment or a home with multiple users and devices. It also ensures that your output is always printed to the same device, which can reduce confusion and errors.

II. How to Set Printer as Default on Your Computer?

Using a computer to operate is the most common way. This works for all brands of printers, such as HP printers, Canon printers, Brother printers, Epson printers, and Xerox printers. Here's how to set a default printer on Windows, macOS, and Linux systems:

1. How to Set Default Printer in Windows 10

Click on the "Start" menu (a Windows icon) and select the gear icon to open "Settings."

Then, click on "Devices" and choose "Printers & scanners."

From the list of available printers, click the printer you want to set as the default printer.

Click the "Manage" button, and then click "Set as default." The word "Default" appears below the printer.

2. How to Set Default Printer in Windows 11

This is similar to the steps on Windows 10.

Click on "Start" (a Windows icon) and select "Settings."

Select "Bluetooth & devices," then "Printers & scanners."

From the list of available printers, click on the printer you want to set as default.

Finally, choose "Set as default." A "Default" prompt appears below the printer name.

 

Can't find the "Set as default" option on your computer, it's probably because Windows is automatically managing your default printer. You need to turn off "Let Windows manage my default printer." This option automatically sets the last printer you used as the default printer. Find it on the “Printers & scanners” page and uncheck it.

If you want your default printer always to be the last used printer, turn it on and your computer will automatically determine your default printer. After you print to another printer, the default printer will change accordingly.

3. How to Set a Printer as the Default Printer in macOS

Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner, select "System Preferences," and then choose "Printers & Scanners."

In the printer list on the left, right-click the printer you want to set and click "Set default printer." You will see a note "Default" under the printer.

If you want your computer to automatically set the default printer, you can adjust it on the "Printers & Scanners" page. Find the "Default printer" option, then click and select "Last Printer Used." You can see a "Last Used" prompt under the last used printer in the printer list on the left.

4. How to Set a Printer as Default in Linux

Linux users can also easily set a default printer. While the steps may vary slightly depending on your Linux distribution, the following steps should work for most versions.

Open the application menu and navigate to "Settings" or "System Settings." Then, click on "Printers."

From the list of available printers, click on the printer you want to set up and finally select the "Set as default" button.

III. How to Set a Default Printer on a Mobile Device?

You can also set a default printer on iPhone and Android phones.

1. How to Set a Printer as the Default Printer on iPhone

Open the document you want to print, and tap the “Share” button (the square with an upward arrow).

Select "Print," then "Select Printer," and choose your printer from the list.

Some iOS versions may allow you to set the selected printer as default. Select this option if available.

2. How to Set Printer as Default on Android Phone

Open the document to be printed and press the “Menu” button (usually three dots or lines).

Then, choose "Print," tap the printer selection drop-down menu, and select your printer from the list.

If the option is available, set the selected printer as the default printer.

IV. How to Change Default Printer Settings

In addition to setting a default printer, you can also set default print settings to help you print more efficiently. By changing default printer settings, you can optimize print quality, manage paper usage, adjust print color, and more.

1. How to Change Your Default Printer Settings in Windows 10

Open the “Start” menu, click the Settings icon, and select “Devices.”

Find “Printers & scanners,” then choose your printer and click “Manage.”

Then click “Printing Preferences” to change settings such as paper size, print quality, etc. Select “OK” to save these default settings.

2. How to Change Your Default Printer Settings in Windows 11

Click "Start" and open "Settings," then navigate to "Bluetooth & devices."

Then select "Printers & scanners," click on your printer, and select "Manage."

Choose "Printing preferences" to change settings like paper size, paper type, print quality, number of copies, etc. Finally, click "OK" to save all these printing settings.

 

For all Windows computers, you can also change the default printer settings like this:

  • Click "Start" and select "Settings," then search “Control Panel” and enter it.
  • Go to “Hardware and Sound” and find “View devices and printers.”
  • Right-click the printer you want to adjust and choose “Printing preferences.” Then, change print settings such as paper size, paper type, print quality, duplex printing, print color, etc.
  • By the way, choose the "Printer properties" option, the "Advanced" tab, and then "Printing Defaults." You can also access the print settings page this way to adjust the default print settings.
  • Finally, click “OK” to save these settings as default printer settings.

3. How to Change Default Printer Settings on Mac

Changing the default print settings is to let the computer print quickly according to your needs, instead of changing multiple print options every time. Mac devices do this through print presets.

After setting up, click the print preset, and you can get the printout quickly printed according to your requirements. Besides, you can set up multiple print presets. Simply select the desired combination of options each time you print.

  • Open a document, click "File," then click "Print" to go to the print page.
  • On this page, if you see a "Show Details" button on the left, click it to display all printing options.
  • Adjust the print settings you want to use, such as paper handling, layout, quality, and more.
  • Find the “Presets” option, then open the drop-down menu and choose “Save Current Settings as Preset.”
  • Name the preset and select the printer you want to apply it to. Then, click "OK" to save the print preset.
  • You can close the print page or select "Print" to print the document.


V. How Do I Set My Printer Back to Default Settings?

If you need to reset your printer to default settings, follow these general steps, which may vary depending on your printer model. You can refer to your printer's user manual or the manufacturer's website.

Access the Printer Menu: Use the printer's control panel to navigate to “Settings.”

Find the Reset Option: Find the “Reset” or “Restore” option in the Settings menu.

Reset Your Printer: Select the “Restore Factory Settings” option and confirm to restore your printer to default settings.

Want to reset your HP printer? Read the blog How to Reset HP Printer for more information.

VI. Wrap It Up

Setting a default printer is an easy and effective way to simplify your printing. Following the steps in this guide will help you easily set your preferred printer as the default.

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