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How to Set Default Printer on Windows 11 & 10

When using multiple printers, you might have a preference for one printer over the other. In that case, you can change or set the default printer on Windows with just a few clicks. This saves you the hassle of choosing a printer each time you want to print something. In this tutorial, we’ll show you three ways to set the default printer. Follow the one you like. Let’s get started.

Note: The steps below are tested to work in Windows 11 & 10.

Set Default Printer Using the Settings App

Windows 11 and 10 users can use the Settings app to assign a default printer. Depending on your OS version, follow the relevant section below.

On Windows 11:

First, press the Windows key + I shortcut to open the Settings window. Once it opens, click on Select Bluetooth & devices on the left sidebar and then click on Printers & scanners.

Opening Printers & Scanners in Windows 11 Settings.

On the Printers & Scanners page, turn off the Let Windows manage my default printer toggle.

Disabling automatic printer management in Windows 11.

After that, click on the printer you want to set as default.

Selecting a printer to set as default in Windows 11.

Click the Set as Default button at the top.

Setting a printer as default in Windows 11.

As soon as you do that, the Printer Status is set to Default and the selected printer is now your default printer.

Confirmation of default printer in Windows 11.

On Windows 10:

Right-click on the Start icon on the taskbar and select Settings or press Windows key + I to open the Settings app. Next, go to the Devices and then click on the Printers & Scanners option.

On this page, uncheck the Allow Windows to manage my default printer checkbox. Next, click on the printer you want to set as default and click Manage.

Opening Printers & Scanners in Windows 10 Settings and Disabling automatic printer management.

Click the Set as Default button to make it your default printer.

Setting a printer as default in Windows 10.

Setting Your Default Printer via Command Line

If you want, you can also use the command-line approach to change your default printer. This method works in Windows versions 11, 10, 8, and 7. Here’s how.

Open the Start Menu and search for Command Prompt. Right-click on the Command Prompt result and choose Run as administrator to open the Command Prompt console with administrator rights.

Opening Command Prompt as administrator

In the command line window, enter the below command and press Enter. It lists all the printers connected to your computer. Note down the name of the printer you want to set as default.

wmic printer get name,default

Listing printers in Command Prompt

Now, run the below command while replacing “printer_name” with the actual printer name from the list you got from the first command.

wmic printer where name="printer_name" call setdefaultprinter

Entering command to set default printer.

As soon as you run the command, the default printer will be changed to your choice.

Set Default Printer Using Control Panel

As an alternative method, you can also use the Control Panel to change the current default printer. The best thing is, if you are using older Windows versions like 8 or 7, this method is perfect for you.

First, click the Windows logo on the taskbar to open the Start menu. Search for Control Panel in the Start menu, and click on the top result to open the Control Panel.

Accessing Control Panel for printer settings.

In the Control Panel window, select Category from the View By dropdown menu. Next, click the View Devices and Printers link under Hardware and Sound.

Viewing devices and printers in Control Panel.

Now, right-click on the printer and select the Set as Default Printer option and you are done.

Selecting default printer in Control Panel.

The default printer will have a green checkmark over the printer icon.

Confirming default printer in Control Panel.

And there you have it. It’s that simple to set your favorite printer as the default printer. You can follow any of the three methods shown in this tutorial but remember that the Control Panel method only works in Windows 10, 8, and 7 OSes.

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